Recreating 2001 slit scan effect in Blender

I am trying to recreate the stargate sequence from 2001 A Space Odyssey, or something like it.

Here’s what I came up with so far. I tried to recreate the set up used on the film. The main thing that’s missing really is time exposure. I’m not sure if that’s possible with Blender. I’m using motion blur, but it’s just not quite right.
Maybe someone knows of a better way of doing this. I’m not too knowledgeable about nodes yet, or compositing in Blender.


Blend file:
Slit-Scan.001.blend (1.6 MB)

Please let me know if you have any ideas.

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After many hours of tweaking and experimenting, I finally got some impressive results. My set up is pretty close to the technique that Douglas Trumbull used on the film in real life. I wasn’t sure if Blender was capable of doing it, because it’s a real world camera thing, long exposures, but I made the camera move from far away to up close in a single frame, and used Cycles’ motion blur effect, and it worked! It took awhile to find the right settings, but it works.

For my lit up artwork that scans behind the slit, I used some procedural textures to make a colorful image. I think some of the textures are actually animated, so that adds some extra movement, which turned out to be an interesting surprise. I think I will experiment further with that.

Anyway, here’s the render I did last night.


Hey, would you be willing to share the file, or details on the settings? I’ve been trying to achieve the same technique and your results look amazing. Curious if it needs to be cycles versus eevee.
Thank you!

Sure, I’ll put it up soon.

Wyatt, I can’t really remember how this works, this was done last year, but here are some of the Blend files. Maybe you can make some sense of it. I don’t remember which file worked best.

Fun!! Thank you for taking the time to upload this. Looking forward to playing with these and seeing what you figured out.

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Congrats @Spaceboy64 it’s working pretty well !
There is no “best” way to make that using blender, some compositor like After Effect or Natron comes with a SlitScan plugin that can be an alternative if the camera setup is too tedious.

Given how blender’s compositor is working I suspect such a plugin would be hard to make as there is no way actually to get different frames at the same time from the same movie clip. And even if it worked, it would probably be as long as hell, because there is no cache.

So I guess your approach may be the only one possible within blender.

I’d be interested to see what you come up with, if you’d upload any videos.