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I was struck by some of the effects in the "god made a farmer" superbowl commercial... and was curious what programs are out there that let you take an image, and in a video, produce the illusion of...

  1. the sky moving in the background
  2. false depth as the camera "pans" across the image (making different layers in the image overlap)

Any ideas?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think you're referring to the (false) parallax effect. This guy has applied it to stationary photographs in a similar way as in the "God made a farmer" video and in the video description he explains the global steps he has taken.
Here's a quote from his description concerning the production process:

First, the image is cut into multiple sections, each cut section being at different distances from the camera. After the photos have been sliced into multiple layers and the holes filled in (yes, you have to fabricate some of the background, a slow but usually pretty easy process in Photoshop) the layers are then brought into After Effects and separated in Z-Space (pushed away from the viewer in 3D space). If the layers are put approximately in the correct distance from the virtual camera, mimicking the distance from the original image, a believable parallax "video" can be made with simple virtual camera moments.

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I believe the technique you're interested in is most commonly called "camera mapping" or "camera projection". Here is a tutorial on the technique which employs the use of Maxon Cinema 4d, although the effect is achievable through many other other software packages.

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