1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor

We were inspired by Oton Bačar’s incredible bmx videos on Vimeo to experiment with retiming 60fps video shot on the Canon 60d. Specifically, we were interested in whether an obscure feature of Apple Motion called “Optical Flow” could achieve results that were comparable with Twixtor.

After a lot of experimentation, we came up with a workflow that yields pretty solid results. As is the case with Twixtor, Apple Motion handles some shots beautifully while other shots get turned to ripply mush. Which is better, Motion Optical Flow or Twixtor? It seems to be more or less a draw, with Apple Motion having the distinct advantage that it comes bundled with Apple Final Cut Studio and is therefore free if you already use FCS. Either way, you’ll need to pick and choose the best bits with the smoothest motion and the least mush.

For our test, we used a Canon 60d with a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, 59.94fps 1280×720, shutter at 1/1600. It’s important to mount the camera on a tripod, turn off AWB, and pick a scene with a relatively simple background (like…snow).

The basic workflow is to 1) Shoot at 59.94fps 2) Bring the footage into Motion and retime to 15%, 3) Export from Motion and conform it to 23.98fps using Cinema Tools. Then bring into FCP and edit.

Here is a tutorial that shows the nuts and bolts:

Tutorial – Canon 60d 1000fps using Apple Motion instead of Twixtor from CrumplePop on Vimeo.




Note that I say we shot on a 7d, but it was actually a 60d. Sorry. And here is the final result:

Canon 60D 1000fps using Apple Motion instead of Twixtor from CrumplePop on Vimeo.



That’s Jed at CrumplePop on the bike, and also playing the music that’s in the video. Jed engineers most of our effects, so if you have ever had technical problems with one of our products, you should especially enjoy the sight of him hitting the ground.

The bike is a Surly 1×1 with Nokian tires.

Related Posts

Cold Tea at 1000fps
HDSLR Calculator
4k, Is It Really The Future?

72 Comments. Leave new

1000fps using only Final Cut Studio | Canon 5D tips
January 5, 2011 11:20 pm

[...] Comment Tweet Patrick from CrumplePop (btw go check their products) just sent me info about his workflow to achieve ridiculous slow motion effect without using Twixtor. The process is quite simple: [...]

Reply

Awesome job! Seems like it would be a lot easier for Apple to include the optical flow selection in the speed change tool (whatever command-J is referred as). They should also consider bringing conform straight into FCP as it’s used with DSLR projects by tons of people.

You can definitely tell this is not the perfect way to go, if you watch the tires on the bike change strangely frame to frame, but it is absolutely a great little DIY solution if you aren’t using a Phantom camera!

Reply

Glad you dig it.

Its not perfect, but neither is twixtor (they both have similar problems.) With some creative shooting you can make it work. Even looking at Oton Bacar’s videos, there is some creative stuff he’s doing with the background so you don’t see any strange animations.

Reply
1000fps For Free – Using Motion Instead of Twixtor | DSLRHD.com
January 6, 2011 3:31 am

[...] a great tutorial on how to create ultra slow motion video using a Canon 60D and Apple Motion. Click here to read the full blog post. Here’s how they did [...]

Reply
Recycle News:CrumplePop, 1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor
January 6, 2011 3:53 am

[...] my friends over at CrumplePop, a blog post on retiming using Apple Motion. We all love our 5D, 7D, 60D and they produce some [...]

Reply
1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor | Halfmac.info Blog
January 6, 2011 6:12 am

[...] This is from our friends a Crumple Pop: [...]

Reply

Wow. I like the effect of the tires a lot. It an indirect result is always an application somewhere else.

Reply

I tried in 2 different Macs and the Optical Flow causes some kind of error in render. During preview there is some kind of glitch between frames that pulls back the footage every 6 or 7 frames.

And there is some processing going on while we do the preview.

If I change the Frame Blending option to “Blending” or “Motion Blur Blending” this processing in preview does not appear and seems to work just fine.

Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you so much.

Reply

It sounds like you might need to let it finish processing. Once it finishes processing it stops the jerkyness. We ran into that same problem as well.

Reply

RIGHT! On the preview, I was getting a repetitive jerky frame every 20 frames (using 60p footage slowed to 15%). Looked like some kinda pulldown error.

Seems it’s imperative that you click the little spinning gear (appears next to the playback controls) in order to pop-up the processing status dialog box and just let that fully analyze the clip before trying to preview the effect. Depending on the length of the clip it will tell you how many mins it will take.

The example in the tutorial doesn’t show this – must’ve already been analyzed prior to them demoing it haha.

Once the clip is fully analyzed, Motion will play the preview with the actual optical-flow effect visible. Until it’s been analyzed the clip will play in a frame-blended mode that will trick you into thinking your clip looks like crapola.

Bottom line, give it time.

Reply
1000fps ultraslow motion effect | bradbell.tv
January 7, 2011 7:49 am

[...] CumplePop have posted a good video tutorial on using Optical Flow in Motion.app to create ’1000fps’ slow motion. [...]

Reply
キヤノン60Dでスーパースロー映像を作る方法(1000fps for free) : monogocoro ものごころ
January 8, 2011 5:02 am

[...] Original: 1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor blog comments powered by Disqus [...]

Reply
How To: 1000fps in Apple Motion’s “Optical Flow” « about her films
January 8, 2011 11:10 pm

[...] folks over at CrumplePop have developed a workflow using Apple Motion’s “Optical Flow” feature to create video that looks as if it [...]

Reply

Are there any tips to minimizing the ‘warping’? If you know early on that you plan on using this method, can you shoot in a certain way to avoid the warping that can ruin the effect?

Reply

There is no simple answer or technique I can offer to completely stop the warping. What we’ve found works is shooting simple textures on simple backgrounds. Our winter tires are a bit complicated, so there is an occasional warp. We’ve seen people wash out the background of their shots and find simple things to shoot. That seems to work. Unfortunately this system isn’t perfect, but more of a shoot footage and see what we get, some will be great and some will be fairly warped.

Reply
What I’m Reading – Week 2 | Woman with a Movie Camera
January 10, 2011 7:11 am

[...] From CrumplePop: “1000fps for free, using Apple Motion instead of Twixtor” [...]

Reply
administrative assistant
January 10, 2011 11:54 am

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

Reply

Will it work in iMovie?

Reply

I haven’t experimented with it and iMovie, but if you have Motion you should be able too.

Reply
- CrumplePop Blog
January 12, 2011 11:29 pm

[...] are some videos from people who used Optical Flow to create the 1000fps effect(like our tutorial.) Check them [...]

Reply

I am having it jump (kind of pushes in on the frame just a bit) every second or so, seems to be consistent timing between each jump. This is after I export, conform and bring it into Final Cut. When I conform to a different speed. like 29.98 it plays smoothly… any idea?

720p60 from T2i originally. Only difference is I am using ProRes HQ, I don’t have LT…

Reply

Actually… it’s still jumpy at other speeds. Gunna try a shorter clip and restart the process.

Reply

Did that work out?

Reply

Most of my shooting is nature. My output is BluRay and the web. Nature doesn’t give me the luxury of knowing what will happen in advance. I shoot 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps. Export to FCP in ProRes 422 to a 1920 x 1080 timeline.

1. How would 1280 x 720 footage integrate into a 1080 timeline?

2. I have tried your tutorial using ProRes 422, 1920 x 1080, 30fps footage. Of course I can not get the super slow motion that you demonstrate but even at 50% I get substantial motion blurring. What suggestions, maybe a recommended tutorial, for slow motion using 1920 x 1080 footage.

3. I have never shot at 1280 x 720/60. Other than the obvious slow advantage, why shoot at that lower resolution?

Great site. I just recently discovered you and have been following ever since. Keep up the good work.

Thanks

Kent

Reply

1. It would be best to use a 1280×720 timeline, so that FCP will scale
down your 1920×1080 footage. Doing the reverse, where FCP scales up,
will not look as good.

2. 60fps and a high shutter speed (like 1/1600) are the keys to avoiding
motion blur.

3. We shot on a Canon 60d, which can only shoot 60fps at 1280×720.

Reply

Thanks for the input.

Since I shoot nature I don’t know in advance what I want to slow down. I have been shooting 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps. I will try decreasing my shutter speed. 1/125 maybe 1/250 so as not to completely avoid motion blending in clip portions that are kept in real time.

Do you have any experience with camera settings that would yield smooth movement in normal speed clips and yet give decent slow motion. I normally do not slow things down more than 50%. I am most interested in maintaining quality on the normal speed clips.

Ya All Be Good Now

kent

Reply
Optical Flow Test « Lucas. Films. Edits. Blogs.
January 22, 2011 11:34 pm

[...] CrumplePop had a great post on their blog about using the Optical Flow feature. This blog post gained steam in the Vimeo community, and after seeing a few test videos, I thought I would give it a whirl. I followed the steps listed in their blog HERE. [...]

Reply

Great article. Waiting for more.

Reply

I’ve tried this tut on my T2i with me steping in snow close up, but it’s just all gelatin! haha! Could be the amount of small pixel variances going on in the shot. I shot 1280×720 60fps 1/1000. Wondering if shooting at a higher shutter would make the difference.

Thanks for your contributions, I’m always looking to learn!

Reply

That can definitely help. Depending on how much detail is involved the video can be a bit gelatin. If you take a look at the detail on our bike treads, you can see a bit of that gelatin.

Reply

Motion doesn’t want to play at all anymore. I’m running Motion 3 and FCP 6.0.6 if that makes a difference. I took some GoPro 60fps footage and I’m going to try the same workflow and see what results I get.

why is slo-mo so hard! I want slo-mo! thanks again!

Reply
1000 FPS using Apple Motion | berad studio
February 2, 2011 12:09 am

[...] the rip from CrumplePop: We were inspired by Oton Ba?ar’s incredible bmx videos on Vimeo to experiment with retiming [...]

Reply
Cold Tea at 1000fps - CrumplePop Blog
February 3, 2011 4:52 pm

[...] for a package. We used the 1000fps Motion Optical Flow retiming technique from our recent tutorial (check it out here.) It’s actually yerba mate, not tea technically? Canon 60d with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 1/1600 [...]

Reply
Age of Rockets
February 11, 2011 1:48 am

This is some awesome footage!

I love the slow motion. It’s always interesting to see what the algorithm creates for the “in between frames”. Adobe After Effects does similar things and gives a similar look.

Again, great stuff!!!

Reply
- CrumplePop Blog
February 14, 2011 4:20 pm

[...] video. Also, if you want to try something like this on the cheap with your own camera, we have our 1000fps using motion tutorial to help you out. [...]

Reply
Video quay bằng Canon 60D ở tốc độ 1.000 khung hình mỗi giây | hiepnguyen's blog
February 15, 2011 8:07 am

[...] CrumplePop vừa cho đăng tải một đoạn video quay bằng Canon 60D và được làm chậm giống [...]

Reply
Jay Shaffer Video » Blog Archive » Slomo: Conform vs. Optical flow
February 22, 2011 2:52 am

[...] back grond and foreground shots. Here is a great tutorial from CrumplePop on using Optical flow: 1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor Shot with Lumix GH1 with 28Mbs settings, post in FCP6 and Motion, compressed to 5Mbs with Elgato [...]

Reply
DIY Twixtor in Apple’s Motion « camarush
March 2, 2011 8:09 pm

[...] out their blog post here for the full [...]

Reply

Here’s a question for you. I am shooting in HDV 29.97 which gets transcoded to pro res. This is the bulk of my footage for the sequence. However, I want to use some footage shot at 1280x720p at 60fps for the better slow motion though I do not want to up res this and reduce contrast and resolution. Is it best to make the entire sequence a 1280x720p sequence and use my 1440 x1080i footage in that?
Thanks for the advice. I’m stumped as to which way to go.

Reply

Yes. However, you will need to deinterlace your HDV 29.97 footage first, so that your entire sequence is progressive. I would recommend the JES Deinterlacer, which is a free download.

Good luck!

Reply
First try @ 1000fps - 3000GT/Stealth International Message Center
March 19, 2011 5:03 pm

[...] Originally Posted by Fbc 978 I recently picked up a canon HV40, gonna begin to do some filming, does twixtor come with FCP? Nice video. Edit: Nvm noticed you were on a PC. Does FCP have Motion? If it does, you can use Motion to slow things down. 1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor – CrumplePop Blog [...]

Reply
Scott Cavanah
March 22, 2011 3:42 pm

I have been trying your slo mo technique for a couple days now. I first tried it with my 5DMKII, shooting 30p at 1/2000th. The results were “jello vision”.

Today I tried a Sony XDCAM and shot 720 60p @ 1/1000 hoping for better results. Still “jelloy”. Here’s the shot (uploading now)

http://vimeo.com/21349702

Any suggestions? Sorry for the bad lighting. It is very overcast here today.

Thank you!

Reply

With the 5DmkII, if you set it to 60p you should be good to go.

After taking a look at the clip (we liked the lighting btw) it might come down to the object and rotation. Some objects and backgrounds can cause the effect to turn jello-y. Unfortunately, its really hard to predict which will work.

Reply

hey guys, just tried this with a shot of my friend dunking a basketball in the gym. I shot the clip with my T2i at 1280×720 60fps.. went through all the steps you provided in the video, but when i play back the “new” clip in Motion, my friend appears very very blurry when he is flying through the air.. i was wondering if theres something i am missing here… very frustrating trying to get this to work! please help me!!

Reply

Hmmm, in all honesty it might be how motion treats the certain object you’re putting in slowmo. We’ve found that some times optical flow has problems with really detailed things. If you look closely at the bike studs in our video you can see a bit of the jello effect.

Reply
60p retimed to 1000 fps | Chris Weatherly
April 8, 2011 7:52 pm

[...] a little test I did with 60p footage I shot on the Canon 7D. I used CrumplePop’sMotion tutorial on retiming with optical flow. It’s a fun tool to use, but far from perfect. [...]

Reply

Hi there,

Been having a play with this super slow mo from normal footage. When i ‘send’ the clip to motion, and apply the time change and optical flow, click on the spinning wheel to see how long it will take to analyze, it seems to have to analyse the entire length of the originally shot clip, rather than just the clip in the Final Cut sequence. Is there a simple way of avoiding this as you don’t mention it in your tutorial? At the moment i have had to export the clip from FCP, to make it independent, then re import it, then send that to motion, but seems slightly silly.

Any thoughts please? Your tutorials and help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Woody

Reply

Hi Woody,

That is odd. Are you dragging your portion of the clip to the
timeline first, and then sending it to Motion from the timeline? That
should get Motion to recognize the In and Out points.

Reply
Slow Mo 1000fps (none twixtor) | digiFUSE
May 5, 2011 6:00 pm

[...] Vison-FX’s Twixtor is a great way adding extra frames to create really smooth slow motion. To download a trial click here. But it is expensive and if you do not have it then you can at least use Final Cut Pro and Motion as explained in the following tutorial from Crumplepot. [...]

Reply
Will Faulkner Films
July 9, 2011 9:24 am

Hey man. I just found your site. Its really great. I am trying to learn speed ramping via keyframing in motion. Can you do a tutorial video on it?

Reply

For Motion 5? I believe we may be posting one in the next few days/week.

Reply
Wavy Gravy—Extreme Slow Mo in Apple Motion | Envato Notes
July 12, 2011 5:41 am

[...] I have nothing against Twixtor, just can’t afford it. Thank you to CrumplePop for the Motion Tutorial. [...]

Reply

Thank You Crumplepop for this tutorial! I put it to GOOD USE!

http://vimeo.com/25909120

Paul

Reply
Jess Benchoff
July 25, 2011 7:11 pm

Hi, I can’t figure out ways to add your web site in my RSS feed reader. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong, please.

Reply

Hrmm, sorry about that. We’ll check it out.

Reply

Nice tut, Could you do the same on FCP X? since it supports optical flow?

Reply

Absolutely, it’s actually available in FCPX. Under re timing, you can select quality and choose Optical Flow.

Reply

This is awesome. So sweet that everyone got so pumped on optical flow being in FCPX when it was at their finger tips all along. hah

so why do you have to export the footage out of motion? I was hoping there was a faster solution than having to export, conform, then reimport my clips into my sequence…

Can you not just go back in to FC and render the clip?

thanks again,
great job

Reply

With FCP 7 that method brings the best quality.

Reply

So can you can run Apple Motion with out having Final Cut Pro? Do you have a plugin for Corel VideoStudio Pro X3/X4? Thanks!

Reply

Yes with FCP X you can use files from Motion 5 inside of FCPX without having Motion. Although to edit those files you need to pick up a copy of Motion 5.

Reply

Great Help thank you! Could you help me on something, I shot skateboarding with my canon60D I shot at 23.98 fps. However when i try to optical motion, with about 5% , there is a “ghost” like blur on the skater. I’m guessing fast movement like skateboarding isnt easy to pull off on motion. But i found a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiMtqVwtnSE, just wondering what i’m doing wrong?

Reply

Hmmm. It could be your shutter speed. Do remember what you shot it at?

Otherwise, often with fast moving things it gives a bit more of the jello effect. It could be that as well.

Reply

What features are disabled in free version of TWIXTOR.

Reply

I’m not sure, you’d have to check it out over at RevisionFX.com

Reply

Thanks for a very helpful article. I tried out the JES Deinterlacer you recommended and notice it also has a slow motion feature. Have you ever compared the results of this feature to Motion Optical Flow?

Reply
Camp Timberline Fall Retreat » WildVision
August 27, 2012 9:15 pm

[...] The super slow mo that I just love so much was shot with my Canon at 60fps and rendered in Apple Motion/conformed in Cinema tools to 24fps. The result is a smooth (for the most part) 1000 frames per second! The tutorial on how to achieve this effect can be found here. [...]

Reply
1000 FPS with 60D
January 29, 2013 5:45 am

[...] June 15, 2012 Uncategorized, Video Great 60D Slow Motion Tutorial via crumplepop.com/ Slow [...]

Reply

Hey guys. Killer tutorial. im having trouble in motion when i tried it. getting a super blurry image even when shot at 2000 shutter. shot at 60fps… when i send the clip to motion its already slowed down in the viewer. i think that might be the problem but i dont know how to change it. settings are wrong? is it supposed to be slowed down in the viewer when imported? any thoughts would be appreciated. im about to throw myself out a window. THANKS!

Reply

i think i figured it out. just takes a suuuuuper long time for it to process when imported into motion. patience has never been my best virtue. thanks a million for the tutorial!!!!

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>