Cool video technique demonstration

Picture 2-50 This is a cool video technique that uses time-delay to make bodies warp and twist. Link (Thanks, Fizzgig!)

Reader comment:

Joseph says:

That technique is called slit scan. It was popular in the 60's and 70's. I was inspired to google slit scanning and came up with this: someone de-slit scanned the 2001 images. This is the artwork (he infers) that was used in the movie. Kinda neat
Will says
The technique used in this case is called Time Displacement which is a cool After Effects effect that uses colors and grayscale gradients to play different parts of a video timeline in a single frame.
Perry Hoberman, Associate Research Professor, Interactive Media Division, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California says:
Slit scan is a cool technique, but this is NOT slit scan.

Neither was it invented by Adobe; in fact it predates the original (COSA) After Effects by a good five years.

Normally it's hard to track down the exact provenance of a technique, but in this case there is absolutely no ambiguity.

It was invented by the brilliant filmmaker Zbignew Rybczynski in an experimental film called The Fourth Dimension in 1988.

I highly recommend his three DVD collections; The Fourth Dimension is contained on DVD No 2 (Steps). DVD No 1 (Media), which contains work from 1972 to 1982, is absolutely mind-blowing. Jam-packed with ideas that were so far ahead of their time that, well, some of them still are. Required viewing for anyone involved in digital/nonlinear/database/etc cinema. Link


  1. I’m afraid I must disagree with Mr. Hoberman. I know Yvgeny Mamut was using this technique in the 70’s, and I can point to an American Cinematographer article that documents its use in a 1982 Renault commercial created at R/Greenberg Associates in Manhattan.

    And it is, indeed, a form of slit scan.

  2. I stand corrected. Clearly Mamut utilized the effect earlier (according to the AC article, the Renault commercial was produced in ’83, not ’82).

    However, it’s a tossup as to who conceived of the effect first – Rybczynski claims to have thought of it in ’75, Mamut in ’79. Whatever. Most likely they were thinking along the same lines independently of each other.

    My main point was that the technique was invented long before it became an AfterEffects plug-in.

    And I would maintain that it’s a misnomer to call it slit scan (even the AE article distinguishes between the two techniques).

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