Chronotopic anamorphosis

This is an effect done in camera – the name broken down means CHRONO – Time (like in chronological) TROPIC – parallel of latitude (like the lines we use to measure points on the earth) ANA (which I think is a derivation from Arabic as an indefinite article) and MORPHIC – Where something changes from one form is altered into another form (like Morph the plasticine bloke in Tony Heart’s old art show)

So a latitudinal time shift might be a more English way of understanding the words origins. The technique is created by exposing each frame in a shift rather than all at once – in fact on slower shutters in films objects in fast movement tend to have a bend in them. This light capturing phenomenon of the bend has been employed as a technique for that fast movement in animators (through analysing the frames on film, Tex Avery was able to develop his unique exaggerated speedy moving characters)

This video creates the technique in post by shifting each line of 1% of the images pixels a frame out of synch. I hope to use this technique on a music video soon so watch this space : )



Here is an image I created inspired by  =


Commonly known as the Fibonacci sequence  after the nick name of an Italian mathematician (although actually found to have been discovered much earlier by an Indian musical theorist called Pingala – known as the maatraameru)

The sequence is simple (as easy as 1,1,2,3 : ) – in integers it goes:


and so on

The rule of the sequence is to add the number to the previous number… Here is a great video explaining how this can be worked out  visually and where this occurs throughout nature:

Once you are aware of it you start to notice it in the natural beauty of everything – from diagrams of the inner ear…

to, DNA, hurricanes, galaxies…

…to the subtlety of (the very costly – according to Steve Jobs biography) apple logo:

I mention all of this – as the psychology of beauty – as far as I understand perception of beauty is measurable – as cells symmetrical when perfectly formed – while a small amount of asymmetry can add to a ‘perfect’ image to show the flawed humanity that we relate to as it shows an off confidence – or the ability to be so confident we can afford to mark ourselves unconfident (like a jaunty top hat or a girls hair covering one eye or a piercing on one side of a lower lip)… this numerical sequence can also adhere to art inorder to create a response of natural beauty in a manmade construction.

So beauty is not subjective but actually a curved line that creates a rectangle that generates a ratio of…





Test footage to figure out workflow for 4K time-lapse.

Shot by Josh Randall and Alistair Campbell.

Using Canon 7D – 8mm fisheye – intervalometer – shutter speed of 125th to 30 seconds- iso ranging from 160 to 6400 Intervals from 15 to 75 seconds between 19:30 – 01:00 hours.

Location: M5 motorway between Bridgwater & Highbridge where artist Serena de la Hay’s Willow Man sculpture stands 40ft high since it’s original construction in 2000.
2010 – 2011 saw building sites around the sculpture with a modern estate & 800,000 square foot warehouse for supermarket retailer Morrisons.
RAW L format stills were 5.8k, then placed in screen width of 3996 pixels x height of 2160 pixels (due to end youtube limitation) on Adobe After Effects – with duration of 1 frame/still on a 24fps timeline.

Image scaled down 78% to get maximum image within scaled down screen’s different aspect ratio of 1.85 – then rendered & exported out as lossless with ‘animation’ setting as 8 second 3.6GB QT
Youtube has max file size of 2GB so file via ‘Compressor’ to Apple Pro Res 442 (HQ) bringing file size to 764.7MB

This is about 2 days work for 8 seconds of footage! – the high resolution probably won’t play on the majority of home computers smoothly at the maximum 4K – but the fact that youtube is already going there shows it’s preparing for a future where the filmmaker’s quality of image is important – which I feel they should be applauded for coming from the VHS generation where the distribution (or maybe the audience) simply did not give a shit about quality.
The test was a good idea – as just discovering how to get to location via the new estate and the fact that there is a moat blocking access to the Willow Man by at least 50ft was useful.

The test was done at dusk to get an idea of the change of light to see how the camera would cope from the range of overexposed lens flare sunset and capturing detail in the night sky – but I hope to capture a period of at least 16 hours for the final one. I will try lenses between 10-20mm as the 8mm may have been too wide to appreciate the detail – although it captures the expanse of night sky well.
Having previously interviewed Serena de la Heyabout her work, it became clear that sculpture’s creation had become political, having been a feature in a previously barren area which helped attract the land to be sold for housing and the Morrisons warehouse in the development of Bridgwater brought about by the planned increase of jobs to the area with Hinkley C – a nuclear facility on the cost. As the willow sculpture becomes tatty and frayed – Serena has no further plans to maintain it – perhaps through resentment of it’s intended purpose to what it has become…
The artistic statement of the giant human figure is now dwarfed by the industrial neighbour it has attracted.
There is an unexpected artistic statement here as the original large expression of the humanity glorified as part of nature was reminder to the masses driving an otherwise humdrum M5.

This classical form is now a contemporary expression of the forgotten glory of human nature as it falls apart to the ugly functionality of a capitalist structure when the human is a product in a system.
The wide angle is important as the image frames the ugly houses of a modern estate, the motorway fading into depth forcing an either coming or going direction to the drivers and a warehouse of a food retailer with a successfully cheap brand – generating revenue by supplying low quality food to the nations. In the middle of all this is the decay of humanity but ultimately there is the UNIVERSE – the STARS – the SUN take centre stage reminding us this moment is an insignificant slice of time – making the capitalism bleaker and the unique existence of humanity even more remarkable.

For this test I was pushed to use new software – as I am fluent with Final Cut Pro but it’s 2k architecture meant I had to venture to Adobe’s suite to do this.
Adding sound on After Effects is not as simple as FCP so I gave up on audio with the 4K resolution and added one of youtube’s tracks… On the finished thing I will have something composed that captures the sublime, the forgotten and the system – with the all important perfectly timed key change from day to night for full impact.

Also – extra batteries – more CF cards – more people to allow shifts – warmer clothing and be more aware of where I put my lens cap and several flasks! All those common sense things will be prepped for the finished shoot 🙂
As my first attempt at 4K timelapse – I have discovered a vegan filmmakers answer to fishing – as there is nothing like an excuse to hang out with others in nature for extended periods of time…

Full thing coming soon – watch this space!


To be completed soon…





To be completed soon…


The icci360 bods at Plymouth University are remaking their underwater camera with GO PRO HD HEROS – the reason for this is they have wider lenses(170 or 127 degrees)

This helps because as soon as you put a camera under water the millimetre measurement of the lens is no longer relavent due to the refraction of light through water… here are some images to illustrate how refraction works…

This is what as known as the angle of incident – where the light changes angle through the different substance…

And so starting wider allows their to be less blind spots for the dome projection – where the 5 images need to edge blend into one another

However another issue with the GOPRO HD HERO 2 is that the image goes soft with it’s curved lens underwater – so people have been experimenting with adapting the lens flatter for a much sharper image…

The other reason for using the GO PROS is that they now have a synch cable – meaning one button can switch them all on at once – allowing a bank of the things to be used together to get bullettime footage out in the water – as done for these surfing commericals


So I am making a film to be screened in this thing…

And as if 360 cinerama wasn’t a gimmick enough – I plan to give my a narrative structure and do a lot of underwater panoramic… I was planning at creating a rig from GO PRO HD HERO 2’s – but it appears the commissioners at icci360  have already got one that I may be able to blag!

Got a lot of tech info at Plymouth University today as to image alignment and post workflow to make this thing work – now it’s just a case to forget the fact there is all this new technology and remember to figure out what the story is…


MTF – Modular Transform function – sounds more complicated than it is and is something any one involved in the workflow of film should get their heads around!

Modular means in bits – like the modules for subjects being broken down rather than all in one go…

Transform – in context describes the flow from one of these modules to another

Function – the way it operates

So ultimately what we are looking at is a workflow – this could be anything from a factory line to filmmaking to an episode of Total Wipeout (or any challenge based gameshow)

In fact lets keep going with Total Wipeout…

If the thing we are measuring is contestants and the modules are each assault course/challenge then the MTF of the whole thing is 1. Only 1 contestant gets through – they start with 24… but even if you put 300 contestants at the beginning (like they do in Takeshi’s Castle) you would still only get 1 out of it as the final challenge only allows 1 to come through at the end.

If that final challenge was put at the start or in the middle of the show their would still be only 1 contestant.

This is the main concept of MTF that the bit that allows the least through – will always be the maximum you can get out at the end…

So with digital cinematography cameras what are the modules…

  • Light from sun to object
  • Object to whatever may be in front of the lens (matte box)
  • Lens
  • Lens to Sensor
  • Sensor
  • Sensor to compression
  • Compression to connecting to storage device
  • Storage device’s read and write speed
  • The compression of data to usable rushes
  • Rushes into post workflow software’s architecture
  • Final cut format
  • Distribution format
  • Projector light
  • Light from screen to Human eye
  • Human eye to brain

So let’s put this in an extreme way – you shoot on an imax camera 72mm format – really take care to have as little loss all the way along – then your masterpiece is screened only once to a bunch of blind people… MTF 0

Only the sound got through – so knowing that bit may as well made radio

Or more realistically – you shoot on a RED at 4k resolution with great lenses – your post workflow caters for 4k – your short film then only goes through a 2k projector at a few festivals and then goes on youtube at 720p…

Your project is only ever going to look as good as the weakest part of the chain – so make sure you think of that as DP when considering quality control of your image – as ultimately it is your brain trying to maintain a concept through this incredible but convoluted process all the way to the brains at the other end – here is a diagram I did…

Due to the fact that you are always losing just in the process of going from beginning to end regardless – there is a theory that you should always try and start off with double to get half out… so if you are aiming for a true 4K resolution really you would need all the bits to be shooting 8K to have that true unlossed quality of 4k at the end…

Also – people who really know how to measure this stuff even consider the loss of bandwiths of light in the suns spectrum as it goes through gases that slightly filter it before it gets to earth… this might get to a stage where it is beyond practical – but the main thing to remember is your weakest part in the workflow is the max you will be getting through at the other mind you want to share your vision with!


To be completed soon…


The imagined – to the virtual – to the material

To be completed soon…

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