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Author Topic: How to shoot static timelapses  (Read 9524 times)

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« on: January 08, 2018, 08:23 »
+1
Static timelapses.
How to shoot them with examples on the field
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsMLJCSQHB0


Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 13:01 »
0
Static timelapses.
How to shoot them with examples on the field
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsMLJCSQHB0

Good explanations. I will add tha clouds changing the exposure will drive you crazy. For me that's worse than anything else as the images will not only change color balance but get lighter and darker and lighter again. I enjoyed seeing the water change from sharp to smooth with the different shutter speeds. I generally try to get overall sharp images and now I see there's room for a softer version to look just fine.

Mostly calm waters reflections, Sunset, (a million others similar) ducks swim in on cue?  ;) 5 seconds between shots, 24 seconds total once it was assembled.

https://ak8.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/2072288/preview/stock-footage-sun-setting-over-a-marsh-lake-as-clouds-pass-overhead-with-reflections-in-the-water-time-lapse-anim.mp4

« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 05:58 »
0
Thank you for your input.
Yes, ND filters give of lot of freedom to play around with slow shutter speed.
Timelapses are not easy, a lot of things to control, especially flicker

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 09:00 »
0
Thank you for your input.
Yes, ND filters give of lot of freedom to play around with slow shutter speed.
Timelapses are not easy, a lot of things to control, especially flicker

And how do you do that? I think I used to use frame blending. For now I haven't made, or tried to make a decent time-lapse in some time. I recognize that controlling the exposure and making lighting consistent will help make the flicker less evident.

What do you suggest?

Here's one I tried to save but I didn't want to spend a whole day on something that was just for fun. Flower (actually a dandelion) fairly full day cycle, with insects. It jumps and the shadows are a killer for ruining what I intended. Also looking for advise or suggestions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM9qQ7biW70

Some of the others are just a GoPro on a mount of some sort. Especially fun was driving across the state, one highway, state 33, the whole way, from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan. I boosted it up to 60fps to make the video version shorter. Around 235 miles on mostly two lane roads, through towns, up and down a mountain in a state park... sometimes I do stupid things, just because they are there to do.  8) GoPro was mounted on the dash and had continuous power from the car power, batteries would have never lasted that long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhrC34nOkyo

At Sunset the GoPro will go nuts, compensating, bright, dark, bright, dark.  :(

« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 09:40 »
+1
And how do you do that? I think I used to use frame blending. For now I haven't made, or tried to make a decent time-lapse in some time. I recognize that controlling the exposure and making lighting consistent will help make the flicker less evident.

What do you suggest?

Everything on manual, WB, ISO, fixed shutter speed, locked aperture (disconnect lens from camera) will eliminate any flicker introduced by the camera. Of course, flicker introduced by nature itself is harder to control.  :D

Sometimes it makes sense to use some form of auto mode, with Auto ETTR being the best if your camera supports it. Your driving video, which is cool, is a good example. Something spanning a very long time with radically changing conditions (tunnels, shade, etc. etc.) needs to have exposure changes.

This will result in flicker, but it can usually be removed in post. The best tool for this is Flicker Fixer by Boris FX. It works wonders.

Ideally though, I would have used a much longer shutter speed to create motion blur on the road and passing cars. Hard to do on the GoPro since the aperture is fixed, but there are ND filters you can buy.


Here's one I tried to save but I didn't want to spend a whole day on something that was just for fun. Flower (actually a dandelion) fairly full day cycle, with insects. It jumps and the shadows are a killer for ruining what I intended. Also looking for advise or suggestions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM9qQ7biW70

This one is cool too. Hard to foresee insects and clouds, but a longer shutter speed could've been used to smooth out the insects.

But as with most things, it's the subject matter that's most important. I see timelapses full of flicker in big tv shows and movies, and they seem to accept it. Boris FX Flicker Fixer would turn both of your timelapses into flicker free, smooth clips.

And no, I don't work for Boris FX  ;D - it's just the best flicker fixer I've found, and I've tested MANY...
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 09:43 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 21:44 »
0
I've used manual for most of mine but, I have a friend that shot a 3 day timelapse a year or so ago and he swears by Aperture Priority. I tried it once on a sunset and all it did was destroy the tonal range.

You can blur the flickering a bit with longer shutterspeeds but, anything moving will be blurred also and might not look great (For instance I don't like the blurry clouds on the 1"6 exposure.)

Vic, the next video that played was the lightroom tips video. If you set up the SSDs in raids you can essentially get storage space, speed, and redundancy.

I've wanted to do that for years but, the resources always just seem out of reach :/

« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 04:25 »
+1
I've used manual for most of mine but, I have a friend that shot a 3 day timelapse a year or so ago and he swears by Aperture Priority. I tried it once on a sunset and all it did was destroy the tonal range.

It all depends on what you are photographing and what end result you want. If you shoot a sunset with the sun as the main subject, you might just want the sequence to go from light to dark when the sun is gone. If there is nothing interesting left when the sun has set, it doesn't make much sense to raise the exposure. Manual, fixed exposure is your choice then.

But if you are photographing a city with a setting sun, you might want to show the city light up after the sun is gone. Now you need to gradually increase the exposure. The easiest way to do this is with the aperture priority mode and fix the flicker in post. Auto ETTR could be even better as the camera analyzes the histogram after each picture.

Sony cameras have more consistent metering than for example Canon cameras, resulting in less flicker in AP mode. There will, however, always be flicker since the incremental changes in shutter speeds are not that small.

You can blur the flickering a bit with longer shutterspeeds but, anything moving will be blurred also and might not look great (For instance I don't like the blurry clouds on the 1"6 exposure.)

For motion blur that matches standard film, just use a shutter speed that is half of your interval. If you take a picture every 5 seconds, a 2.5" shutter speed will result in "natural" motion blur.

« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 06:54 »
0
I've used manual for most of mine but, I have a friend that shot a 3 day timelapse a year or so ago and he swears by Aperture Priority. I tried it once on a sunset and all it did was destroy the tonal range.

It all depends on what you are photographing and what end result you want. If you shoot a sunset with the sun as the main subject, you might just want the sequence to go from light to dark when the sun is gone. If there is nothing interesting left when the sun has set, it doesn't make much sense to raise the exposure. Manual, fixed exposure is your choice then.

But if you are photographing a city with a setting sun, you might want to show the city light up after the sun is gone. Now you need to gradually increase the exposure. The easiest way to do this is with the aperture priority mode and fix the flicker in post. Auto ETTR could be even better as the camera analyzes the histogram after each picture.

Sony cameras have more consistent metering than for example Canon cameras, resulting in less flicker in AP mode. There will, however, always be flicker since the incremental changes in shutter speeds are not that small.

You can blur the flickering a bit with longer shutterspeeds but, anything moving will be blurred also and might not look great (For instance I don't like the blurry clouds on the 1"6 exposure.)

For motion blur that matches standard film, just use a shutter speed that is half of your interval. If you take a picture every 5 seconds, a 2.5" shutter speed will result in "natural" motion blur.

Obviously, you've done them more times than I have. His 3 day set was of a snow storm, shooting through the night the same as shooting through the day would be impossible. lol. Still, it defeats the purpose if you're after the dynamic range included in say, those guys flower shots. Or at least mutes them a quite a bit.

Yeah, "natural" motion blur is what we'll call it ... most of the time I'd just call it a poor shot. (The only acceptance being night photography) ...

I don't do video though, and have yet to post one on micro ... I applaud you people paying the bills with this.

« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 10:59 »
0

And how do you do that? I think I used to use frame blending. For now I haven't made, or tried to make a decent time-lapse in some time. I recognize that controlling the exposure and making lighting consistent will help make the flicker less evident.

What do you suggest?
When you use ND filters, a much smaller amount of light reaches the sensor, so you can go for much slower shutter speed in even full daylight, assuming that you are using a tripod.
I suppose you are talking about frame blending in After Effects? I sometimes use it and it can give interesting result, but controlling shutter speed is much more important, especially in timelapses based on movement of people, cars, waves, boats, and so on

« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 16:06 »
+1
And how do you do that? I think I used to use frame blending. For now I haven't made, or tried to make a decent time-lapse in some time. I recognize that controlling the exposure and making lighting consistent will help make the flicker less evident.

What do you suggest?

Everything on manual, WB, ISO, fixed shutter speed, locked aperture (disconnect lens from camera) will eliminate any flicker introduced by the camera. Of course, flicker introduced by nature itself is harder to control.  :D

Sometimes it makes sense to use some form of auto mode, with Auto ETTR being the best if your camera supports it. Your driving video, which is cool, is a good example. Something spanning a very long time with radically changing conditions (tunnels, shade, etc. etc.) needs to have exposure changes.

This will result in flicker, but it can usually be removed in post. The best tool for this is Flicker Fixer by Boris FX. It works wonders.

Ideally though, I would have used a much longer shutter speed to create motion blur on the road and passing cars. Hard to do on the GoPro since the aperture is fixed, but there are ND filters you can buy.


Here's one I tried to save but I didn't want to spend a whole day on something that was just for fun. Flower (actually a dandelion) fairly full day cycle, with insects. It jumps and the shadows are a killer for ruining what I intended. Also looking for advise or suggestions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM9qQ7biW70

This one is cool too. Hard to foresee insects and clouds, but a longer shutter speed could've been used to smooth out the insects.

But as with most things, it's the subject matter that's most important. I see timelapses full of flicker in big tv shows and movies, and they seem to accept it. Boris FX Flicker Fixer would turn both of your timelapses into flicker free, smooth clips.

And no, I don't work for Boris FX  ;D - it's just the best flicker fixer I've found, and I've tested MANY...
Thank you,
a lot of excellent input.
I will certainly check out Boris, and I hope he will give you a big Xmas present.
 :)

« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 05:14 »
0
I've used manual for most of mine but, I have a friend that shot a 3 day timelapse a year or so ago and he swears by Aperture Priority. I tried it once on a sunset and all it did was destroy the tonal range.

You can blur the flickering a bit with longer shutterspeeds but, anything moving will be blurred also and might not look great (For instance I don't like the blurry clouds on the 1"6 exposure.)

Vic, the next video that played was the lightroom tips video. If you set up the SSDs in raids you can essentially get storage space, speed, and redundancy.

I've wanted to do that for years but, the resources always just seem out of reach :/
Hi Dallas,
I have exactly this kind of set up: 4 SSD in RAID, and yes, they are very fast

« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2018, 07:06 »
0
I would like to add that form my timelapses I use a micro four third camera (Panasonics GH4) with a Metabone lens adapter and good quality Nikon lenses.
I also avoid the use of aperture priority, I shoot everything manually. I don't get any kind of flicker.
I will try this Boris app, because if I found a way of completely get rid of flicker in post, I could use some native micro 4/3 lenses and use the stabilisation (for timelapses hand held when the use of a tripod is not allowed) and I could do some aperture priority timelapses for transitions from day to night

« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 23:19 »
0
LRTimelapse has wonderful deflicker. I've never had a clip I couldn't fix. I now shoot the majority of my time lapses in A-priority making high dynamic range transitions super easy to deal with. Also a lot cheaper that Boris  :P

« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 07:09 »
0
LRTimelapse has wonderful deflicker. I've never had a clip I couldn't fix. I now shoot the majority of my time lapses in A-priority making high dynamic range transitions super easy to deal with. Also a lot cheaper that Boris  :P

It's not wonderful compared to Boris. And it's incredibly slow with no customization of the parameters used to analyze... It's nice to fix some of the flicker at RAW level though. You might sometimes get the best results by first using LRTimelapse and then Boris, but normally a giant waste of time.

I avoid LRTimelapse altogether since I find it clumsy, slow, and sometimes it even introduces flicker. Big changes in Lightroom (like clarity, dehaze, raise shadows etc.) are not optimal for timelapses as each image is not processed exactly the same.

This can result in flicker that cannot be fixed. Furthermore, LRTimelapse forces you to use Adobe2012, which introduces flicker, instead of Adobe2010.

My personal workflow is to make minor tweaks at RAW level, export a high quality video file and do all color grading and creative tweaks in After Effects (or any other program like DaVinci that is made to work with video).
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 07:15 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2018, 12:50 »
0
LRTimelapse has wonderful deflicker. I've never had a clip I couldn't fix. I now shoot the majority of my time lapses in A-priority making high dynamic range transitions super easy to deal with. Also a lot cheaper that Boris  :P

It's not wonderful compared to Boris. And it's incredibly slow with no customization of the parameters used to analyze... It's nice to fix some of the flicker at RAW level though. You might sometimes get the best results by first using LRTimelapse and then Boris, but normally a giant waste of time.

I'm sure Boris is much better (I've never tried it, just read about it). I'm just suggesting LRTimelapse works well on a budget for someone who can't afford the $1700 price tag of the Boris software.

« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2018, 13:53 »
0
I'm sure Boris is much better (I've never tried it, just read about it). I'm just suggesting LRTimelapse works well on a budget for someone who can't afford the $1700 price tag of the Boris software.

$1,700???

It's $299 (Image Restoration Unit, one of the Continuum Units). It's free if you are a student.

Still a bit pricey, but not outrageous. The rest of the Continuum plugs aren't that useful in my opinion anyway...

Just download the free trial and try it out.

---

It works well on drone footage too (Phantoms/Mavics), that often suffers from compression flicker due to the low bitrate and suboptimal codec.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 14:00 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 19:53 »
+1
I'm sure Boris is much better (I've never tried it, just read about it). I'm just suggesting LRTimelapse works well on a budget for someone who can't afford the $1700 price tag of the Boris software.

$1,700???

It's $299 (Image Restoration Unit, one of the Continuum Units). It's free if you are a student.

Still a bit pricey, but not outrageous. The rest of the Continuum plugs aren't that useful in my opinion anyway...

Just download the free trial and try it out.

---

It works well on drone footage too (Phantoms/Mavics), that often suffers from compression flicker due to the low bitrate and suboptimal codec.

Woah! I must have been on the  wrong page, I'll check it out again. Thanks for the heads up!

« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2018, 05:55 »
0
I'm sure Boris is much better (I've never tried it, just read about it). I'm just suggesting LRTimelapse works well on a budget for someone who can't afford the $1700 price tag of the Boris software.

$1,700???

It's $299 (Image Restoration Unit, one of the Continuum Units). It's free if you are a student.

Still a bit pricey, but not outrageous. The rest of the Continuum plugs aren't that useful in my opinion anyway...

Just download the free trial and try it out.

---

It works well on drone footage too (Phantoms/Mavics), that often suffers from compression flicker due to the low bitrate and suboptimal codec.

Woah! I must have been on the  wrong page, I'll check it out again. Thanks for the heads up!
If you try Boris software let us know your impressions

« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2018, 06:04 »
0
If you try Boris software let us know your impressions

The trial is absolutely free so why not try it yourself? They only put a watermark on the clip, but it works the same as the full version.

« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2018, 04:05 »
0
If you try Boris software let us know your impressions

The trial is absolutely free so why not try it yourself? They only put a watermark on the clip, but it works the same as the full version.
Thank you,
yes, I am interested.
the thing is that at the momentI use a Panasonic GH4 (good for video, bad for photo) with a Metabone adapter and good Nikkor lenses.
So I don;t get any flicker.
But I will get a Nikon D850, as I am doing mostly timelapses at the moment, and then I expect to get flicker

« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2018, 11:45 »
0
LRTimelapse has wonderful deflicker. I've never had a clip I couldn't fix. I now shoot the majority of my time lapses in A-priority making high dynamic range transitions super easy to deal with. Also a lot cheaper that Boris  :P

It's not wonderful compared to Boris. And it's incredibly slow with no customization of the parameters used to analyze... It's nice to fix some of the flicker at RAW level though. You might sometimes get the best results by first using LRTimelapse and then Boris, but normally a giant waste of time.

I avoid LRTimelapse altogether since I find it clumsy, slow, and sometimes it even introduces flicker. Big changes in Lightroom (like clarity, dehaze, raise shadows etc.) are not optimal for timelapses as each image is not processed exactly the same.

This can result in flicker that cannot be fixed. Furthermore, LRTimelapse forces you to use Adobe2012, which introduces flicker, instead of Adobe2010.

My personal workflow is to make minor tweaks at RAW level, export a high quality video file and do all color grading and creative tweaks in After Effects (or any other program like DaVinci that is made to work with video).
Interesting,
but which version of LRTimelapse have you tried?
I am testing the new version 5. Still early times, but so far it seems very good to me (Although I agree that is slooowwwww).
At the moment I get much better results with LRT5 than my previous workflow, which was similar to yours: minimal changes in LR and then color grading in AE on the files imported as a RAW sequence

« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2018, 12:15 »
0
Sure, you can get beautiful results with LRTimelapse, and in theory, retain more of the original quality since you're editing/grading at RAW level. But in practice, it's not that convenient and too slow for me. Not to mention the inconvenience of going back to change something...

I like to make a high quality movie file that is more like what comes out of a professional film camera, and grade it like you grade film. That way I can color grade and change colors very quickly a year later, or make different versions for different situations.

It would be way too time consuming to have to go back and do it at the RAW image level every time.

« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2018, 16:19 »
+1
Sure, you can get beautiful results with LRTimelapse, and in theory, retain more of the original quality since you're editing/grading at RAW level. But in practice, it's not that convenient and too slow for me. Not to mention the inconvenience of going back to change something...

I like to make a high quality movie file that is more like what comes out of a professional film camera, and grade it like you grade film. That way I can color grade and change colors very quickly a year later, or make different versions for different situations.

It would be way too time consuming to have to go back and do it at the RAW image level every time.

Truth.  I find myself going to Final Cut pro later to do any color grading I can get away with because it is a pain to reconnect LR and LRT and go through that entire process.  Most of the changes I make are minimal enough that FCPX does fine.  But your point about the workflow is spot on.  I still like LRT especially when I drop in XMP files from the VIEW or Ramper on day to night holy grail. 

Brighonti, I use aperture priority in sunsets with a simple method to capture good daylight and then get a little longer shooting into the night that you cannot get with manual exposure.  Set camera to 800 ISO (can get tricky if daytime is too bright, sometimes 400 does very well when you have city lights...depends on what you are shooting really), 2.8 aperture with camera on aperture priority. You will be surprised at how smooth these are in post. I also sometimes use aperture priority when the light changes a lot, like with variable clouds.  But to your point I do shoot manual in 75% of the cases.  With holy grail I shoot exclusively manual. Also, in LRT you cannot use the holy grail tools with aperture files.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 16:21 by Mantis »

« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2018, 17:22 »
0
Another important thing to consider is that Lightroom is not made with video in mind. This means that it doesn't process each image in the same way, despite identical settings. Big changes can (and will) result in strange differences and flicker between images in an image sequence.

Try maxing out a setting (clarity for example) and see what happens. It won't change in the exact same way on every picture, unless you use Adobe2010, which doesn't work with LRTimelapse anyway.

« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2018, 07:01 »
0
Sure, you can get beautiful results with LRTimelapse, and in theory, retain more of the original quality since you're editing/grading at RAW level. But in practice, it's not that convenient and too slow for me. Not to mention the inconvenience of going back to change something...

I like to make a high quality movie file that is more like what comes out of a professional film camera, and grade it like you grade film. That way I can color grade and change colors very quickly a year later, or make different versions for different situations.

It would be way too time consuming to have to go back and do it at the RAW image level every time.
Yes, I agree that the workflow is very loong.
I am still in the testing period with LRT 5, to soon to come to conclusions (especially regarding the deflickering).
I must admit that for timelapses I generally prefer the results that I obtain color grading in LR, rather than in AE; maybe because I don't know AE as well as LR and PS


 

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