Monday, October 31, 2011

Create A Time-Lapse Video

It’s easier than ever to do with the latest digital cameras and basic software
By Amon Focus Published in Shooting
Create A Time-Lapse Video

POSTPROCESSING

My editing process is pretty basic, but organization is crucial. The first thing that I do when I get home from a shoot is dump the images from the cards into the current project's folder. Next, I sort the photos into separate folders labeled by location. Within the project folder, I'll create a single folder called "Exports." This is where I send all the files I create in QuickTime Pro.

To sequence my photos into a time-lapse, I open QuickTime Pro and go to File > Open Image Sequence. From there, I'll find the first image in the specific location folder. Once the image is selected, QuickTime Pro gives the option to choose a frame rate. I always choose 24 frames per second for the cinematic look it provides.

Once the time-lapse is created, you still have to export an editable video file for a nonlinear edit on more complicated programs (i.e., Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, etc.). My export settings are Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), 1920x1080.

I do all my color corrections or color grading in either Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects. For basic grading such as levels or curves, I use Final Cut Pro; for major corrections, I use Adobe After Effects.

I don't choose a song for the audio until I have a decent archive of usable time-lapses. If I have only one minute's worth of usable clips, then I'll edit the audio to match. I'm very particular when it comes to choosing clips and I spend a lot of time deliberating and analyzing aesthetics. The key for me is brutal self-honesty—to know when I've created something that's just okay versus something genuinely compelling. It's challenging, but I improve with every completed clip.

GEAR UPGRADE:

REMOTE INTERVALOMETER

Camera remotes with interval-timer capabilities like the Hahnel Giga T Pro II are ideal for creating time-lapse videos, allowing you to set a program that determines the delay between shots, number of shots and total duration. The Giga T Pro II is available for Nikon, Sony, Canon and Olympus cameras, with a Panasonic variant coming soon. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Hahnel, www.hahnel.ie.

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