StoryKeep’s Chris Cory talks shop about 2.5d photo editing in this issue of Shop Talk.

Here at StoryKeep we have the privilege of working with amazing family stories and very often the incredible pictures that go along with them. When we start to piece together the photographic history of a particular family, and incorporate their photos into their film, emotions from years past come to life.

2.5D photo editing 2Although filmmakers have been combining still photography with film for quite some time, there has been a recent explosion of new techniques for applying motion to still photography. One of the effects that we are particularly fond of is called the 2.5d or parallax effect. You’ve probably seen it put to use but didn’t quite know whether you were watching a slow motion video or an animated picture. Some photos are immensely beautiful and interesting when affected in this way. A perfect example is Lou Zandoli’s story about the Mohawks Athletic Club.

Popularized by the film, “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” 2.5d has become a widely used technique for breathing life and motion into still photographs. When used effectively, 2.5d can turn a still photo into a multidimensional moving piece that brings the viewer into the photographic space. This effect can work especially well with older black and white photos, lending a contemporary sense of movement in combination with a nostalgic aesthetic.

LouZandoli2.5dEven after seeing hundreds of 2.5d images I find myself sometimes wondering if I am watching old footage in slow motion or an animated still photograph. In the public celebration scene you see above (to get the true effect, watch the video), it’s especially effective because there is a great deal of space to work with within the photograph and applying the 2.5d effect helps to magnify that sense of space and motion. The movement in the scene brings in just enough visual stimulation to keep the viewer from reflecting on the fact that they are seeing a picture. This gets to the core of what is an effective use of 2.5d? going beyond being just an effect and allowing a story to shine through the visual space the moving picture opens up. Take a look at some more impressive and colorful applications of motion to photographs using 2.5d.

StoryKeep is always looking for interesting ways to incorporate still images, and the 2.5d effect is just one of our favorites. We use these techniques not only as a way to spice up old family photos, but in order to carry on family legacies through film in a way that brings our families closer to their own stories and memories.

What photo in your collection could POP! using 2.5d effects?