Photographer Stijn Bollaert set out to re-photograph historic locations he found in a series of old WWI photos. The video artfully depicts images of places in and around Antwerp, Belgium taken in 1914, and the same places re-photographed in 2014. Observing the ‘before and after’ 100-year time lapse of one scene fading to the next reveals how much, or often how little, the places have changed. The video was made as a teaser for an exhibition on forts around Antwerp. It’s being shown through the windows of the exhibition space, so people walking by can see it.
The most time consuming part of this project would be finding the exact locations of each old photograph and getting the angle and shot just right for the modern day version. However, assembling the final video can be done simply and quickly with a slideshow program like ProShow. Just arrange the images in the proper order and use a simple crossfade / dissolve transition effect in between each scene. If you’d like to try this effect in your own videos, I’ve included the steps below.
Creating a Seamless Picture-to-Picture Fade Effect
- In ProShow, drag and drop the two photos you’d like to use for this effect onto the Slide List to create two new slides.
- Set the transition time between the two slides to 5 seconds. The transition effect should be set to the basic A/B crossfade-dissolve option (this is normally the default effect in a new slideshow).
- If you’d like to add a Ken Burns-style pan or zoom motion to your images or simply reposition the still image , double-click the slide you want to edit. To reposition, click the Layer Settings tab and click inside the image preview area to adjust the focal point the way you want it. You can also adjust the zoom % to get a closer view of the image. To add motion, click the Motion Effects tab and adjust the Starting and Ending position settings to achieve the effect you want.
The seamless picture-to-picture fade effect depends on consistent image composition to be effective. If you make changes to one image, be sure that the other image(s) in the pair or sequence match the composition of the image(s) that precede or follow it.
- Click the Play button in the Preview area (or Space Bar) to see the effect in action. If done correctly, your first image should slowly fade into the next with no other compositional changes except for the differences in the details of the images.
This process can used to create many different types of effects. Black and White to color, blur to focus, etc… To get more advanced, ProShow Producer users can use keyframing and adjustment effects to create this type of effect in a single slide, without the need for a multi-slide setup.