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Old June 22nd, 2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

Hi all,

I have a personal project that want I want to make this summer. It is a clip comprised of mostly time lapses and slow motion shots. The subjects will be urban landscapes, masses of people but also some directed shots with extras.

I will be doing this project with my 60D, I still need to get a tripod as well as a remote. For the latter this seemed like a good pick but please feel free to suggest a better product if it is in the same price range

Vello ShutterBoss Timer Remote for Canon with Sub-Mini RC-C1 B&H

******

As for the time lapse itself I have only made one so far. Since I didn't have a remote I had to connect my camera to my laptop and control it through a program. The result was fine but I fear I may have overdid it because it was too long and had too many shots.

Do you have any rules of thumb when you do them, like say the number of shots ?

If i want to show the "dusk line" on a building would I need to use the same number of shots as waves of people that crosses the streets?

Any tips would be nice.

Thanks
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

That remote looks like the one I use(d) and it's fine though these days I use the Magic Lantern features. It allows for me to do either a traditional time lapse or to force the fps down as low as 2.5 (or so) which also saves on shutter clicks, and let's me do HDR to really make some things pop.

Number of pics will depend entirely on what look you want. You could use ML and 2.5 fps (it will shoot like video), and get blurred lines of people as they walk by (below at 1:15 or so). Or do continuous shoot (around 4/5 fps) like when you hold the shutter down and get more of a stop-motion look.

For interesting skyline work, maybe *after* you shoot your main time lapse, try long exposures of 3-6 seconds (may require welding glass and a lot of color correction)

If you're getting the dusk line on a building, you won't need nearly the number of shots as people moving in a crowd. Again, depending on your look, people will need a photo a second or more. Sun/cloud movement will need a photo every 5-10 seconds or so. Clouds move faster than the sun. Glance at the 30-60 second area of this video for examples. I was shooting the sunrise for 20 minutes or so, but each of the other shots was only 5 minutes, I think. The sun over the barn was a ML HDR exposure using the forced FPS at something like 6 fps.

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Old June 27th, 2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

I too have been using Magic Lantern on a 60D for timelapse stills. Very versatile, but that is a lot! of shutter actuations. I worked on a multicam timelapse with a group that had done a lot of these, and they shoot video. For that, I used ML's auto restart, it drops a second or so when it makes a new clip every 12-ish minutes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
...these days I use the Magic Lantern features. It allows for me to do either a traditional time lapse or to force the fps down as low as 2.5 (or so) which also saves on shutter clicks, and let's me do HDR to really make some things pop....
That seems like a *great* ML tip. Should also allow, um, a 2-hour-ish single clip?

I recently bought the Vello Wireless Shutterboss, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. Need wireless to create a backyard wildlife photo trap, as I've found the USB to laptop to be unreliable over 15' or so. This Shutterboss can also run wired...

I'm generally wanting to move timelapse from stills to video, I probably have 50,000 shutter clicks on from various TL projects, and I really haven't been doing that much. Will try 2.5fps video!

HDR - maybe. What's your post workflow for that, Robert?
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Old June 27th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

In Magic Lantern, I think it's called 'Forced FPS' where you can go as slow as 2(ish) fps and the resulting file is a .mov file at 24fps so the work is all done for you.

Example, in my clip I used that for most of the time lapse shots (including HDR shot of the barn) and even though I filmed 5-10 minutes, the resulting file was only 30-60 seconds long.

And it's supposed to be much easier on the shutter.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

Thanks Robert!

How are you posting your HDR Video?
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Old June 27th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Thanks Robert!

How are you posting your HDR Video?
I'm just trying to learn when to use it :) So far, the only one I've tried and will use in a video is that sunrise over the barn shot.

I did a test shot a few weeks ago with the bride's dress against the window, so the double exposure allowed for both the dress and exterior to be properly exposed. I just didn't like how I composed it, so it was out. Thought it might also be great for a low angle shot of a stationary B&G when there is a lit stain glass behind them, but haven't done that yet.

On Magic Lantern's site it has some scripts to download to do the work for you, converting the original video file with double frames into something useable.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

You can use FPS override and raw video with the Canon cameras and Magic Lantern. Which would be the best choice to save on shutter actuations.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

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Originally Posted by Phil Gosselin View Post
...Do you have any rules of thumb when you do them, like say the number of shots ?...
There are timelapse calculators out there.

I use one for Android called Timelapse! Calculator, freeware.

There are others. But, basically they all do the same thing, some simple math.

EG. Display rate = 30fps
Real time of subject = 10 minutes = 600 seconds
Display time = 30 seconds x 30fps = 900 frames to be captured
900 frames / 600 seconds = 1.5 frames/second, or capture a frame every .7 seconds

Or use a timelapse calculator

But, when using video instead of stills, you usually overshoot and speed up in post.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

Sorry for the long silence I was just so busy with other things.

First thing first, thank you so much Robert for tips, I don't know why but I kept forgetting about ML even though all my DP's swear by it. I've installed it and it works just fine. Thanks to ML I don't need the remote and just saved 60$.

So far I played with all the biggest toys, which is the intervalometer, the FPS override and HDR. Here's the timelapse


Now the HDR

****
I read somewhere that for timelapses if one is using a fast shutter there will be a flickering effect. I then decided to put it at 6 and compensated by opening up the iris to 16 I think. Was that a good decision?

I realized that by starting so low ML would crank the exposure to compensate for the first shot. If I were to start with a faster shutter I guess I wouldn't end up with an exposure so high or will it anyway because it is night?

My timelapses will end up in a videoclip with a VERY fast editing so day has to become night in under 2-3 seconds, I see now that a 30 second interval was actually too low, I am gonna try again and set it to 1:00 next time

What would you set your WB to if I don't want the whole thing turning yellow-ish when it is night.

Here's the workflow I used for the timelapse, feel free to comment or suggest a better way to go about it

-Open the Canon software Digital Photo Professional
-Select all the RAW files and exported it in TIFF
-Open the TIFF's in After Effects as a sequence, apply whatever effects, pan/zoom I want and export in an uncompressed format for later use in Vegas

Thanks for your input
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Old July 4th, 2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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Re: Timelapse = Looking for tips and tricks

For long time lapses especially you need to have everything set manually. ML does have a sunrise and sunset feature which should automatically alter your exposure for the changes. I set my white balance for the sunlight and leave it.

Is it just my screen/Youtube, or is the foreground on your HDR still underexposed?

One option when doing timelapse is more shots (a longer timelapse) than you think you need, then speed it up (or slow it down) in post. It may give you more options for your look.
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