Frequently asked questions
What is tx-transform?
tx-transform is a film technique invented by Martin Reinhart in which
the time and space axes are transposed.
What does the name mean?
In the field of physics, "t" is the abbreviation for the time axis
and "x" refers to space. The "t" and "x" axes are transposed in tx-transformed
Is there a ty-transform?
Certainly, transformations alongside the y-axis can be performed as well. Still, there are only a few objects that move in a vertical direction, like elevators or rockets. Therefore, we rarely use this variation of tx-transform.
What does "the time and spaces axes are transposed" mean?
Let us take a film showing a room. A normal film contains 24 separate
images of the room per second. Each image contains the entire space (the
entire room in this case), but only a brief moment of time (1/24 of a second).
In a tx-transformed film, this is reversed: Each image shows solely a tiny
portion of the space (e.g. the right edge of the frame) and everything
that happens in this part of the space during a certain period of time.
In other words, tx-transform shows the entire period of time in each frame
but only a "moment" of the space. What was time is turned into space.
When was tx-transform invented?
Martin Reinhart has been working on this technique and refining it
since 1992. tx-transform was presented to the public for the first time
at the Ars Electronica in Linz in September of 1998.
How is this done?
The tx-transform process is applied during the postproduction phase.
The individual frames of a film or video are loaded in a computer and,
with a program developed for this purpose, cut into pieces and then reassembled.
The transformed images are then output onto film or videotape.
What is the purpose of a tx-transformation?
tx-transform can be used to depict processes as they take place over
a period of time in a way which is not possible with conventional film
techniques. It is suitable for use in commercials, music videos and science
fiction films, and also for scientific applications, e.g. long-term observations
of experiments or processes for which a time lapse is not suitable or preferred.
Is tx-transform a video effect?
No. tx-transform is a film technique which can be used with any format
- video, 16 mm, 35 mm, etc. However, it also requires the aid of a computer.
The individual frames must be processed in digital form before they can
be output onto film or videotape.
Can special formats be transformed, also?
tx-transform can be applied to any film or video format, as it neither
adds nor subtracts information. A Cinemascope film will still be in Cinemascope;
black-and-white material will be black-and-white afterwards, etc.
What happens when a tx-transformed film is subjected to a second
This will return the film to its original state.
What is a tx-transform camera like?
This does not exist. The footage is shot with a normal camera, and
tx-transform is used during postproduction.
Can any shot be transformed?
Yes. But a transformation will not be useful for all shots. Normally,
shots are set up in a special way for subsequent tx-transformation.
What should one look out for when shooting a tx-transform film?
A book could be written on this subject. Some of the most important
factors: One must remember that changes in the lighting of the space will
be transformed into changes over a period of time. When the image is darker
on the left side than the right during shooting, the transformed image
will be dark at the beginning and lighter at the end. If this effect is
not intended, the lighting should be as even as possible. The relative
movement of objects, i.e. the movement of the camera during the shot and
that of the subjects, is extremely important for tx-transformations. As
a number of other factors also play a role: the resolution of the images,
the cameraís focal length, the subjectsí distance from the lens, etc. Providing
sufficient information in this list is impossible. When a customer plans
to do a tx-transformation, we normally provide help during the planning
phase and observe shooting to make sure that the desired effect will be
Can sounds be tx-transformed?
No. As sounds do not take up space in a film, there is no acoustic
equivalent to a visual tx-transformation.
Is tx-transform protected in some way?
Yes. tx-transformations may be performed only with the approval of
Virgil Widrich Film- und Multimediaproduktions G.m.b.H. Duplicating or reprogramming
the software used for transformations is not allowed, as the technique
is protected rather than a specific software solution.
What should I do if I want to use tx-transformations for my own project?
We will gladly advise you during shooting and perform the tx-transformations
Why do all the people in tx-transformed films face left?
They are not facing left; they are facing "before." tx-transformations
are time-images. Left is "before," and right is "after." Regardless of
the direction in which you move, the nose always arrives first....