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Author Topic: Clean time lapse using a still camera?  (Read 7322 times)
rcdurston
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« on: December 05, 2008, 12:23:49 PM »
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Is it possible? I've been experimenting with different fps in capture and playback but it is still looking jerky. Any suggestions?
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lightstand
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 04:18:08 PM »
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Quote from: rcdurston
looking jerky


can you elaborate on this? are you talking about "blipping" a slower (longer) shutter speed should help that
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rcdurston
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 03:18:20 AM »
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I've experimented with ss's of 1/125 to 1/30. My frequencies have been 1 fps, 1 frame per 3 secs., 1 per 5 secs., and 1 per 10 secs. The length of the clips have been 5 to 20 minutes (just experimenting right now). I've been using iMovie and QT to import the frames and export them out at normal, double and 3 times speeds but still can't get it smooth.
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feppe
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 03:25:46 AM »
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Quote from: rcdurston
I've experimented with ss's of 1/125 to 1/30. My frequencies have been 1 fps, 1 frame per 3 secs., 1 per 5 secs., and 1 per 10 secs. The length of the clips have been 5 to 20 minutes (just experimenting right now). I've been using iMovie and QT to import the frames and export them out at normal, double and 3 times speeds but still can't get it smooth.

If by jerky you mean the image moves around, buy a better tripod.

If by jerky you mean the movie advances in spits and spurts, you need to pay more attention to camera and subject movement - practice and experimentation works wonders I'm sure.

Finally, are you sure your computer is specced high enough? If you are processing and playing 1080p video, you need a very fast computer and hardware video acceleration to get smooth playback and decent editing experience.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 06:45:36 AM »
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Lots of frames ? 50 FPS import into QT ?

Other software does 'onion skinning' which blurs the transition

And check out your computer espec if you are trying to watch not 1080 but 4k

I downres my stills using a PS action befroe making the QT movie

S



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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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rcdurston
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 08:49:21 AM »
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Quote from: Morgan_Moore
Lots of frames ? 50 FPS import into QT ?

Other software does 'onion skinning' which blurs the transition

And check out your computer espec if you are trying to watch not 1080 but 4k

I downres my stills using a PS action befroe making the QT movie

S
Thanks Morgan
I have FCP Express but don't see any option for "onion skinning". I wanted to be able to view these as "HD", so I was keeping my resolution high. I guess I could downsample in LR. What resolution are you at?
thanks
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 08:54:42 AM by rcdurston » Logged

Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 10:15:05 AM »
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Quote from: rcdurston
Thanks Morgan
I have FCP Express but don't see any option for "onion skinning". I wanted to be able to view these as "HD", so I was keeping my resolution high. I guess I could downsample in LR. What resolution are you at?
thanks

if you tinker with the clip speed in FCP (I have pro) and use frame blending that seems to smooth the frames together

I think the software I trialled was istopmotion - I just went with QTPro - v cheap - I think high FPS is good for smooth - twice the rate of your film timeline if it is 25FPS (my timelapse was being integrated with 25p footage from my sony EX1)

(but I am still bery confused by timeline format etc - im an FCP newb)

Shooting I was calulating on the clip lenght I was going to get ..

I need 2 seconds of this so 100 frames, I want to show 5 minutes in my two seconds so that is 5/100 frames per minute to shoot at with a header and footer for tripod wobble

res wise HD is 1080 PX high at 16:9 you must choose to crop or letterbox from a DSLR frame - I crop

I wrote a PS action to downsize and canvas the files and there are a lot of them - its a 'walk away from the computer' action

Even if you are shooting with a 4mp digicam 1080 is a big downisze - I guess you are on at  least three times that

---

Off topic -  testing timelapses I shot 13000 frames in a day wich is a significant % of my shutter life - I have decided to use my 'redundant' D70 or D80s for timelaps in the future but a special controller is required - using an old camera is cool because you can go off and shoot something else if the camera is in a secure location

 SMM
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 10:19:18 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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bill t.
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2008, 09:19:08 PM »
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Jerkiness comes from all sorts of sources such as...

--A too-smart exposure algorithm in your camera that hunts the exposure around in response to the changing contrast of your scene.  Best to be in manual exposure mode.  Some (I'd say most) auto exposure cameras "quantize" exposure in leaps of 1/3 stop or so, rather than varying the exposure in small increments.

--Wind moving things around...if it's a windy day don't allow trees, plants, or anything windblown in your foreground.

--Exposure variations from clouds passing in front of the sun.  This is a particular problem at slow frame rates, best to keep the frame rate up in these circumstances to record several frames of each light change, rather than having sudden, uneased changes.  In post you can slow down the effective frame rate later by averaging frames together, say frames 1-2-3-4, frames 2-3-4-5, frames 3-4-5-6 etc.  Smooths things out.  Even high clouds you might not even notice can vary the exposure by a good fraction of a stop.

--Variations in the camera itself.

--And of course an uneven exposure rate.

There's a good argument for using Canon point & shoot cameras for timelapse.  There's a freeware program that you can temporarily load into many Canon cameras via the flash card which allows sophisticated timelapse and other neat stuff.  You need some geek DNA to make it work, but it's worth the effort...

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

Nice thing about the point & shoots is they are cheap (compared to a DSLR) so you can think about leaving them unattended in remote locations.  And the there is no flapping shutter to wear out.  I've heard of people who rig multiple cameras on clamps attached to tree branches and such, shooting several scenes at the same time.

EDIT...all of which reminds me that if you can do wholesale frame averaging out in the 2 or 3 second range, you can get some really magical results from motion in your scene.  Jerky tree movement turns into a weird, slow undulations, traffic dissolves into rivers and the re-assembles at stop lights, etc.  There's a good short film in there somewhere.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 09:36:10 PM by bill t. » Logged
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