I'd been experimenting with the possibilities of slow motion and how to achieve that slick, ultra slow look in stop motion. And after a while of testing, I decided to make a short film to showcase the effect. It is a spoof of all those fancy perfume commercials you see on tv. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlxFh5anos4

I've combined green screen, with miniatures, live action, and CG backgrounds. The puppet was animated at 30 fps, in incredibly small increments, then reduced to much slower speeds in After Effects through combinations of 'Timewarp,' 'Time Remap' and frame blending.

All effects were accomplished in After Effects, with live action elements, such as fog and rain, composited into the shot.

For a wide shot, my uncle built a 3 ft, wooden model of city storefronts, which I decorated with miniature trees and lit with X-mas lights. I also used a fog machine to catch the light from the windows and obscure the background. After it was filmed, I animated the puppet on green screen and stuck him in the shot.

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Hah!! That is fantastic!! Excellently done - thanks for showing us!! 

A lot of difficult things done well, in there!  Like the use of fog in the street, and all the smoke compositing, as well as the slow mo.

 Thanks guys, glad you liked it!

That looked very nice! I liked the drink pouring from the bottle.

Very cool effects in the service of a funny, concise idea.  Great job!

I commented. Incredible stuff!

lol this was both hilarious and awesome, loved it!

Fantastic work!

The lighting is really nicely done and combined with the AE work looks absolutely amazing. Great look and atmosphere, nice job!

Great stuff. Really enjoyed watching it.

Timewarp and Time Remap - are they part of AE, or plug-ins that you have to buy?  And, do they create new in-between frames, or just  repeat or blend existing frames together?

I ask because I did a test shot of Cthulhu yesterday and although I made the moves as small as I could, I had to stretch the shot out to 3 times the length to get the speed right.  I used frame blending, which gives a very obvious  triple-exposure look that won't be good enough.  And making it on threes without blending would be too steppy.  He has a lot of appendages to keep track of and I only got 16 frames shot before I bumped the set, and that took 3 hours.   So to get the 100 to 150 frames I need would take a very long time on ones, even if I could get the moves small enough.

I had tested Twixtor (a plug-in that makes new in-between frames) in the past, and it didn't cope well with legs crossing in front of each other, so I don't think it would handle a mess of overlapping tentacles all doing different things.  Of course it worked beautifully on the shots they put on their website but they were carefully selected to avoid its limitations.

Those are part of AE. I have CS4 (I think) so it should be standard. Timewarp works kinda like Twixtor, making new in-betweens. I used it very sparingly as I found, much like you, that it didn't do well with overlapping appendages or light changes - especially light changes. (Since both programs are meant to work with video shot on 60fps.) Though I later learned that if you first stretched the time to about 150%, then added Time Remap, and THEN applied Timewarp, you could get a better result. Now, Timewarp's default settings are to slow by 50%, which is crazy slow, but, if you put the speed to the 85-90% range, it has fewer frames to fill in -- in addition, if you go into the settings and switch it to "Build from one image" the overall 'weird warp' will be less noticeable (in some cases). But, overall Timewarp is really something that should be used as lightly as possible, as it'll probably never be successful used solo.

I had animated at 30fps on ones and was then able to stretch the clip to twice the original length and for some shots, that was all I needed to do - no other effects. Because you're dealing with tentacles, this approach may be a better option than Timewarp. And, for me, each shot called for a totally different mix of some or all effects, and I just had to experiment. I even tried shooting twos with really small moves and then speeding things up in post, but that wasn't so great.

I hope that helps..... if that reads as well as it sounded in my head.

Oh, also, Time Remap, is really just another way to stretch a clip and something that allows Timewarp to work better. It takes the "ends" off a clip, allowing it to be stretched out as far as you want.

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