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Any DSLR Timelapsers?

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newfocus  8644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
6 Feb 2012 - 9:53 PM

I was just wondering how may folks on EPZ were shooting DSLR timelapse. I've been gradually getting into this over the last few months and I'm finding it a challenging and rewarding diversion from stills with plenty of new stuff to learn. I'd be interested to see if any other folks are doing this and what results they're getting.

It'd seem a little spammy to me to jump straight in with a link to my own stuff, but if a few other people go first I'll share my first results from the Yorkshire Dales. I'd be happy to swap tips and experiences so far too.

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Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315379 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
6 Feb 2012 - 10:15 PM

Hand held timelapsing is so much more fun Smile

6 Feb 2012 - 10:22 PM

I've done it just for a bit of fun. Because I've done overnight shooting I really should go through and optimise the wb for each and every shot but it would just be so time consuming.

To see it properly and see small things like rabbits you have to view it HD on a large screen. It was shot with my 1D MkII.

droberts  1093 forum posts United Kingdom
6 Feb 2012 - 11:01 PM

Great timelapse. Perhaps you would like to share with us your data, I.e. interval, duration of shoot, number of shots, what file size, what size of card did you use.
I've just started doing timelapse an find it fascinating.

6 Feb 2012 - 11:45 PM


The camera was set on Aperture Priority at f16. I used one of these to make the camera take a shot every 40 seconds, but in the darker hours the exposure would have been longer than that and it would have missed some of the instructions to shoot because the shutter would still be open which I didn't mind. I also set exposure compensation to underexpose by half a stop, a compromise so that night shots wouldn't be too bright.

Camera was set to raw only, no jpeg and had only one card in (a 16gb). I think I changed cards manually just before dark. I think I shot from around 8pm til 11 the next day.

The plan was to perfect the white balance and exposure for every shot on the computer later but in the end I didn't as it would have taken ages.

As the sun goes down it would be great to set the first dusk shot to a particular kelvin and a post dusk shot (many shots later) to another kelvin and get the software to automatically tween the wb for all of the shots in between but you can't do it.

The files were batch processed into JPEGs by DPP I also resized them at the same time to slightly bigger than 1920 x 1080 (in order to retain aspect ratio). They were then imported into Sony Vegas (which so long as they are sequentially numbered will import them as footage) they were rendered as 1080p at 25fps

Last Modified By User_Removed at 6 Feb 2012 - 11:49 PM
newfocus  8644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
7 Feb 2012 - 9:27 AM

Thanks Chris - the white balance issue's interesting. I've not tried this and I'm not familiar with Vegas but it could be an interesting experiment to process the entire lot as a batch twice, at two different white balances (e.g. using Adobe Bridge if you have it) and then gradually cross fade one to the other. I realise that takes a whole bunch of processing time though.

Last Modified By newfocus at 7 Feb 2012 - 9:27 AM
Nick_w e2 Member 73881 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
7 Feb 2012 - 10:09 AM

I will link for you then John Wink

Its pretty impressive.

Knowing how much you enjoy the night sky I thought this might be of interest.

7 Feb 2012 - 1:27 PM

John I was going to tell you about my experiment with the crossfading but wasn't sure how much you knew about video editing. You obviously know your stuff. I ended up with 5 batches of jpegs at different WB. It should have been more really as ideally you need different wb for late afternoon, pre sun down, sun down, not long after sun down, middle darkness, pre dawn, dawn, post dawn, morning, midday etc etc etc.

Once I had three versions on the timeline my PC was starting to slow down to a crawl. It's not really equipped for fast full HD editing. I gave up because these were only experimental time lapse and I didn't want to kill myself trying to get them perfect.

I think this one may have used a short crossfade for WB. (I've got about half a dozen slightly different experimental renders on my HD and can't remember what's what tbh) This was taken on a different day over a shorter period.

The 'zoom' at the end was done in Vegas (so it's a contracting crop really). That's something you might want to try. Better than a fake zoom in is (if your video editor will let you) start off zoomed in a bit then slowly pull out to reveal more of the scene as the time passes looks quite good.

My next PC build should hopefully rip through this stuff. I'll put the JPEGs on the timeline at full res then I can move a 1920 x 1080 'window' around the scene as the time passes.

newfocus  8644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
7 Feb 2012 - 2:19 PM

Thanks Nick Smile - it's been an interesting (if literally time consuming) journey so far. The milky way shot's stunning - I've not had the luxury of shooting anywhere as dark as that but I do need to get my head round photographing the milky way. I shoot in some pretty dark spots in UK terms and would like to try and at least get it visible in a timelapse at some point on a moonless night.

Chris - I think there's the beginning of a useful technique there. I appreciate the limits of reasonable processing power though and I'm hitting that too at times.

7 Feb 2012 - 2:59 PM

I did these, right hand one has the fake zoom out, ideally it needs to be longer, slower etc but they were just tests. Be interested to see your Dales ones please John?

newfocus  8644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
7 Feb 2012 - 3:48 PM

I prefer the one without the zoom personally - works really well with the broken cloud layer.

Nick's already beaten me to linking my Dales shots above -> Yorkshire Dales Timelapse (unfortunately I can't embed them because the're on Vimeo and there's only a button for YouTube at the moment).

7 Feb 2012 - 4:04 PM

Oops missed Nick's link I assumed it was to the video he posted. Just watched and I think yours are really stunning. You should upload to YouTube as well just so you can embed because not everyone will go and look which is a shame. What's your working method and also how are you moving your camera on some?

macroman  1115312 forum posts England
7 Feb 2012 - 5:12 PM

I've got a couple of TLapses on EPZTV, (ch3) made with my Sony A100 and a homemade lash-up interval timer.

Also made some pixilated sequences from the car, 15 mins reduced to 16secs app, @ 2sec intervals, the memory card was quite warm at the end. Grin

newfocus  8644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
7 Feb 2012 - 5:26 PM

Thanks Chris. The camera's on a timelapse dolly from Dynamic Perception, which basically moves the camera very slowly along a rail (I initially started looking at making my own which is totally possible but I just wanted to put that time into other stuff in the end).

My current workflow is:

- Shoot RAW only (at the moment I use one of the reduced size canon RAW formats to save space and processing/transfer time later).
- I shoot with fixed aperture using the lens twist method - see http://vimeo.com/30974031 but beware - I had a couple of heart stopping moments when I nearly dropped my lens a couple of times initially, forgetting it was already partly unscrewed when I packed up in the dark Smile
- Generally I'll try to drag the shutter to fill around half the interval between shots (e.g. 5s shots at 10s intervals). Often this is difficult to achieve and involves a lot of ND filtering. Low light work's easier in that respect.
- The RAWs get downsized and processed to tiff via Adobe Bridge/Photoshop in batch mode. Basically I process one shot as a still then repeat on them all. I've not tried cross fading two different settings yet - it's interesting what you've managed to get out of this above though.
- Then I use Apple Motion + Final Cut + Color to process the result (plenty of folks use various Adobe CS tools for this such as After Effects bit but I already had final cut studio available to me).

newfocus  8644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
7 Feb 2012 - 5:34 PM

Quote: I've got a couple of TLapses on EPZTV, (ch3) made with my Sony A100 and a homemade lash-up interval timer

Post a link then so we can have a look.

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