DPP Home Technique Camera Technique Time-Lapse Primer

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Time-Lapse Primer

Preston Kanak takes us through the skills, steps and gear to making your first time-lapse


This Article Features Photo Zoom

Turning off the AF at the lens will keep your camera from changing focus mid-clip. Make a short checklist to confirm important and easily overlooked steps like this.
Typically, I try to take as many photos as possible and then speed up in post if necessary (unless doing a full-day time-lapse). It's easier to speed up than to interpolate frames if not enough photos were taken. A good starting point is a one- to three-second delay between photos. A time-lapse calculator is helpful here. I use the Kessler time-lapse calculator to determine what interval to use, based on my given shooting scenario.

Practice Makes Perfect
Before committing to the time-lapse, shoot some test frames; you can see a quick preview of what your shot will look like. Scan all areas of the frame, focusing on solid compositions, to ensure there's no element that doesn't belong. Once you've captured the test frames, scroll through the images to see how the motion in the frame is moving.

The last steps you'll want to follow are to format your card and make sure your batteries are fully charged. Once you've done that, you should be able to start recording your time-lapse.

To learn how to shoot more advanced time-lapses using specialized techniques, how to deflicker and how to process these shots, go to www.prestonkanak.com.

One Brick At A Time
Now the fun part. What to do with all these images. The first thing I recommend doing is processing your JPEG photos to see if the given shot will work in your film. If it does,
you'll then want to process the RAW files, and there are a few ways to accomplish this. My go-to method can be seen in the steps below:

1 Import photos into Lightroom and save metadata to create XMP files.
2 Select folder in LRTime-lapse, initialize, define reference area, auto-keyframe, and save metadata.
3 Reload metadata in Lightroom, edit photos marked with a star rating, as desired, save metadata.
4 Reload metadata in LRTimelapse, auto-transition, deflicker, and save metadata.
5 Import image sequence into After Effects and render out 1080 and 5K sequence.


 

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