Follow TV Tropes

Following

Context Main / RackFocus

Go To

1%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1372446379005496800˛%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.˛%%˛[[quoteright:320:[[Music/LindseyStirling https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lindseystirling_rackfocus_4081.jpg]]]]˛[[caption-width-right:320: You know what would fix this? Bifocals.]]˛˛Changing the point of focus from one character or object in frame, to another character or object that is closer to or more distant from the camera, typically with little or no movement from the camera itself. Used to subtly direct the viewers' attention to a specific part of the screen.˛˛Alternatively called "Roll Focus" or, in film, "Pull Focus". Requires deft manipulation of the DepthOfField.˛˛In motion picture and film-based television production, this is often done by a separate person (the "focus puller" or "first camera assistant") rather than by the primary camera operator. In video production, the cameras usually aren't large enough for this to be necessary, and on consumer-level gear such as smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras, it might not even be possible because of the way autofocus is usually implemented[[note]]Now that video-equipped [=DSLRs=] have made inexpensive, near-film-quality video a reality, rack focus is something nearly any camera operator with access to one can do. However, it requires either a very steady hand (and tripod), a pile of expensive Hollywood-style equipment (the big guys are starting to use [=DSLRs=] too), or a software hack like Magic Lantern that can automate the process by taking over the camera's autofocus mechanism. Also take note of a lens quirk called focus breathing, where the lens may slightly zoom in or out when the focus is adjusted. Unlike DSLR lenses, cinema lenses are engineered to eliminate that quirk. Needless to say, like every other pro trick that amateurs pick up, it can be horribly misused.[[/note]].˛˛Sometimes used in two-dimensional animation, which involves filming the foreground and background separately and then combining them.˛˛In theory Rack Focus should be made redundant in new [[UsefulNotes/ThreeDMovie 3D films]] because the viewer would be able to change focus at will. Of course because it is only a simulation of 3D, this isn't quite true and the technique remains. This sometimes causes frustration as the viewer wants to change focus but cannot.˛˛[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant If you were expecting]] a trope about shots focusing on women's racks, see MaleGaze.˛˛----˛!!Examples:˛˛[[foldercontrol]]˛˛[[folder:Anime and Manga]]˛* ''{{Manga/Hanayamata}}'': Imitated in anime adaptation episode 1. Schoolgirl heroine Naru is trying to sheepishly peek around a corner, her best friend Yaya is on screen, mere few steps behind her and watching. Until she calls out to Naru, Yaya is strongly blurred along with background scenery. When she does, camera moves to bring her closer to the center of the frame as all blur is lifted, rather than being reapplied to "foreground."˛* Used for dramatic effect in episode 4 of ''Anime/CodeGeass''. Lelouch, making his debut as the masked rebel Zero, tries in vain to get Suzaku to join him, as Suzaku walks away, presumably to a guilty verdict for a murder he didn't commit, and his execution. Zero, in focus, shouts to Suzaku in the foreground, "Don't be an idiot!". At that moment, the focus shifts to Suzaku, who replies, "An old friend always used to tell me that," - meaning Lelouch. [[spoiler: In the end of the season, when he sees that Lelouch is Zero, he reacts with sadness, not shock, and says, "I didn't want it to be you,". It's incredibly likely that he realized the truth ''at that moment'' back in episode 4, and was in denial over it for the rest of the season (his specialty). That would also explain why at so many times in conversations between them, when they get close to something that might be incriminating for Lelouch, it's Suzaku that changes the subject or doesn't press.]] ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films -- Animation]]˛* The opening song of ''WesternAnimation/TheLionKing1994'', when the focus shifts from a line of [[MisplacedWildlife leaf-cutter ants]] on a branch in the foreground to a herd of zebra thundering by below.˛* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', when Carl Fredricksen looks up to his house where the picture of his wife is hanging.˛* In ''WesternAnimation/BarbieInTheTwelveDancingPrincesses'', a close-up of Twyla watching the princesses sing their birthday song for the triplets shifts its focus to Brutus spying on them from the door behind her.˛* ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'': A flying owl in the background and one of its feathers in the fore, as seen in the [[http://youtu.be/x8RKCmkOyB4 trailer]].˛* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'': As Woody is trying to escape out the window of the daycare restroom, the camera pans to the mirror opposite as the janitor looks right at Woody's reflection and [[HeyWait comments "What the heck?"]] Then the focus shifts to show he was actually looking at a patch of scum on the mirror that's just big enough to obscure Woody.˛** ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' has a scene where Woody looks at Jesse sitting depressed on a windowsill.˛* Used in ''[[WesternAnimation/AGoofyMovie An Extremely Goofy Movie]]'' after Max leaves for college, when Goofy is in his empty room and sees in the mirror reflection that he left his old stuffed bear behind n his bed.˛* Used to dramatic effect in ''WesternAnimation/BigHero6'' when [[spoiler: Hiro rips out Baymax's healthcare chip and throws it onto the floor. The chip rolls to the foreground, where the camera focuses on it to show that Hiro has essentially tossed away his morals.]]˛* Used in ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'' when Charlie and Itchy are discussing what to do about Anne-Marie after [[spoiler:Carface has destroyed their casino]]. The background slowly comes into focus to reveal [[spoiler:Anne-Marie listening in [[BrokenPedestal as Charlie says they'll just dump her in an orphanage]].]]˛* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'' during the "Awesome As I Wanna Be" number, we get a close-up of Rainbow rocking out and having a good time which shifts its focus to a disgruntled Fluttershy behind her.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]˛* In the beginning of ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', the focus shifts from Jake's face to the floating drops of water(?) to introduce the fact that it's 3D. However the technique can be annoying later on as explained above.˛* At the beginning of ''Film/HannahMontanaTheMovie'', we get a close-up of a poster of Hannah which shifts its focus to a close-up of Miley putting on her mascara in the foreground.˛* In the film of ''Film/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', as Harry walks past a Quidditch store, the view, from inside the store, shifts from his face to a closeup of the ''Nimbus 2000'' lettering on the broom in the window.˛* ''Film/MasterAndCommander'', while the crew is on shore leave in the Galapagos, this is used to transition from Dr. Maturin holding a beetle to [[spoiler:the Acheron sailing in the inlet right before his eyes]].˛* In ''The Master Detective and Rasmus'', Kalle and Anders need to catch up with a car, a seemingly insurmountable task according to Anders. In response, Kalle looks into the background of the scene, where a RackFocus reveals a motorcycle with a passenger's seat.˛* In ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', when Eddie has his EurekaMoment, with Eddie in the foreground and the newsreel footage in the background.˛** Also done when Jessica is standing outside Maroon Studios after [[spoiler:knocking out Roger and putting him in the trunk of her car]], the focus shifting from her in the foreground to the lit window of Maroon's office in the background, where Eddie is confronting him.˛* The first film in the ''Film/TheHobbit'' film series used this in a conversation between Gandalf and Galadriel, since it was taking place telepathically. The focus faded forward and back several times within one shot to indicate who was "talking".˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Live-Action TV]]˛* In an episode of ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Santana, placed in the immediate foreground, makes a rude crack about all-boys schools being an endless source of gay jokes; the camera then pulls a rack focus to the other end of the room to capture Kurt's irritated reaction.˛** As Will [[{{Blackmail}} threatens Finn with prison]] after [[FrameUp "finding" marijuana in his locker]] in the pilot episode, the camera refocuses on a pamphlet/flyer pinned on the corkboard right next to him reading "Priority #1: Help the Kids". The same shot is [[CallBack duplicated]] in season four when Will finally admits what he did.˛* ''Series/StarTrekPicard'': In "Nepenthe", the camera remains still while the point of focus switches from Elnor's face to the Fenris Rangers SOS tag that's dangling beneath a desk. After a few seconds, the process is reversed, and the token becomes blurry once more while the details of Elnor's visage gradually become sharp again just as he grabs the device. The focus returns to the beacon when there's an ExtremeCloseUp of Elnor's left eye and part of his nose while he's holding it. After he activates the distress signal, his features are then made clear at the expense of the object's.˛* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E22AllHellBreaksLoosePartTwo "All Hells Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, E22)]], the focus starts on Jake's face and switches to the barrel of the gun, which shakes in Jake's hand. The focus is then on Jake pulling back the hammer of the gun and finally back on Jake's face as he lowers the gun. ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Music]]˛* Music/LindseyStirling's music videos often feature this technique. For example, the ''Series/GameOfThrones'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oNpmSAvpGQ cover]] done by Stirling and Peter Hollens used this when the latter finds a chess piece; it moves the focus from his face near the ground to the small brown chess knight.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Video Games]]˛* When you bring up the [[EnemyDetectingRadar motion tracker]] in ''VideoGame/AlienIsolation'', you can't focus on it and the background at the same time; looking at one blurs the other. However, you can switch between which one is in focus with a button press. ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Webcomics]]˛* ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'': Used in the first two panels of [[http://cucumber.gigidigi.com/cq/page-307/ this page.]] As the Nightmare Knight turns to leave and Parfait turns to look at him, the "camera" appears to change focus from Parfait in the foreground to the Nightmare Knight in the background.˛* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', this effect is simulated to shift focus between Ellen and Abraham's axe in [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-08-26 this strip]] and the former page image.˛* Used in ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'', in a single animated panel, [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=006701 here]]. [[AuthorAvatar Hussie]] brandishes a gun, and the focus shifts from him in the background to the gun in the foreground.˛* In the ''[[Webcomic/TeamFortress2 Team Fortress]] Comics #5'', "Old Wounds", rack focus is emulated in one panel [[http://www.teamfortress.com/tf05_old_wounds/#f=20 here]]. The focus shifts from the background to a character in the foreground.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Western Animation]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' used this effect in several episodes...˛** "Topped Off" - After Mom and Dad drink their coffee and magically get dressed and leave the kitchen, the focus shifts from a cup of coffee in the foreground to Dee Dee and Dexter in the background staring at the cup telling each other to drink it. ˛** "Quiet Riot" - The scene focuses on a fly that lands on Dexter's nose while Dexter is sleeping. Dee dee rises in the background while the scene focuses on her...˛* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E3LessonZero Lesson Zero]]" of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', there is an instance of this at the end of the episode, where we focus on a worried Spike to Celestia lecturing Twilight in the library after the latter had caused a ruckus just to find a lesson to learn.˛** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E19PuttingYourHoofDown Putting Your Hoof Down]]" has a focus switch between Fluttershy and a boarded-up door.˛* Used near the beginning of the ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' short "Tall in the Trap", with a WantedPoster with Jerry's face on it in the front, and a shop where Jerry is stealing cheese from in the back.˛* Used in TheTeaser the ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' episode "Don't Ask Muffy", when Buster is talking to a psychiatrist for advice.˛* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Used in "Heartbreak Hotel" during an extended parody of ''Theatre/WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf''.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Real Life]]˛* The [[http://lytro.com Lytro camera]] takes pictures in such a way as the focus can be adjusted in post-production, theoretically making rack focus effects on a still image possible (i.e. in a GIF animation or something similar). However, the ability to do this goes away once you've exported the picture to JPEG from the native format.˛[[/folder]]˛˛----

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report