HyperZooms are a great way to show the viewer a detail of your time-lapse shot. This is where you use two different shots—one close up and one wide—and zoom from one to the other. In this video, author Keith Kiska walks you through how to edit together a HyperZoom from multiple time-lapse shots in Adobe After Effects.
- So now that we understand what HyperZooms are and how to shoot them, let's dive into actually how to edit them in After Effects. Okay, so for this example, we have a shot of the Washington Monument, nice wide shot here, and we're going to be zooming in to our close up shot over here, which I already imported. And we're going to go ahead and drag this into our comp, right over our wide shot. So now we have our close up right here and our wide shot underneath. Let's go back to our close up and let's scale down on that. And we can see them both in the scene.
Very good, now the trick here is we want to match up these two shots as well as we can. So we're going to go ahead and scale down and try to put it over it. There we go. And then we're going to click on this top layer and we're going to go to Opacity, which is "t" the shortcut. And 50%, just so that we can see a ghosted image and we can align it up perfectly. Now, most of the time, we'd be doing this in 4K resolution. For this example, we're doing it in 2K, just to save on our processor speed and some other things.
So, go ahead and try to match that up as well as we can. Looks pretty good, very nice. And let's click on and off, just so we can see the difference. Now, as you can see, the monuments and the Jefferson Memorial are pretty much aligned correctly. The street is a little misaligned, but that shouldn't really make a difference. We should be okay. Okay, so now we're going to zoom out. There we are. Click "h," the hand tool, and drag it back up into frame, "v" for the selection tool. Okay, so now we have our shot matched.
We're going to go ahead and we want our close up to basically be attached to the wide shot, so that any move that we do, we have both the shots matched. Now, we can create a null object by going up here and clicking on "Null," we can apply all of the attributes of both shots to the null, or I like to do things a little bit easier and simpler, and just grab the Parent tool on the close up and go ahead and Parent the close up to the wide shot. So now, all we have to do is affect the wide shot and the close up shot should follow along.
So, now that we know where we want our move to be, let's go ahead and make sure that we're zooming in correctly. So to do that, we have to make sure that our anchor point is set accurately. We want our anchor point to be right in the center of the area where we want to zoom. So, hypothetically, now when we click Scale, we're going to go straight into the anchor point as you can see right there. So we shouldn't have to set any Position key frames, but we will because there's always a little bit of tweaking that needs to be done.
So let's go ahead now and set our Position and Scale key frames, and let's move forward about five seconds, and let's zoom in. Very nice. And as you can see, a little bit of adjusting still needs to be done. So let's move down, and zoom in a little bit more, and there we are. Okay, so now let's take a look at what we have and do a little run Preview. It's a nice, quick, zoom.
Now, there's still a lot of things wrong with it. Let's address those right now. Okay, so first off, we need the close up shot to Opacity On as we zoom in, so let's go ahead and click on the close up, "t" for opacity, and at this point right here, once it actually lands, we're going to be at 100% opacity. And click on "j" to jump to the previous key frame, and we're going to make the opacity zero. There we go. Now, very quickly, let's run Preview.
Okay, so we still see a couple big noticeable differences. The one difference is that we can clearly see that the brightness of the sky is a little bit different from these two shots. Now that's one of the biggest things that we're going to see with this shot in particular, that most likely I feel that one little trick will fix that, which is Motion Blur. Right here, all we have to do is enable Motion Blur on both of the layers, and then enable Motion Blur for the actual comp, and as you can see, it adds a beautiful Motion Blur to the transition and very much tries to hide a lot of those imperfections.
Now, we still do see a very big jump in our exposure differences. So to address that we're going to apply a Levels adjustment with some key frames to offset the color and the level differential that we're seeing here. So we're going to apply it to the bottom layer, because the bottom layer's going to be going away. So what we're going to want to do is, at the start of this we're going to want to apply a Levels that is normal right here, and then as we zoom in we're going to want to get a little bit darker and darker as this close up appears more and more to hopefully match.
So, let's start out by clicking on the Layer itself and Effects, and Color Correction, and Levels. Okay, now let's go to a point in our timeline where we can actually see the big difference, right about there. So let's go ahead and click a key frame, twirl down that so we can take a look at it. Expand this a little bit so we can get a better look at where our key frame is. So this is our neutral key frame, so it should be right here at the start of it.
And, let's go ahead and try and fix that to make it match. I would say, that is a pretty good match. You almost can't see any difference anymore. So, now it's just a matter of tweaking where these two key frames live in comparison to where the other key frames are of the actual movements. So, you would think that it would be exact like that, but as you can see, it's not perfect. We need to kind of fake it a little bit.
So, let's bring this darker a little sooner. Okay, let's bring it back one frame. Okay, let's run preview and take a look. And as you can see, with very little work, you have a very nice, solid HyperZoom. Now of course we can do a lot more tweaking. You know, tweaking is the number one thing of After Effects. We find out how to do something and we just keep on adjusting everything a very little bit until we get our shot, the one that we're working on, the problems that we have, absolutely perfect.
Now, most times with hyper lapses, a lot of times we won't have a sky necessarily to deal with. So there's a lot of other things we can do. We can keep on tweaking the levels and fix that as much as we can, but sometimes when you're shooting, let's say we were zooming into this area right here, you wouldn't have any real grading issues when it comes to the sky, so you wouldn't have to deal with any of those real level adjustments and it'd be much easier. So, all in all, very quick, very effective way to add HyperZooms to your bag of tricks.
- Adding 3D motion to static shots
- Enhancing motion in motion shots
- Creating a HyperZoom in time-lapse shots
- Adding text to shots
- Compositing natural skies or background elements
- Compositing foreground elements for motion or depth of field
- Removing unwanted elements from shots