Having been inspired by No Film School’s post about a music video made using the Prisma app we decided to have a go ourselves.
Prisma is a powerful tool that transforms photographs into ‘paintings’, not by applying a filter but by cleverly retracing the original picture to a pre-set style.
For the film above we shot a few seconds of Brighton Pier, exported it as a JPEG sequence and discarded every other frame to save some time in what we knew would be a long workflow. Prisma only accepts square images so to preserve the 16:9 ratio we had to shrink the original footage down to fit within a square frame creating black bars at the top and bottom. We then had to use a special app to import the 125 images (for roughly ten seconds footage) onto an iPhone. From there we spent several hours importing each one by one into the Prisma app and applying the Pre-set we thought best suited the original image (in this case ‘Caribbean’) making sure we kept the images in the right order and keeping a tally of how many we had done.
Once that was done we were able to export from the iPhone’s camera roll to our editing software and drop 12 images down for each second of the film. We then cropped out the black bars and brought back the original aspect ratio. We then rendered the images as a video, bringing back in the original sound of the clip and enhancing it a little, adding fades at the beginning and end as well as a slight vignette.
Some of the image quality was lost in the various imports and exports. We could’ve also probably picked a more interesting scene with more contrast and more going on. Using a phone as part of a video workflow like this is also a massive bottleneck. We just did 125 frames and can’t imagine the effort involved in making longer form pieces but apparently Prisma are working on a video app so soon this will all be far easier.