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Old January 17th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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Timelapse Thread

I put together a short edit of some timelapse footage I've been shooting in my free time around Tokyo with my EX1. Experimenting with the EX Slow Shutter function and Cine1-4 Picture Profile settings at night. I thought I'd place it in this section in the hope of starting a timelapse thread here where people might share footage and tips. Speaking of tips does anyone know a better way to upload 720p quicktime files to vimeo? I'm not sure why my footage looks so compressed on the upload. Last Train To Beethoven on Vimeo

Anyway. Most shots in this piece were shot with the Sony Wide Angle Adapter. Slow Shutter 16 Frames. Some of the more saturated color shots were done using Bill Ravens 2nd PP but most were shot using a simple Cine1 setting that gave a much more muted image and retain alot more detail in the black. Only 2 shots were shot using the Letus Extreme and are noticeably less sharp.

Thanks. Alex.

Last edited by Alexander Kubalsky; January 17th, 2009 at 07:59 PM.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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most were shot using a simple Cine1 setting that gave a much more muted image and retain alot more detail in the black
As I said in my Vimeo comment, It's disturbingly surreal at times, turning a city transit system into a giant toy train set.

But interested in whether this is a final grade. Maybe it's to do with the encoding, but would like to see a slightly more dark-weighted grade based on what I see on my Mac laptop screen. All tones present and correct, but compressing rather than crushing the blacks might give a bit of richness and punch.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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Very interesting look, Andrew. I do agree with Matt, too, about the look of the blacks. I wish there was some more depth to those blacks and not look so pale. The look you got with the 16 frame mode was very cool. It was interesting to see that the only sharp thing in those crowd shots were the people's feet. Their footfalls were the only thing that stayed stationary long enough to accumulate a sharp image....very interesting. My only good TL footage so far has been some good cloud formations but nothing long-form such as this. Very good work.

On a side note but related, are you still in contact with the guys in Japan where you were getting the geared/motorized camera mounts? I wanted to order one last year but never got around to it but they really make TL footage look great. Any updates?
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Old January 18th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #4
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Nice job, Alex. I commented on Vimeo as well. Perhaps an adjustment to the profile would increase some of the blacks - but lets face it, you are shooting TL - so light is accumulating. Blacks lighten! It's tricky to keep them dark. Certainly this can be adjusted in post, but in camera, a special PP would need to be implemented to keep the contrast rich.

And I know you weren't asking for this, but the pacing was very cool - particularly the last minute.

Thanks!
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Old January 18th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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Thanks guys.
I should probably try adjusting the blacks but I was so impressed with the way the camera could see into pitch black like that that I left it all ungraded. The original footage is 1080 24P and shows a lot more subtle shades of black in the shadows. It looks much better than the uploaded version. The vimeo compression definately hasnt helped the dark areas at all. The 720P version I have on my desktop looks much better too. I would have thought the vimeo upload would look identical but it doesnt. Anyone know why?

If I had more time I would have liked to have shot some panning shots with the Mizar Motor Mount for the finally. Its a great tool but hard to justify lugging around an extra 2kg. A lot of walking to get those shots. I'm still in touch with the Mizar guys. They have talked about making a few products for Digital Film Makers including a new motor mount but it will be some time yet.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #6
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Alex, do the Mizar guys still sell the head that was popular here several months ago? What were they proposing? Also, very nice job cutting to the music, too....forgot to add that compliment the first time!
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Old January 18th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #7
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Alex, do the Mizar guys still sell the head that was popular here several months ago? What were they proposing? Also, very nice job cutting to the music, too....forgot to add that compliment the first time!
Hi Dave, Yes they do still sell it. A future Mount aimed at the DV market will have greater speed control and a better base if I remember correctly. The current one is great value for what you get though. Try googling KD Motor Mount by Mizar Optics. Lonnie is the guy who deals with international sales. Let me know if you cant find the site.

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Old January 18th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #8
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This is the kinda thing you can do with the Mizar, its very cool:

Agua Blanca Sunrise Timelapse - Test on Vimeo

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Old January 18th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #9
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I've got some time lapse in these two, first one was almost total darkness most of the time. Amazing how much light is actually there once you watch the video... I believe both were 32frame slo shutter set to take a frame every second. Plus I used my crude nighttime profile which just has everything pushed very far.

Dumont Dunes, New Years Eve 2008 on Vimeo

Nellis Airforce Base at dusk on Vimeo

EDIT hey I have a question. How are you guys shooting the sun for hours on end without hurting the camera? I would think it would cook an ND filter or burn off a coating or something!
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Last edited by Erik Phairas; January 18th, 2009 at 03:32 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #10
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Wow Alexander that was a really nice piece. Thought the cut to the music was great. I like the frame accumulation modes in that kind of urban environment, without lots of leaves or branches to blur out. I agree though with the other comments about the blacks.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #11
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Interesting that this thread should come up at this time. I've got a two day time-lapse shoot of a small construction project later this week. 1080p, 1 frame per 30 sec and slow shutter set at 64 looked pretty good in a test today. I experimented with both auto and manual iris and think that auto may be the way to go considering light changes throughout the day.

See any problems with this plan?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #12
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Interesting that this thread should come up at this time. I've got a two day time-lapse shoot of a small construction project later this week. 1080p, 1 frame per 30 sec and slow shutter set at 64 looked pretty good in a test today. I experimented with both auto and manual iris and think that auto may be the way to go considering light changes throughout the day.

See any problems with this plan?
Sounds like a good plan Bill. I haven't shot any slow shutter with auto iris but it seems like the way to go. Will the shot be a full two days from day to night and back again?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #13
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Will the shot be a full two days from day to night and back again?
The work will start about an hour after sunrise and end before dusk, weather permitting. With the sun peaking in and out throughout the day there isn't a single iris setting suitable for both, hence auto. My tests today, while lacking somewhat in the character that lighting changes would have added, looked fine in auto. I changed the interval from 30 seconds to 10 just in case.

Can't beat the shooting location, though. The concrete front steps/porch of my house are being ripped out and replaced with beautiful stone. Worked a partial barter with the stonemason in trade for cinematography and editing. The new currency.

Will work for steps!
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Old January 20th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #14
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I can tell you from experience that auto is not the way to go for any timelapse. It will ruin the shot totally because even clouds covering the sun etc will affect it and all your time will have been wasted.

One tip I got off a film guy doing timelapse from day to night was to use one exposure for the day until the sun goes down, then another exposure for night and then do a subtle cross dissolve between the two states in post. I have yet to try it properly though. But I'd say it stands more chance of being successful than an auto iris.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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Thanks for sharing your experiences, Simon. I've got an opportunity during demolition today to experiment with a fixed iris and compare the results to auto before I must commit. The shot starts off in the shade, then full sun, then back to shade. Getting the setting right will be tricky. Perhaps the best route would be to check the setting in full sun at high noon and stick with it throughout the day.
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