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Author Topic: VERY simple time-lapse assembly  (Read 7738 times)
OldRoy
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« on: March 26, 2013, 12:58:49 PM »
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Not for the first time I'm looking into simple low-budget time-lapse sequences for a client in the construction industry. Ultimate use would be on a web site of course. What I'd appreciate is some information about the software needed to assemble a simple sequence of (say) jpegs, giving control over the number of repeats of a given frame in order to control the duration and refresh rate of the final sequence. I have access to the crude "Studio" software (which I think comes from the AVID stable) which seems to automatically allocate about 5 seconds to each jpeg inserted. There is no control over this which I can find.

Can anyone recommend suitable (inexpensive!) software? I don't need complex functionality, just basic control.

Roy
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 01:18:03 PM »
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http://www.lwks.com/

Free version, pro level NLE used in big prods (Scorcese "Hugo" was cutted with it for ex). Not harsh learning curve, but yes a learning curve. You can jump on the pro versión at anytime (50euros/year) if you need more power.

You can also do I.S with Photoshop extended and export in HD. There are plenty of tutos in internet on Photoshop with motion, included image sequences. YouTube it.

On the Avid Studio, I don't know because I'm on Synmphony and Media Composer wich are completly different animals and interface but obviously the 5 seconds is likely a default option. You may find what you're looking for within the user's manual, all posible options in the importer. Watch your preferences also.

Best luck.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 01:55:28 PM by fredjeang2 » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 01:59:26 PM »
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Quicktime 7 ?

Import image sequence (set frame rate) export as H264 at new res and frame rate?
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 03:04:54 PM »
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Yeah, QT pro would do the job as well.

If you're on PC watch virtual-dub as well. Completly free.

Roy, on Pinnacle, try this: Options or config / prefs /editing or video whatever you see - then set new still image length to 1 frame - select all pics and drag them to timeline. That should solve the 5 sec issue; but as I told you,
I'm not a Pinnacle user and don't know its jargon-interface, it's only a possibility to explore but that's where I'd look arround.  

Make sure your images are sequencely named properly. blabla1, blabla2 etc...




« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 03:54:55 PM by fredjeang2 » Logged
MichaelEzra
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 08:53:53 PM »
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Cyberlink Power Director 11 can do timelapses, but no color management.
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John S C
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 05:34:30 AM »
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You might want to check out Mac Break Studio  episode 208. They do a time lapse using Quick time Pro

here's a link

http://www.pixelcorps.tv/node/1521

or download via iTunes podcasts
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jjj
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 06:59:46 AM »
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Bizarrely after using various professional level tools for doing timelapse, my colleague discovered Windows movie maker was the best solution. Yes really.  Shocked
It could compile a set of DSLR jpegs into a movie extremely quickly when Premiere Pro would simply grind to a near standstill attempting the same thing.

And as mentioned above, there should be an option for still image duration when dragged onto timeline in preferences of any film editing software.
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Petrus
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 08:45:46 AM »
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A few pointers, as I have done a few time-lapse sequences also for the construction industry:

Do not plan to repeat frames to make the final render longer/slower, just shoot enough frames to use 25 or 30 (depending on the country, but not all that important on the net anymore) individual frames per second for smooth result. I actually shoot 2 or 4 times FASTER/MORE fames than planned, as it is easy and smooth to speed up the sequence*, but slowing down not enough frames makes the movie jerky. Shooting 4 times more than needed gives also the chance of making part of the movie slower if needed, like a section where construction happens faster than average.

There is no point in shooting RAW at full resolution, if your camera can shoot smaller JPG, about 2500 pixels wide, it is plenty enough for HD video, also the JPG compression needs not be the highest quality, level 8 is good enough. This is to save space on the memory card and make editing faster. Only if you want to make pans and zooms on the final movie you need to shoot bigger stills. Use fixed aperture with auto exposure time. If possible, power the camera from AC outlet.

I have used FCP to make time-lapse. There are two ways of doing it in FCP: make the default length of each still frame one video frame, then drag the numbered stills to timeline. This needs to be rendered to make a movie, as this is understood as series of stills, pre-render. This is the clumsy way. The preferred way is to import the stills as a sequence, which makes a still-per-frame movie automatically.

Quicktime Pro can also make movies quite easily. I have used it once at least, but do not remember the details.

*) if you speed up the sequence 200 or 400%, the editor just drops out every other frame or 3 frames out of 4 without a need of morphing intermediate frames.
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kers
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 03:09:52 PM »
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you can also use Keynote if you are on a Mac

btw
Does anybody know why the colors of my video are different on Quicktime X and Quicktime 7?

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Pieter Kers
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 08:04:48 AM »
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Not sure what platform (Win/Mac) you're on but Virtualdub is free and can compile timelapse sequences.  AVIDemux is free and can compile timelapse sequences.  If you have Photoshop or Lightroom you can create timelapses with those as well. 

Not sure what camera manufacturer you're using but if you're going to shoot multiple frames as Petrus suggests, and I agree, then be prepared for a phenomenon called aperture flicker.  There are anti-flickering plugins that can help with it.  LRTimelapse is a nice piece of software that can deal quite effectively with flicker.  Used to be free but now he's charging a pretty penny for it.  Still good though.  If you shoot Nikon and have lenses with manual aperture rings there is a way to eliminate aperture flicker completely.  I can provide an explanation if you wish.
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Petrus
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 09:48:58 AM »
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Not sure what camera manufacturer you're using but if you're going to shoot multiple frames as Petrus suggests,

Just to make clear: I did not suggest shooting multiple frames (as series of frames N seconds apart), but shooting 2 or 4 times more than needed. Like not shooting one frame per minute, but one frame every 30 or 15 seconds instead. This gives the freedom of doing 200 or 400 % "slow motion" if needed, but the original one frame per minute can be achieved easily by keeping only every fourth frame. This method does not effect the aperture flicker at all, it is there if you are using an auto aperture lens. Old fully manual aperture lenses are better like Bob says.
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 10:27:43 AM »
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I understood what you meant.  But the clarification is probably good.

Re: aperture flicker, yes it's an auto-lens phenomenon.  But so few people use lenses with manual aperture rings today that they end up with it and don't know why or how to deal with/avoid it.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 04:55:24 PM »
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the original one frame per minute can be achieved easily by keeping only every fourth frame.

Except..

It should be mentioned that the feel of a TL is also the exposure duration; some, like me, would suggest the exposure should be at least 50% of the interval time

One can choose a 'choppy look' short exposure time or smoother (blur) look, with a longer exposure; stars in motion may look good with the latter while a town square may suit the former

(and yes a BIG stopper ND filter should be considered)

S
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 04:57:15 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 05:45:25 PM »
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I think that's a bit of overkill, Sam.  A 10 stop ND filter?  As far as the shutter speed, you can get a bit of motion blur with shutter speeds much faster than half the shot interval.  Even with a 10 or 15 second interval you're talking shutter speeds of 5 to nearly 8 seconds.  Things like stars need a longer shutter speed simply for to get a proper exposure. But for general daylight scenes, if you want the continuity as with film you can use the 180 degree shutter 'rule'.  So if you want to output at 24fps, you can use a 1/48 shutter speed.  That may require some filtration.  But the 10 stops of a Big Stopper?  Maybe one of the better variable ND filters instead?
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 12:10:04 AM »
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I think that's a bit of overkill, Sam.  A 10 stop ND filter?  As far as the shutter speed, you can get a bit of motion blur with shutter speeds much faster than half the shot interval.  Even with a 10 or 15 second interval you're talking shutter speeds of 5 to nearly 8 seconds.  Things like stars need a longer shutter speed simply for to get a proper exposure. But for general daylight scenes, if you want the continuity as with film you can use the 180 degree shutter 'rule'.  So if you want to output at 24fps, you can use a 1/48 shutter speed.  That may require some filtration.  But the 10 stops of a Big Stopper?  Maybe one of the better variable ND filters instead?

To create the 180 rule (50%) on a 1 min interval the exposure time you would need a 30s exposure - not 1/48 (which is 50% pf 1/24 not of 1min)

What is the correct amount of blur? - I dont know.. I would suggest it is scene appropriate - 'artist appropriate'

ie the artist TLing a town square could want the (moving) people to pop sharply into frame or be 'blur trails' - each would be a different look

My main point is that dropping frames, as suggested above, to shorten the duration will change the aesthetic

My own TLs have been shot at more like 1FPS not 1frame-per-minute - so I cant comment, from experience, on ideal exposure times for such intervals

Certainly my 4stop solid has proved not to be enough to keep me out of the defractive Fstop zone of the lens in my 0.5s TL exposures on bright EXTs

As for VND - I find them green after maybe 4 stops - at least shooting raw stills one can get the colour right in post

S
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 12:13:25 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 06:11:56 AM »
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I understand your point about the 50% rule.  What I'm saying is that it's not based, necessarily, on the input frame rate but rather the output frame rate when it comes to timelapse.  But then, like any other 'rule', it's a guideline rather than a rule.

Dropping frames is going to look no different from changing the frame capture rate.  Shoot at 4 frames/minute and drop 3 is the same as shooting at 1 frame/minute.

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 01:07:32 AM »
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I understand your point about the 50% rule.  What I'm saying is that it's not based, necessarily, on the input frame rate but rather the output frame rate when it comes to timelapse.  But then, like any other 'rule', it's a guideline rather than a rule.

Dropping frames is going to look no different from changing the frame capture rate.  Shoot at 4 frames/minute and drop 3 is the same as shooting at 1 frame/minute.


Bob IMO it is absolutely based on the input frame rate.

Consider a Black ball progressing around a white space under 'brownian motion'

If you use a series of 1/250 exposures (shutter speed)  the ball will render as a ball, if you use a series of 1:00 exposures it will render as a series of blurs - a stripe - or maybe even be 'invisible'

Consider a man in the town square with a red brolly walking about, with a fast shutter he will be sharp and at different locations in a frame, with a slow shutter he will render as a red 'streak' across the image

When it is all played back the looks are different.

Now if your exposure is say 1/100 and you are shooting at 4 FPS and you did drop the other frames there would indeed be no effect, but if your shutter angle was the traditional 180 (30s) then you not have time to shoot those other three frames

We can see from here that shutter angle is significant to the look of a TL

Offering looks from staccato to dreamy

Of course we can add frame blending (four frames at 25% opacity), and temporal frame blending (frame 1 at 100%, frame 1 at 50% frame 2 at 50%, frame 2 at 100%) in post to open the choices to the creative team further!

S



« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 01:10:10 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 01:13:04 AM »
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.. and does this matter?

Yes IMO we see a lot of TL shot with far too short shutter angle and often they will look horrid in wobbling trees/grass etc



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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 08:15:03 AM »
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All true, Sam.  I absolutely understand your points.  And I agree that the two approaches will yield different looks.  We can also stretch or contract segments in the NLE for different looks too.  That's true of non-timelapse work as well.  I'm thinking in terms of a traditional 'cinematic' look to timelapse which is what a lot of people are trying to achieve.  And for the purposes of the OP, I think that's likely more what he has in mind rather than a highly stylised, ethereal look.
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