Learn how to work with one of the most notorious video effects in television and movies.
Top image via Spencer Cohen.
This is a simple effect that works very well whenever your characters are feeling disoriented — it puts your audience in your character’s shoes when they feel drunk or disoriented by skewing the shots. In this video tutorial, we will also learn how to create a double vision effect, which you can use for dreams or reality-bending sequences.
First things first: duplicate the clip you’re working with and drag it on top. This will be your duplicate layer. Mask out the left side of the duplicate clip. Set the blend mode to Multiply (so you can see the borders of the mask) then feather the clip.
Under the Motion tab, you’ll be able to move the position to the left (or right). Set a keyframe on the position so you can animate the double vision effect, which will move the actor away then bring them back. Next, reset the value so the movement will remain in the effect. Add an adjustment layer, and set the length for your keyframes. Now, add Gaussian Blur to the layer.
Before you set your keyframes, hit Repeat Edge Pixels then set Blur Dimensions to Horizontal. Depending on how much you want to fade the blurriness in and out, Spencer recommends setting a few random keyframes throughout the adjustment layer.
After you’ve played with the Blur and duplicated the image and achieved the look you want, add a vignette and change the color of the image — whether it’s black and white or a different palette.
Have you used this effect to convey a disorienting feeling? Let us know in the comments.