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Old August 11th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #1
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Long-Term TimeLapse

I was hired to register the construction of a new building. I need to make a short time-lapse video of the construction from its begining to the end of it.

There is also a still photographer working on this, who will take a shot from the very same location every one week.

I was thinking if I could use his shots to make the video or if I would have to shoot video time lapse video myself...

Has anyone done a months-long time lapse like this? How did you do it?

Thanks!
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Old August 11th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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I did it not myself, but i have heard of a movie with such a long timelapse. It is a documentary film about the wall in berlin short after the wall opened and germany was reunited. I think the name of the movie is "80.000 Frames" or something, because it is about 90 minutes long and needed 80,000 single pictures made over a time of a year.

Stefan
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Old August 11th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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you can not (and would not) do that from a video camera.
but you can do that with a digital camera.
a single memory cartridge (let say 4gig) with reasonable resolution (let say 1920x1080) will give you more than a thousand pictures.
if you take a picture every hour (skiping night time) it gives you more than 80 days.
since the cam would be fixed in wall or pillar, you would get a perfect movie.
a cheap panasonic camera, few 10$ kit for timer, light detection, a waterproof box with a window and you are done.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #4
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You CAN do this from a video camera but it is PAINSTAKING. You will need to find a position that you can get back to EXACTLY every week. A parking spot on an elevated garage, beside a specific tree, etc. Set your frame up so that in at LEAST 2 corners you have objects that WILL NOT move during the entire image gather stage (a fire hydrant, a tree base, a park bench, the edge of a building in the background. Make sure your tripod is ALWAYS at the same height (easiest to do either fully extended or not extended at all) and your lens zoom is the same (full wide is easiest).

It may be easier just to do this from stills but then you are entrusting the entire process to someone else. Your call. Good luck and let us know how it goes and what you decide.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #5
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I don't think its necessary a picture every hour... the still photographer is planning to take 1 picture a week. Do you think that wont be enough?

The construction is planed to last 2 years... 18 months maybe...
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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matias Baridon View Post
I don't think its necessary a picture every hour... the still photographer is planning to take 1 picture a week. Do you think that wont be enough?

The construction is planed to last 2 years... 18 months maybe...
1 photo per week = 1 frame per week
1 month = 4 frames
12 months = 12 x 4 frames = 48 frames
2 years (24 months) = 96 frames

At 24 frames per second, that's only a 4 second movie! I'm no expert, but I'd say you'd need quite a few more stills than 1 per week to make a movie.


At 1 frame per hour (assuming 12 hours of daylight), you'd get:
Frames per day: 12
Frames per month (30 days): 12 x 30 = 360
Frames per year: 12 x 360 = 4320
Frames in 2 years: 2 x 4320 = 8640
At 24 frames per second, that's 8640/24 = 360 seconds (6 minutes)

You could also shoot twice as many frames in half as much time (shooting one frame every half-hour and only shooting over the busiest and brightest 6 hours of a day) and get the same result. You could also speed the footage up in post if 6 minutes is too long.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #7
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You are quite right...

thanks... I guess I will decide when the project gets approved.

Is there anyone in here that has ever done something like this that may have some tips/tricks?

thanks again.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #8
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I currently have a camera on an 18 month construction project.

1 shot every 15 min for 12 hours per day.

Stills camera with battery power and mains and a solar backup.

Downloaded and checked once a week.

In a weather proof box in a safe location. High quality Jpegs.

The most important thing is to design a unit that allows you to sleep at night! The second most important thing is to have an 'all care, no responsibility contract'! The third most important thing is to allow plenty of time and money for testing.

Ben Ruffell
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Old August 18th, 2008, 02:47 PM   #9
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May I suggest these guys.

StarDot Technologies - Manufacturer of Multi-Megapixel IP Cameras and Video Servers

We are building a new coal fired power plant, 3 year 24 hour a day construction time.
I was asked to do a time laspse!
I suggested they go the above route.

I have created time lines from these cams twice.
Each time I had over 2 thousand images.
It was on a g4 with a 600gb medea drive.
took forever to render but it did look awesome when finsihed.

I agree with the one frame every 15-30 minutes.
It is a nightmare to start dropping/editing 2500 individual frames on a timeline when you realize that a shot every 45 seconds is overkill, you start to get into night and day issues and pretty soon you are insane.
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