It’s no wonder that Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Vertigo is considered by many film historians to be among the most influential movies ever made.

Not only was it a masterpiece of storytelling, but its technical innovations — particularly the use of a camera effect that became known as “the Vertigo effect” — have been copied, referenced, and parodied countless times in movies since.

The basic idea behind the Vertigo effect is simple: The camera moves forward or backward from its subject while zooming in or out at the same time.

This creates the illusion that everything around the subject is moving when it’s actually staying still.


What Is the vertigo effect

What Is the vertigo effect in film?

The Vertigo Effect is a term used to describe an optical illusion effect in film. To create the effect, the camera zooms in on a subject while at the same time moving away from him or her.

This creates a disorienting effect and makes the viewer feel like they are losing their balance.

This technique was created by director Alfred Hitchcock in his 1958 film Vertigo.

It was so effective that Hitchcock used it multiple times during the movie, but probably most memorably during a scene in which Kim Novak’s character is running away from Jimmy Stewart in an art museum.

The Vertigo effect makes us feel like we’re running along with her when actually we’re just following her from above.

What really made the Vertigo effect special was the way Hitchcock used it to make us feel uneasy, almost sick to our stomachs.

That’s because of something called “motion parallax,” which is what happens when you move your head while keeping your eyes fixed on an object.



What Is The Vertigo Effect?

“The Vertigo Effect” is a cinematic technique in which the camera circles around the subject, making them appear to revolve in place. This technique was popularized by director Alfred Hitchcock in his film, “Vertigo.”

In the movie, the effect is used to create a feeling of disorientation and uneasiness.

The same thing happens in horror films such as Halloween and Friday the 13th where the viewer sees everything askew as if they are being hunted down by a killer.

This type of visual serves to build up suspense because it puts the audience into a vulnerable position, allowing them to feel just how helpless their characters are.

Other times the vertigo effect is used to show someone losing control of their mind, such as in American Beauty when Lester Burnham begins hallucinating after he starts smoking marijuana.

The vertigo effect is a very important element in filmmaking because it allows viewers to experience situations from a new perspective without having to be actually there. It shows that filmmakers can manipulate viewers’ emotions just by using camera techniques.

The Hitchcock Zoom Explained

Tricks used to create the illusion of whirling vertigo include double-exposure and various types of camera movement.

A double-exposure shot is one in which two separate images are blended into one on the film itself. This can be achieved optically on an editing table, but it can also be done in-camera with a special effect known as traveling matte.

Traveling matte shots can include elements that move within the frame while everything else remains still, or vice versa.

In Vertigo, for example, Jimmy Stewart is shown from behind walking up a flight of stairs, with everything else in the frame moving horizontally past him. In another shot from the same film, Kim Novak’s face remains perfectly still while her body and surroundings whirl around her.

The importance of the zoom can be seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s very first film, The Pleasure Garden (1925). Here, he uses a dissolve to move from one shot to another in which the actors are placed further apart.

This effect is also used in Hitchcock’s The Lodger to convey the sense of unease felt by the female protagonist as she feels that she is being watched. In his earlier films, Hitchcock often moved the camera closer to the actors, but by The Lodger this movement had become a more general zooming technique in which an object of increasing interest came into focus and slowly filled the screen.

In 1935’s Murder! this was taken a stage further, with an extreme zoom that took the object filling the screen all the way back out of it again (Hitchcock’s cameo appearance in this film also saw him zooming into his own head).

This device was used so effectively that it became synonymous with Hitchcock himself. With this device, Hitchcock could create suspense by moving closer to an object or person and then away again, leaving viewers eager for a closer look.

In The 39 Steps, for example, when Robert Donat is hiding under a bed in a guest house and spies on a man and woman arguing through a crack in their door.

The Origin Of The Vertigo Effect Shot

The origin of the vertigo effect shot is not entirely clear, but it is a useful and versatile tool that can be used in all kinds of films, documentaries and reality shows. While it may seem simple, it requires a good deal of staging and precise timing.

Trying this at home? The first step is to make sure you have enough space to move your camera along the track. For a standard dolly shot, you need to know the length of your track, so that you can calculate how far from the subject you will need to stand in order to give yourself enough room for the camera movement.

You also need to think about what the path of your camera will be. In most cases, you will want your audience to feel as if they are walking towards the subject – so keep that in mind when choosing your direction.

The next stage is to set up your rig – whether you are using a fluid head or a tripod. The rig needs to be attached firmly and level with the ground. You should mark out where the wheels are on your track, so that you can repeat this process every time you shoot. It is also worth setting up an object on or near to your track at one end that can help guide you along the track.

How To Do The Vertigo Effect

Vertigo effect is a style of photography that makes an image look like it’s spinning. It was popularized by photographers and graphic designers in the 90s, and most people associate this kind of photos with rave parties, acid trips and mind-bending visuals.


Vertigo effect is achieved by taking multiple images of the same subject using a camera on a tripod, then stitching them together in Photoshop to create a seamless image. The depth you need to cover depends on how much perspective you want. You will have to take images of different angles to ensure that you cover enough depth.

How To Do The Vertigo Effect:

Create A Panorama:  First, you will have to create a panorama of your subject using your wide angle lens. Set up your camera on a tripod and make sure that it is stable. Next, frame your shot so that the subject fills about one-third of the frame horizontally, then take a shot.

Take another shot at a higher height, filling about two-thirds of the frame vertically, and then take another one at full height. Take as many shots as you need until you get a complete panorama from horizon to horizon.

Tilt The Camera: After creating the panorama, tilt your camera.

What Is The Vertigo Effect Used For?

The Vertigo effect is used to create a spinning or spinning sensation when a page is viewed on a monitor. This can be used to simulate a spinning camera on a page or it can be used to make the reader feel dizzy and disorientated.


To create this effect follow the instructions below: Create a document in Photoshop. I have created one with A4 paper size. The resolution should be 72 pixels/inch and RGB colour mode.

Add image to your document and place it in the top left hand corner and resize it to cover the whole of your document. I have used the image from here.

Select the text tool (T on your keyboard) and type out some text onto your image, for example: “The Vertigo Effect” (this will be your caption). Choose a strong font e.g. Impact, Arial or Verdana for best results.(You can also use an image for you text, but we will use text for this tutorial.)

Place your text into position using the move tool (the arrow) on the toolbar at the top of your screen, then adjust it using the transform tool (the two squares). Your text should look something like mine below: Next we are going to create the effect.

Make Your Own Vertigo Shot Like Hitchcock

Vertigo is Hitchcock’s 1958 classic. It stars Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak and Barbara Bel Geddes. The plot revolves around Stewart’s character’s (Scottie) fear of heights after an incident where he was forced to save a woman from falling to her death.

He attempts to confront his fear by hiring a woman who looks identical to the one he had previously saved. As a result of this, he starts to have feelings for her and decides that he wants to get married.

Towards the end of the film, Scottie and his new love interest are standing at the top of the bell tower in a famous scene where Scottie is feeling very insecure about being on such a large height. His love interest then gives him a glass of Vertigo to help him with his problem and it has this strange effect on him where it makes him feel drunk and make him a little dizzy.

The shot of vertigo is made up of gin and vermouth, which is then topped off with an olive with a toothpick in it. This might seem like an odd combination but it creates an amazing flavor that works incredibly well together.

Vertigo is a trademark shot that no one can forget. It was used in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, and it was created by the famous cinematographer Robert Burks.

What Is The Vertigo Effect In Cinematography?

What is the Vertigo Effect in Cinematography?

Vertigo Effect is a term that refers to an optical illusion experienced by the viewer of a film or video created by rapidly alternating between two different camera angles, causing the audience to feel as if they are moving, spinning or tumbling. The technique is used in movies and television shows to create a sense of dizziness and disorientation.

Vertigo Effect was first used in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo, for which it is named. The effect has been used many times since then, and it has become a staple of many horror movies.

How it Works The Vertigo effect is achieved by alternating between two different camera angles quickly. In many cases, one of the angles is taken from a high angle looking down on the subject (sometimes as high as 45 degrees).

When this angle is alternated with one taken from a low angle looking up at the subject, it gives the viewer the sensation of floating or falling. A common variation on this technique uses two different shots that simulate motion in opposite directions.

For example, if you combine an upward shot with one taken from downward angle (looking up), the viewer’s eyes will move in opposite directions along their horizontal axis and create the sense of vertigo.

Vertigo Effect Examples In Film

The vertigo effect is a special effect that has been used for years in film to create a sense of dizziness and disorientation. The vertigo effect can be incorporated into any film, but it is most effective when its use is subtle.

Some films incorporate the vertigo effect to increase the overall tension, while others use it to evoke a sense of confusion and wonder. Tension-heightening films that utilize the vertigo effect include:

Vertigo (1958)

The Matrix (1999)

Fight Club (1999) In Fight Club, there are two scenes where the vertigo effect was applied to heighten the tension of the scene. The first scene takes place when Tyler and Jack are sitting in a restaurant discussing Project Mayhem.

The camera slowly pushes in on Jack’s face while he’s talking, which causes Jack’s head to spin around and his nose to wrinkle in confusion. The second scene takes place when Tyler and Jack are in the basement of their apartment building planning their fight club activities.

While Jack is talking, the camera pulls back in a steady motion, creating a sense of disorientation for both viewers and characters as they try and make sense of what they’re doing. This scene works so effectively.