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Old June 24th, 2016, 03:38 AM   #1
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Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

I am shooting a promo for a local music festival and I have been asked to create a hyperlapse of people coming into the event.

I have a motorised slider/controller which I use for interviews and other motion controlled shots, but in fifteen years of professional videography I've never produced a timelapse! I know how to set up the controller (a Dynamic Perception MX3) to control the camera (Panasonic GH3 or GH4) but I'm unsure about the best interval between shots.

Are there different optimum intervals for producing pleasing results with different subjects, eg people arriving, clouds, sunsets, traffic, tides etc?

If so, what would you recommend for people arriving at an event?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old June 24th, 2016, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

Depends how long you want the camera to run for, but I've shot a number of timelapse videos for arrivals at wedding venues, where I just set a handycam on record and let it run. Then you just speed it up on the timeline. Very quick and easy.

Roger
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Old June 24th, 2016, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

I've used the same technique as Roger, which does a good job but does lead to larger file size than necessarily. Though offset this with the fact you have more flexibility in post as to the length of your timelapse.

I also used a GoPro to do timelapse; taking stills every 5 seconds to create a single video file. Aside from smaller files, the advantage I found was that the GoPro used a slower shutter speed than 1/50, giving each frame more motion that I found more appealing than speeding up normal footage.

The frame every 5 seconds was my own choice. Generally the accepted way is to identify how long you want the video to be and also how long you need the camera to record for and set up an interval that conforms accordingly.
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Old June 24th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

I haven't done a lot of timelapses, but I know the ones I have done, 5 seconds between shots is a lot of time, and depending on how long it takes to fil up the place, it may go by way to fast.

But if that's the look you're going for that's fine.

For me, I've found I like the look of 2 second intervals. This can always be sped up later... but's hard to slow down a 5 second timelapse and make it look ok.
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Old June 24th, 2016, 10:51 PM   #5
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Generally the accepted way is to identify how long you want the video to be and also how long you need the camera to record for and set up an interval that conforms accordingly.
This. How long do you want to record for? How long do you want to playback for? Do some division and you'll know exactly how many frames to shoot.

If you're unsure (and even if you're not), it never hurt anybody to shoot 2x (or 4x or 8x) the number of frames you think you'll need and weed them out later.

I have shot timelapses in 10 minutes that last a minute when played back, and timelapses that last six months and are played back in 10 seconds. The answer to your question is "it depends",.
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Old June 24th, 2016, 11:53 PM   #6
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

One thing I took away from a talk I attended (given by an excellent time lapse shooter) was that the shutter speed plays a big part in the look of the final shot. Shooting at a high shutter speed of 1/400s will give the subjects a stuttery kind of look. However, if you shoot at a slower shutter speed (slow enough to produce significant motion blur in each still image...possibly to the point that each image on its own appears to be ruined) then the final shot when sped up will appear to have smoothly moving subjects, swishing about. Of course, the exact shutter speed you decide to use will determine the amount of motion blur in the final shot.

The problem is that the motion blur is baked into each still image, so you're stuck with whatever you get. So if you go for too low of a shutter speed, then you might end up ruining the final shot. If you want to play it very safe, just shoot it at around 1/50s shutter speed or higher, and go for the stuttery look. My recommendation though is to run some tests at lower shutter speeds and see what gives you the best look.

Final note...moving cars, crawling ants, walking people, and speeding jet airplanes would all require their own particular shutter speeds because of their different speeds, your choice of lenses, and your framing. Therefore, be sure to match the conditions of your event as best you can in your test shots. Perhaps you can find a busy street with lots of foot traffic or something similar.
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Old June 25th, 2016, 02:00 AM   #7
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

Thanks to everyone for the responses, very useful.

In fact I didn't really word my original question very well and Alec actually best answered what I wanting to understand! I get the 'duration of final shot determining the interval' concept - it was more the settings for a pleasing effect for the specific topic, i.e. people arriving at the event, that I was looking to understand.

One good thing is I now realise I have two opportunities to get it right as it's a two day event (with the park being emptied overnight, so everyone has to come back the next day!)

I will try safe settings today, then some more adventurous ones tomorrow. Perhaps 1/50s and 3 seconds on a wide lens (Tokina 11-16 fully wide) as the safe mode.

To respond to a specific suggestion - that of recording the whole thing in video then speeding it up on the timeline - I am shooting 4K to a 10-bit 4:2:2 recorder so the file size would just be too huge. I did also read somewhere that this technique might be troublesome if you're shooting hyperlapse (i.e. where the camera is slowly moving), especially when using slow shutter speeds.

Thanks again for all the input.
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Old June 25th, 2016, 02:55 AM   #8
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Depends how long you want the camera to run for, but I've shot a number of timelapse videos for arrivals at wedding venues, where I just set a handycam on record and let it run. Then you just speed it up on the timeline. Very quick and easy.

Roger
Same Here - Handycam on continuous run to film the room filling up. then 50% speed on the timeline with a dissolve every few seconds (to whatever music I'm using) works a treat
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Old June 25th, 2016, 03:01 AM   #9
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

Agreed it's an elegant solution - but an hour of video in my case = 600GB and that makes it unworkable I fear!
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Old June 29th, 2016, 10:52 AM   #10
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

I use my Canon Xf100 for timelapses and I set the shutter to slow, the interval to 1-2 secs so that the video has motion blur...much more pleasant to look at than when the shutter is fast and the motion looks too sharp..I have also used a Gopro hero 3 black and even a small pocket Olympus Tough TG 860 but they are not good in low light...the XF100 is...
recording normal speed video and then speeding up is ok for short segments but not to record hours!
My next pocket camera will be something along the Sony RX100 iv that can do amazing timelapses even in low light. But of course the real way is with a DSLR recording photos and then assembling the timelapse in post...but who has time for that?!!
in this short video used the Olympus TG 860 for timelapses- I was out for some fun..

and in this other video-also for fun, I used a Canon XF100 mostly for timelapses..

I prefer motion blur in my videos...
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Old June 30th, 2016, 07:39 AM   #11
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Re: Timelapse of audience arriving at an event.

If you shoot stills for the time lapse instead of video, then in post you could digitally zoom to achieve the zoom movement effect, or just have the option of reframing.
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