Parallax Effect Photography

This week we've been experimenting with Parallax effects using our photography to create short video clips. This style of video generally provides a pseudo 3D appearance. Not quite a video, they convey a more fluid and animated presentation of an image. These videos can create a beautiful multi layered effect, providing more depth and movement, in essence bringing a still image to life. The beauty of this concept is that you can create them using bespoke photography, planning every shot with this in mind or use an older image and dissect it into layers to be animated in post production.

Concept Tests

In our first attempt we chose to use the image above from our homepage image of Porth Nanven in Cornwall. With this first concept test we decided to keep things very simple by using just two layers in the image. One for the background and one as a foreground element. Animating them independently with the layers changing sizes and directions in movement creates a sense of depth and separation that you don't get viewing a static image.

Forest Multi Layered Concept

For our second concept test we wanted to not only separate the foreground and background elements as before to create movement, but to also create an extra layer of depth with additional layers of particle effects throughout the image. Particles of dust and bokeh style lighting effects are present in 3 layers over and behind the foreground. As they move independently from the foreground and background they provide an extra visual effect that provides an almost slow motion like, time stopping effect.

Star Trails Rotation Concept

Our final test incorporated three layers of Parallax movement using the photograph of the standing stones at Mên An Tol, Cornwall. With the background element simply consisting of a sky full of moving stars it made more sense to have them rotate along the star trail's path rather than using the panning and scaling movement we used in the other two videos. This rotation enhances the visual of the star's movement as they pass through the night sky above. 

This technique definitely has some potential for not only short commercial and marketing video clips, but also for email newsletters, featured product promotions and some visually dynamic landscape videos created from older archived images or purposely photographed imagery.