Saturday, December 01, 2007

Time Lapse stuff

I took up creating time lapse videos last year about this time. Its super fun when you actually get something that looks visually cool. There are two ways to go about it - first, you can set up a video camera on a tripod, hit record and come back in an hour when the tape is full. This method isnt soo good because you can only catch one hour of the scene unless you are there to change the tape. It is also very computer intensive since you have to capture all that video, then speed it up in post software. Did I mention it can eat up hard drive space? typically an hour of video will yield about 15 seconds or less of well speed up time lapse footage - not so good for all that work!

The second preferable method is setting up a digital camera with a timer. This can be an external timer, or a built in intervelometer function in the camera. Most digital SLR's have this now, but very few, if not any of the current point and shoots offer a control connection. Ebay is your friend for older the older nikon coolpix series, remember the viewfinder? I miss them too...

Anyway the collection I've accumulated is split about 50/50 between video and stills. The stills offer more control since you capture higher resolution images, then can pan and crop in video software with any loss in resolution. Since normal video starts at this resolution level, any panning and cropping will loose resolution.

You kinda have to go about the whole thing not expecting to get anything. lots of trial and error, half the time my batteries die, the timer screws up, I screw up or there was a smudge on the lens.. but once in a while good things happen, very good things.

So here is a little mix of some of the better clips from the last year. most of these are in the other vids on youtube. fun stuff


Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,
Very cool time lapse videos! Thanks for posting them. I've always loved time lapse imagery, but have never tried it myself. I might be inspired now that I've seen your work. - Dave L-

Anonymous said...

A quick question... how do you achieve that panning effect? (also known as the "Ken Burns effect in Apples iPhoto application) I'd suspect you have some fancy video editing software which probably costs a bundle. Let me know what app you use because I'm seriously contemplating attempting a Time Lapse video or two.
-Dave L-

Eric said...

I edit using Sony Vegas 6.0 on a pc, you can get the old "pro" version for $99 through B&H its a show stopper deal on software of that caliber.

The panning is exactally as you describe, its basically a moving crop made using different crop positions over time. Really small movements add alot to the shot.