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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #1
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Shooting Video Sequences with a DSLR?

I'd like to integrate a sequence of still images (JPEG's) taken with a Nikon D200 into a video, thereby depicting motion.

Has anybody done this? I'm using FCE and I'm wondering what workflow can make this do-able, and hopefully painless? What about still image sizing and pre-processing, etc.?

Thanks...
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Old December 30th, 2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brown
I'd like to integrate a sequence of still images (JPEG's) taken with a Nikon D200 into a video, thereby depicting motion.

Has anybody done this? I'm using FCE and I'm wondering what workflow can make this do-able, and hopefully painless? What about still image sizing and pre-processing, etc.?

Thanks...
I'm not a big believer in animation effects in documentary work, so my opinions are based more upon my experience within my own style. Nonetheless, I have touched on the tasks you want to achieve.

Animation is better achieved with FCP and its associated support applications. In FCE, you are restricted to the basics. Indeed, it is FCP at its most basic level.

You may want to resize your images down in PhotoShop or some other image editing application achieve a closer match between the original image resolution and that of FCE's output. This would have more to do with memory allocation than anything else. Do a short test of three images to confirm the value in terms of image clarity. I rarely resize any stills.

You may also reduce the time limits of imported still images from the default ten seconds to something significantly less (but still leave lead-in and lead out time, should you need to apply a transition effect).

Look at your still image application to see what kind of animation efects it provides. PhotoShop Elements provides a GIF animation effect, but the end result is way below what video needs interms of resolution. I can't comment on what the more sophisticated applications provide, because I have never found the need to go beyond Elements for my needs.
To do an animation of still images in FCE I believe you must start with something like 1/15 sec per image, but you are going to have to work out the time value that fits your project. In any case, the process will be tedious until you establish a four or six second repeatable pattern that works for you. Perhaps, after that, the process will cease to be painless. Plan on using at least 6 to 8 video tracks. It really does help to keep images organized.

I hope my opinions will be of value.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 09:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brown
I'd like to integrate a sequence of still images (JPEG's) taken with a Nikon D200 into a video, thereby depicting motion.

Has anybody done this? I'm using FCE and I'm wondering what workflow can make this do-able, and hopefully painless? What about still image sizing and pre-processing, etc.?

Thanks...
Are you looking to treat each photo as an animation frame to produce a 'Benny Hill' style pixellated stop-motion effect or are you looking for the "Ken Burns Effect" that he used so well in "The Civil War" where you're panning across or zooming in or out of a still image to simulate motion?
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Old December 31st, 2006, 08:55 PM   #4
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Check out this movie, made with still images:

http://patrykrebisz.com/stills/FINAL_movie.html
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Old December 31st, 2006, 09:14 PM   #5
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That is the effecg I was looking for, albeit a different subject matter. I use FCE (have HD 3.5 inbound this week), and PhotoShop Elements. This could be out of my reach?
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Old December 31st, 2006, 10:03 PM   #6
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I've tried a few seconds of this effect and a handy trick I've read here in DVinfo.net

1. Grab your DSLR and shoot a continuous burst of images.
2. Copy the images into a folder.

3. Open Quicktime Player and choose FILE-->OPEN IMAGE SEQUENCE
4. Choose the folder of images. Configure the frame rate.

A Quicktime Movie is generated, take a look and save it into what ever format you want to want work with.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Chu
I've tried a few seconds of this effect and a handy trick I've read here in DVinfo.net

1. Grab your DSLR and shoot a continuous burst of images.
2. Copy the images into a folder.

3. Open Quicktime Player and choose FILE-->OPEN IMAGE SEQUENCE
4. Choose the folder of images. Configure the frame rate.

A Quicktime Movie is generated, take a look and save it into what ever format you want to want work with.
Good reminder. I had completely forgotten about QuickTime's image sequence feature. QuickTime will place the images in sequence based on filename, so have the images named appropriately. Also, the aspect ratio of the first image will become the default aspect ratio for all other images.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Some of the guys in our Final Cut Pro users group work for a major local public utiltiy and did an amazing time lapse of raising the gazillion TON roof truss of the local NFL stadium construction via DSLR stop motion photography. They built a weatherproof housing. Set the DSLR to trigger via an intervalometer set, I think, at 20 minutes or so. And FTP'd the stills back to their home base.

They used After Effects to bring in the stills and sequence them, but I suspect they could just as easily have done it in FCP. The time lapse turned out to be VERY impressive. And because they used DSLR frames at high rez, they were able to turn it into a native 1024p HD FCP file.

Interrestingly, they're playing it back off "kisok style" off Mac Mini's configured as mini-video servers. Seems to be working like a charm.

So yeah, using high def digital stills to create stop motion video is a solid, proven technique. Go for it.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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Oops, sorry, posted before I was done with the thought...

If you want to talk to the guys who did it for the Arizona Cardinals Stadium Construction gig and discuss specifics, I'm sure they'd be happy to exchange emails.

Drop me a line and I'll hook you up with them.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 11:15 PM   #10
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its all about after effects 7, simply import the first pic in the sequence, AE recognizes it as a sequence, and boom, you have all the control you need over your animation.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:37 AM   #11
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it also works in premiere.... it is a neat effect..
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