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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old December 12th, 2009, 02:08 AM   #1
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Timelapse with After Effects

I've noticed a few posts about timelapse suddenly.
My preferred program for processing timelapse is Adobe After Effects.

I import a sequence of frames and drop them onto a time line.
Then I turn on frame-blending to smooth out the motion.
Sometimes a clip looks better if I stretch it x2 or x3.

AE also allows panning and zooming within the sequence of frames.

Some examples I've created with After Effects...

YouTube - Autumn timelapse 09: City (part two)

YouTube - Autumn timelapse 09: Storms (part one)

YouTube - Vivid festival Light walk time-lapse: Sydney 09

AE will also suck in a sequence of RAW files ;-)
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:34 AM   #2
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Timelapse

Hi
They are very nice.
Did you had any flicker problem? and if so how did you solve it?

Amos
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Old December 13th, 2009, 04:01 AM   #3
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Regarding the flicker, check this out: Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion View topic - Flicker
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #4
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That's a good discussion.

The simple answer for avoiding flicker is to use manual mode. If you are using a small aperture, hold the DOF button and untwist the lens to keep the aperture fixed. Best practice includes covering the eyepiece for long exposures.

Other good ideas are to use Live View (it drains the battery quicker, but holds up the mirror) and to use the "silent shooting" mode to cut the shutter cycling in half.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 03:52 PM   #5
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Thanks :-)

Yep, as has been stated. Manual mode is the go.
If you need to use auto anything like for sunsets, turn off auto white balance before anything else.
I've had more trouble with the WB then the auto exposure controls.
If you capture in RAW you don't need WB anyway.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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Another trick for sunsets it to bracket your shots with different exposures. Save the frames as three different timelapses. Stack them on three timelines and blend as desired.

This is where a small program to sort the images would be helpful. Manually moving every third image would be monotonous!
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Old December 15th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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Looking at adding a 7d to my kit and have a question with the timelaps. Sorry if this has been answered already but I could not find it.

Is there a selection in the menu that lets you choose, example "1 frame per sec"? How do you set the timing of each picture?
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Old December 15th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #8
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You need a remote timer to make it work. Do a search for Canon timelapse remote timers you will come up with several options.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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Thanks Jerry that is very helpful.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Another trick for sunsets it to bracket your shots with different exposures. Save the frames as three different timelapses. Stack them on three timelines and blend as desired.

This is where a small program to sort the images would be helpful. Manually moving every third image would be monotonous!
Jon, do you have such a Mac app or script to do this? I do bracket a lot but wind up doing HDRs, however on occasion I do have need to move the groups to separate folders for processing. If not I can probably create an applescript to do this.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 08:25 PM   #11
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No. I run a PC and don't have software for this. It wouldn't be hard to code though...
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Old December 16th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #12
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Keith what application do you use to create your HDR's?
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #13
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Chuck,

I use Photomatix from HDR photo software & plugin for Lightroom, Aperture & Photoshop - Tone Mapping, Exposure Fusion & HDR Imaging for photography. It's some of the best software you can get that does batch processing of sets of HDRs. It has quirks and I'd like it to use more processors on my 8-core to do it's thing more quickly but I find the support from the company to be stellar. I also use Photoshop CS4 sometimes for HDRs but it's a bit arcane / too simple sometimes. I might also process the resultant HDRs in Adobe After Effects, there are some plugins that fine-tune timelapse type images.

It can take a while to process 18MP images from the 7D, previously I was using lower res cameras for HDRs.

BTW Photomatix works on both Macs and Windows.

One thing to be careful of with using the 7D for timelapse is that you can eventually wear out the shutter on the camera, there is a limited life on those things, so don't just do timelapse willy-nilly or you soon reach your shutter's end of life, and I don't know how much it is to repair a 7D. Also you want to lock the mirror up so that part doesn't wear out either. If you're doing a lot of long timelapses you might want to do it with a still camera that doesn't have a mechanical shutter, I have a bunch of older Nikons Coolpix along with some excellent timelapse controllers from Harbortronic that if I leave them in the wild and they get stolen or destroyed it's not like I'm out $2500.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #14
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Interesting point Keith the shutter will ware out. Not good since I am looking at a 7d for a lot of long timelaps.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #15
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Yeah, Paul, another thing is HD = a pretty low MP (megapixel) count, like about 2-2.5MP, so you can do HD timelapses with a pretty modest digital camera, as long as it has either a remote interface that a timelapse controller can use or built in timelapse (though this is pretty rare). To do HDRs you'll it's beneficial to have very wide 'brackets' on the 2 or 3 exposures you blend together for each frame. The 7D has some of the widest bracketing (+3, 0, -3EV) of any camera, which is excellent for HDRS.

Unless you want to do pan and scan within a timelapse and need the 18MP image, go with smaller res to avoid long processing times for your NLE or other post processing of the stills.
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