Zoom Motion-Blur Transition
       by spiro mifsud  |  16 February 2006

Lately, I've read that people have been trying to figure out how to achieve one of the latest fads in image transitions, the "zoom motion-blur" transition. At first, this transition may appear to be hand-held video footage or perhaps manipulation of z space coupled with some motion blur done in After Effects.

Fortunately, this effect can be achieved through some clever use of Flash and very basic ActionScript. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create the 'zoom motion-blur' transition using Photoshop and a single hi-res image:

[ click anywhere on the above image to view the effect ]

Before you get started, it's best to decide what your subject will be. The effect works best if you can zero-in on something smaller or some place you might move towards. In this case, I have car, and I simulate someone quickly moving towards it.

Let's get started:

  1. Obtain a hi-res image and open it in Photoshop. This is the only image you will need. My image was from my 3.2 megapixel digital point and shoot measuring 2048 x 1536 px.

    Once you have your photo. Perform any touching up as if you were going to prepare it for web.

    Our final Flash movie will be 320 x 200. If you choose to make your final zoom/transition larger or smaller, please note that you will have to adjust accordingly.

  2. In Photoshop, we will create a series of crops from the original image at 320 x 200. Please be sure to select the crop tool in Photoshop and set the crop dimensions to 320 x 200.

Proceed to crop about 8-9 images on the ORIGINAL image. Carefully moving each crop closer to simulate the zoom. Don't worry if you are not exact, this is what will create the shaking effect. Save these images using the 'Save for Web' option in Photoshop using the .PNG file format using a sequential naming convention (ie. car1.png, car2.png, etc)

  1. After you have created your images, you are ready to apply the blur effect on each image. To simulate a motion blur, we will use the Radial Blur, found in the Filter, menu of Photoshop.

However, before we apply the blur, create copies of the first and last images and rename them 'first.png' and 'final.png'. These will serve as the endpoints that are not in motion.

Let's start applying the effect! Open your first car image (not the copy) and select the Radial Blur. The following panel should appear:

Be sure to set your Blur Method to Zoom. Keep the quality set to Good. Save your images again. Repeat for all images except for 'first.png' and 'final.png'. If you are clever, set a batch save for this process.

So far, we have been doing all of our work in Photoshop. In the next page, let's switch gears and work in Flash for a while.

Onwards to the next page!

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