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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Time Lapse Shooting Tips

Tomorrow I have to do a "day-to-night" time lapse shot of our downtown area.
My only real concern is the iris setting.
I plan to leave the iris manually set (a little hot) hoping to get a better transitional shot.
Once darkness is set I plan to re-set the iris to better pickup the traffic and town lights.
Then do a cross-fade in FCP to get the desired look.

Anyone have a better idea or suggestion.

Thanks,
Kevin Jones
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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I struggle with that too. I did a night to day shot, tried it with the auto iris on, seemed to work pretty well. the other thing you have to worry about is your white balance. I tried auto on that as well, it seemed to work, but I was really skeptical about the constantly changing colors.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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I don't mean to hijack, but do you guys have any tips for a timelapse noob? I'm not familiar with the function on the EX1, so if you have any info (where the heck is the setting anyway?) or if you can direct me somewhere to info on starting out with this, that would be awesome!
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Old April 14th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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Kevin: I'm not an expert, but why can't you "smoothly" adjust the iris as the light changes. You can see when the camera is recording a frame. You could just make the change in between frames. Right?

Trevor: The setting is located Menu>CAMERA SET>Interval Rec>Setting>On

Just mess with the Interval Time, don't mess with the Number of Frames. A good starting point is to shoot some clouds. Try a setting of 4-6 seconds. But be prepared to stand outside for quite a while. Say 15-30 minutes, depending on how long you want the clip. TIP: Press the TC/U-BIT/DURATION button on the camera (not in the MENU) and change it so you can see DURATION in your viewfinder. Then while you're recording your time lapse, you'll see just how long the actual finished footage will be. When you're done, just press the REC REVIEW button and you'll see your time lapse play in real time in the view finder.

For a great calculator on computing the length of time you'll have to record vs the end result of your recording, check out this link from Doug Jensen: Vortex Media's XDCAM Time Lapse Calculator

Just remember that if you press REC REVIEW and you don't see the clouds moving very fast, this means 1 or 2 things have happened:

1) The clouds weren't moving very fast that day (normally not an issue)
2) You didn't record long enough (normally this is the issue)

Good luck! :)
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Old April 14th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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Mitchell, it's my understanding that you have to shoot 720p for these modes, is that correct? Seems like a bit of a drag :-(
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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Trevor Meeks View Post
Mitchell, it's my understanding that you have to shoot 720p for these modes, is that correct? Seems like a bit of a drag :-(
No you don't. I shoot all of my timelapse's at 1080 30p.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #7
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I've found that 4fps gives a nice motion for clouds.

You only need to go down to 720 when you're doing slo-mo, not "fast-mo".
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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #8
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EX1/3 Timelapse settings

And using Shutter OFF gives smoother motion at 1 fps at 1080p say for people milling around a town - an example linked below - almost all the shots in this were at these settings (or 720p 60fps for the slomo stuff). Also, I usually keep EVERYTHING on manual to avoid focus hunting/exposure variation with intermittent cloud cover etc. (you can always put the exposure on auto to find an area close to what you might want then flip it back to manual). It just depends what look you're after but as the OP has already suggested keeping the Iris a little hot should work well for the subject he's after (day to night).....Stuff I've done at 1 frame every 15 seconds has worked well for timelapse over many hours as the sun moves round.

Ely in August

As always, experiment 1st, then go with what looks best to you (when time allows!).

Good luck!
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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #9
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Here's the camera set I will use...

Interval Recording (Time Lapse):

Go to Menu > Set Format to HQ 1080 30p > Go to Menu > Interval Rec > Set Interval Time to 1 sec - Set Number of Frames to 1 > Go to Menu > EX Slow Shutter > Set Number of Frames to 16 > Set Setting to On. (To exit turn Settings to Off)


kj
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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why not just set 16 in interval recording
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Old April 15th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #11
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To my way of think this should maximize the smoothness of the motion and give it a more fluid look.

kj
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Old April 16th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
Kevin: I'm not an expert, but why can't you "smoothly" adjust the iris as the light changes. You can see when the camera is recording a frame. You could just make the change in between frames. Right?
I have tried adjusting the iris by 1 stop during a time lapse and it is always visible when you replay the clip. . . .too obvious to be usable in my opinion.

Mark
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Old April 16th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #13
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Especially difficult if you are capturing 1 frame per second.

kj
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Old April 19th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sudfeldt View Post
I have tried adjusting the iris by 1 stop during a time lapse and it is always visible when you replay the clip. . . .too obvious to be usable in my opinion.

Mark
Iris ramping during timelapse is pretty obvious if you adjust by whole stops. You ideally want to ramp at much smaller increments on the iris for each frame of the shot. Not sure if the iris control is that smooth. If you want the iris change to be smother think in terms of 1/8 of a stop. Also another tip can be to adjust the levels in post after the change where you can try and smooth the pedestal and gain over time.
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