"film gate" plug-in?

Posted by Karl Hirsch 
"film gate" plug-in?
December 24, 2007 12:54PM
Hey everyone --

I have been looking for a plug-in (FCP or AE) for forever, so I thought that perhaps someone here might have some advice.

The effect is something that makes the image appear as if it is film, coming through a projector, but slipping out of the gate, and for lack of a better word "flipping" vertically on the screen. Sometimes sprocket holes or visible optical track on the sides. I don't exactly know what else to say about this effect other than I am not talking about film grain, film scratches, dirt, or any of the stuff I have seen in FilmDamage, Nattress, and Magic Bullet, or things I have built by compositing head/tail burns onto existing footage.

Here's a sample of what I'm talking about:


(This sample also uses "burning film," which I am able to do using Tinderbox/AE.)

Has anyone ever seen this before? If nobody recognizes this as a plug-in, perhaps someone might have a better way to describe this effect to help my Google-ing...?

thanks everyone!
Re: "film gate" plug-in?
December 29, 2007 04:02PM
Aw man. NOBODY? Really?? Oh well...!
Re: "film gate" plug-in?
December 29, 2007 06:30PM
Well, it's really just an animated jump. You could use River Rock Studio's 'Jitterbug' or Rainer's 'Wiggle' or you could just use motion keyfframes to do them manually.

If you slice out a bit of the clip to effect, do the motion keyframes on it, you can copy-paste attributes to add the custom motion to any other part of the video.

Re: "film gate" plug-in?
December 29, 2007 08:05PM
Artbeats has them for big bucks. There might be one in the CGM library. Look around.


Michael Horton
Re: "film gate" plug-in?
December 29, 2007 09:14PM
Artbeats doesn't have plug-ins...those are actual clips. That's not a plug-in...that's looks to be a composition done and animated in After Effects.

There are at least 5 ways to do this...and none of them include one "do all" plug-in. I would build a double-framed "film strip" still in Photoshop with alpha channels, bring it into AE, composite the clips in the frames, precomp that and add the "Offset" plug-in. This plug-in makes a rolling loop either vertically (Y) or horizontally (X) of the composition. Tweak keyframes for a quicker rolling motion. Add Magic Bullet Misfire (grain / funk / fading / splotches / dust / flicker / vignette / gate weave / scratches & more) for a realistic nasty old film look.

Throw in a few of Mikey's Artbeats suggestions ($599 per collection - ouch!) or Fotosearch's Edit Effects 2 ($749 per collection - double ouch!!) using blending modes and it's a hot look:



It's really not for beginners...lots 'O keyframing / compositing work.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: "film gate" plug-in?
November 18, 2008 08:08PM
Hi there... Karl, did you ever have any luck with this? I'm trying to do the same thing...
Also that effect on Snoop Dogg's 'My Medicine' video ... help... anyone?
Luna Antonioni
Re: "film gate" plug-in?
November 18, 2008 10:48PM
Hi Luna --


I did take a look at some of the suggestions here in the thread, but none of them quite did what I was looking for. Grafixjoe's suggestion on, basically, manually building this stuff, could be right, but only in the hands of a much more advanced visual effects artist. My experiments looked like total garbage.

The primary effect that I really want to achieve is the "flipping film" one, where it's... sort of like... um... the gate of the projector is trying to "locate" the proper frame. It's almost like the horizontal "flipping" seen on a bad-reception TV; when the reception gets better, the horizontal hold finally "glides" or "settles" into proper placement. Except... it's not TV, it looks more like a piece of actual film rather than a TV set.

I've been looking for this forever. I have also been looking for a way to show misaligned sprocket-holes on the sides of the frame... simulating a piece of moving film losing its place in the gate, going sideways, and the sprocket holes (showing up white and crooked) on the edge. Sort of like some areas of the movie GRINDHOUSE I guess. I have some Quicktimes of edge burns, scribbles, etc, but it's just not quite -- ahem -- "edgy" enough.

CGM doesn't have this (although I do love CGM in limited doses). The Fotosearch material is really cool though (referenced above), it could get you out of a pinch. I think I may have used one of them for my project, but I don't remember.

I still believe that this is some sort of AE plug-in or package. The various effects are just too consistent with each other, and too smooth and pretty and slick to have all been done by hand... for a Good Charlotte video that was never aired, nor was even a video. It could be one of those really expensive ones, but I don't even know how to describe these effects, so, it's really a challenge.

Anyway... GOOD LUCK!

Re: "film gate" plug-in?
November 29, 2008 01:38AM
Thanks Karl...
Yes, this is very frustrating. Oh well, best of luck.
Re: "film gate" plug-in?
November 29, 2008 07:39AM
I wonder if this can help.


Martin makes wonderful plugins.
Re: "film gate" plug-in?
December 02, 2008 12:32AM
Hi Karl,

Check this out:


Twitch is a great plug-in for AE it gives you a ton of control so you can get the look your looking for. I have used it very effectively for exactly what your attempting to do.

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