Back in 2011, we discovered Tessive at Cine Gear LA. They were exhibiting their new Tessive Time Filter, which is basically a gen-locked mattebox filter that takes over control of the shutter on a CMOS camera system.

Essentially, you set the CMOS camera to a 360-degree (fully open) shutter, and the Time Filter acts as a shutter instead; smoothly opening and closing it’s shutter BEFORE light even reaches the camera’s CMOS sensor. Very clever.

It’s a global shutter solution for cameras that suffer from typical rolling shutter issues that we’re all familiar with…skew on fast pans, jello from camera shake or movement, and strobe/flash split-frames. Obviously this requires that the Time Filter be synced with the camera, so Tessive requires a genlock port on the camera to drive the system.

The Time Filter also has an interesting smoothing effect on motion blur, which Tessive shows examples of in a blog post. You can see examples of a mechanical shutter, an electronic shutter, and a Tessive shutter. There is also a demo reel that shows a comparisons. The resulting effect is slick and smooth. I have not yet shot with it, but to my eye, it looks perfect for car commercials in particular. Right now, Tessive can be rented from a variety of local film rental houses, and they also recently dropped the price down to $1950 to purchase a complete kit. I’ll be considering Tessive as a rental for appropriate upcoming projects.