Pic Plane 1.1

The Pic Plane 1.1 update is now live! Now you can also record video to the AR photo planes. This simple addition opens a many new creative options, including some unique perspective effects.


For starters, videos allow you to record and place little lopping scenes in the world. You can use these videos while putting together special collages, or for basic special effects such as looping part of a scene.

However it’s the perspective effects that videos enable that really interest me. For example, Pic Plane makes it easy to recreate the dolly zoom effect. This effect was most famously used by Hitchcock in Vertigo (Jaws also has a great example) and makes it appear as if the foreground and background are elongating/contracting around a fixed subject. It’s pretty trippy.

Pulling off a dolly zoom normally requires simultaneously moving the camera and adjusting the zoom. However because Pic Plane fixes the photographic plane in the world, all you need to do is move towards or away from the subject while recording to achieve a similar effect.

Example scene. The picture plane is placed close to the fawn (the deer with the white spots).

Example scene. The picture plane is placed close to the fawn (the deer with the white spots).

A dolly zoom by moving closer and then farther away from the picture plane. Notice how the subject (the fawn) stays more or less the same size while the foreground and background stretch around it


But what’s really interesting is that Pic Plane also enables dolly zoom-like effects in other dimensions. Keep the subject centered but move left or right while filming, and the foreground and background will shift left and right as the entire image distorts in a way that is distinct from normal camera motion.

Shifting perspective horizontally. Although at first glance this may look fairly mundane, notice the distortion that happens at the extremes of the motion. This becomes more pronounced as the shift increases.

Move in a circle around the subject and the resulting video makes it look like the world is spinning around the fixed subject.

Shifting perspective by orbiting around the subject, while also moving closer and farther away for a dolly zoom effect

Granted I don’t know what you actually use these effects for, but hopefully someone will find a good use for them.

I think that video really shows off Pic Plane’s unique take on photography. It’s a fairly simple tool that opens up a lot of creative options. I’m looking forward to seeing what people do with it.

So give the 1.1 update a try. The free version of the app lets you record three seconds of video per plane, while the pro version lets you record up to 60 seconds.