Posted on June 14, 2012
American Analog: Animating an N8000
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Amongst all the crummy old loaner cameras in the Noisebridge dark room I found a Nishika N8000, a camera that shoots 4 side by side lenses that trigger simultaneously to capture multiple points of an object. These cameras shoot on common 35mm film, but the final process of printing on lenticular prints is a bit of a pain, so I decided to try my hand at animating each shot as a .gif. See more examples below.
For anyone interested in how I turned these images into GIFs, here is a simplified version of my process:
- Each N8000 “shot” takes up the space of two traditional 35mm shots. I was able to get the lab tech (at Lomography) to save the film scans wide (as seen below).
- In Photoshop (or whatever else you want to use), import your scans and do any editing you wish to do (contrast, colors, levels, etc)
- Now change the size of your image to fit the the frame of your left most shot.
- Open another layer under your original image and re-post the same scan (this can easily be done by alt dragging the first layer to create a duplicate).
- Make the first layer transparent so you can see through it, then nudge the second layer to the left until you see the second frame.
- Find an object in the foreground that you’d like to be your focus point and line up the two images so that object is as lined up as possible. (in this example I use the bicycle wheel).
- Once that’s lined up, add a third layer and repeat the process until you have four layers.
- In Photoshop, choose Windows>Animation to see the animation palette.
- For the first frame of animation, select only the top layer to be visible (remember to turn the opacity back to normal).
- Now create a new frame and in that new frame make sure that only the next layer, which should be second from the left) is visible.
- Keep repeating until all four layers have been created. For a smoother animation, it is recommended that you then add two more frames of animation transitioning back from right to left. So your animation should show layers in this order 1-2-3-4-3-2
- Now click Save For Web and save as a .GIF. Mess around with file settings and view the examples to see what works best for you. These examples were saved at 128 colors to help save on file size.