Mac/Video Newbie - Time Lapse Film Effect?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by LifeIsCheap, May 11, 2004.

  1. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #1
    Hi All,

    I've not yet got my Mac (Currently PC owner but Mac currently on order with Apple) but myself and a buddy have got this idea for a short movie relating to our trip to work. My buddy and I car share to work every day down a jammed up triple carriageway here in Sydney and feel the need to make a memento of all the time we have spent there.

    We thought that using my buddy's digital camera to take a photo every 15 secs or so of the 50 min ride to work that we could get a stop motion kind of effect pseudo-film by stringing them all together, playing them back at 5 frames per sec and adding a soundtrack for the four minutes or so that it would take to recount our daily drudge to work.

    Now the question has to be, would it be easier to take a video film and drop a load of frames out using some bit of software or just carry on with our current (really really easy to implement) camera/photo idea?? The nice thing about using video is that we can choose whether to drop frames or not to choose between the jerky or smooth end effects.

    So in short, video or photos? If video then what package would allow us to drop the video to ~1 frame per x seconds of original footage then playback at regular speed?

    Crazy? Don't know... Just new to this creative thing with a few ideas to knock around!

    (Yeah, and don't worry, I'll rid myself of this PC curse soon enough...) ;)
     
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #2
    If you have a digital camera that takes pics every second that should be fine. Or you can do it all on the computer with iMovie

    Here's one I did that is sped up x10.....

    http://gone3d.com/dconadime/

    I had just bought my miniDV cam and wanted to try out a few things - one thing to remember, manually set the camera aperture so that you can get blurred movement - it looks better :D

    Good luck -

    D
     
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
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    Location:
    VA
    #4
    interesting, but it lacks continuity - it should be more than one shot every mile - I'd do it so that each picture would have something of the next shot in it....maybe out in the desert you could get away with 1/mile :D

    D
     
  4. LifeIsCheap thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #5
    Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking of a frame rate something between these two. I think DC on a dime is the kind of thing we were aiming for but we wanted it a little jerkier. The tip to ensure that each shot has something of the next shot in it is a good 'un. That will ensure the continuity.

    As it's a trip to work, the advantage is that we're going to have more than a couple of chances to get it right!
     
  5. hsilver macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Photos to Time-Lapse Sequence

    If you want to use photos -more control - digitize them and give them a each a number in ascending order. In FCP or FCE import them, select them all and drag into time-line or canvas window, I believe, giving you a quicker sequence than dropping out video frames. I believe there is a way to batch process a group of photos in Photoshop and do this as well.
     
  6. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #7
    ...so dizzy... must lie down now...
     
  7. bryanc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Location:
    Fredericton, NB Canada
    #8
    I make time-lapse movies of embryonic development quite often. The way I do it is to take a picture (using a digital camera mounted on a microscope) every 5 minutes for 10 hours, and then take that image sequence into a public domain image processing package called ImageJ, and export it as a QuickTime movie. I then do whatever editing or subsequent processing using iMovie.

    There's probably a more elegant way of doing it, but my method doesn't require buying any software, and it works quite well.

    Cheers
     
  8. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    Here is a trick i use for time lapse, take the 50 min clip into Final cut, "stretch" it to 10 seconds, then stretch the new clip back to 4 min. Results can very depending on the numbers used. Alternatly you could make a apple script that inserts 1 frame then advances the clip by 100 frames and insert the next etc...
     
  9. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Location:
    VA
    #10
    wouldn't it just be better to set the speed of the clip to something you're happy with? That's all I did with my movie and it would take one step to make it x20 or what ever I wanted.

    Although, I think any faster and flowbee might get sick :D

    D
     
  10. LifeIsCheap thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #11
    Well, we've started trial #1 using the Canon Ixus 400 to take a load of photos on the journey in to work this morning. Just need to spend some time tonight putting them into some kind of Quicktime format and seeing how they look. I'm expecting the first attempt to be a bit rough but that could be an "Art House Film" kind of effect maybe? Maybe? A little? No, okay. We'll see...
     
  11. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    if you shrink the clip down then expand it back up you will get an avaraged effect, ie single frames disolving into each other. If you have a load of stills and want to create a sequence with them all disolving into each other, i would take a frame or two of each still into a sequence and then stretch them, you can get some quite nice effects this way.You and may have to play about with the numbers. I havent tried this on Final cut, as it not what i use at work, but it should work in theory!

    There is a short film called La Jetee(1962), it was shot as a sequence of still images. It is meant to be quite good use of time lapse, though I have yet to see it.
     
  12. LifeIsCheap thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #14
    Update: Getting There

    Okay, here's the score so far. I've downloaded the photos and followed BryanC's advice of using ImageJ. Why ImageJ? Well, I don't have my iBook yet although in the last couple of hours I got my shipping confirmation! Woo-hoo! Not sure how long it will be from here but it's not too far away at all (only ordered last Friday).

    Anyway, I digress. I used ImageJ as it's free and it will work on my PC laptop. Installing the Java app was easy as pie followed by a swift install of the QuickTime movie export plug-in.

    Well, what could be simpler. Load in the series of photos from a directory into a 'stack'. Select the QT plug-in from the drop down menu, choose the quality, choose the number of frames per second and hit the button. Hey presto! A QT .mov file!

    It looks pretty good although I have no idea how to put it on a web page. I tried to copy Mr. Anderson's page he posted before (sorry!) and make a few changes but it couldn't find the movie (damn).

    Anyway, not wanting to be put off, I then used Soundforge to add some music to the movie and it worked a treat! Unfortunately the resulting file went from an original 4mb to over 60mb! I've got a bit of work to do (tomorrow) obviously but as soon as I get something on the web I'll post again.

    Thanks for all your help and advice so far! Can't wait to try the same process on the iBook for comparison.
     
  13. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #15
    that iStopMotion software is fantastic....i really love the examples here

    check out some of the others...

    I'm going to have to go and do some of these myself now :D

    D
     
  14. LifeIsCheap thread starter macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #16
    Look, what I know about html could be written on a surprisingly small postage stamp that's been torn in two but here's a link to download one of the silent movies I'm working on to see how it's coming along so far:
    http://members.swiftdsl.com.au/~djmoz/Movies/Roadtohell240x1802fps.mov

    No web page but the link should work... see how you go. At least my internet connection is working okay again!
     
  15. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #17
    Um, sorry to sound stupid here, but how/what are you using to stretch the clip?

    LifeIsCheap - nice results, how many minutes does that actually show? maybe double the speed and add extra frames in....

    D
     
  16. LifeIsCheap thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #18
    Thanks! Not bad for a first attempt eh? That was 2fps and 272 frames so just over 2 mins end to end. We're giving it another go on the way to work tomorrow. My turn to take photos while my buddy drives. We thought that more frames is the way to go as well especially when there is significant change in the frame e.g. going around a corner, changing lane etc..

    Just gets tiring holding the camera like that for 50 mins and it doesn't always want to play ball! Lets see how we get on tomorrow...
     
  17. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Location:
    VA
    #19
    if you get a remote shutter release, you could mount it on the dash and it would work fine.

    I had a mini tripod on my video camera and attached it to the dash so I could drive and not worry about it.

    and I'd work on getting the timing more even between pics. One every 10 seconds or so.

    Look forward to seeing the results.

    D
     
  18. Sayer macrumors 6502a

    Sayer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #20
    Easy way

    You can make time lapse by simply recording normally, importing the whole clip and then cutting the sections you want, set to any length, and trashing the rest of the clip that you don't need.

    When you play the clips they will then jump from section to section simulating time lapse. You can also stretch the short clips out to slow down the motion in each or shorten them to make the motion faster than normal.

    The reason for this is that you can have a pristine original that you can go back to and change any way you want. With stills you might have a good image or you might not, maybe it's not framed the way you really wanted. With video you can go through and pick a point you like and cut it right there.

    After doing a very short-lived Public Access TV show and trying to do skits and other segments I found it best to get as much "coverage" as you possibly can, because once you go to edit you find you might have very little usable video in a scene resulting in very short skits/segments.

    Coverage coverage coverage.

    Get as much footage as you possibly can! Don't forget "reaction shots" which are the clips of some other person looking at/reacting to someone else in the scene. You can even do these after the fact all at once and just chop em up and use them as needed. This can simulate having two cameras on a scene very easily, but it takes more time to shoot.

    Tape is cheap while DV is huge and HDs are expensive; watch all of the tapes and import only the parts you need. Pop the tabs out to save your tapes from accidental erasure.
     
  19. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

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    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #21
    At work I edit/composit on a "Quantel Editbox", it similar to the "Quantel Henry" used for making the ipod ads. At home I have a FCP set up.
     
  20. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #22
    sorry, what I meant to say, what are you doing in FCP to *stretch* the clip... is it a key command or filter or what?

    Thanks,

    D
     
  21. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

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    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    in FCP its called "Time Remap" in the motion tab of the clip viewer.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #24
    excellent, thanks a lot - I'll be giving that a try :D

    D
     
  23. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #25
    Here is an Example of my method


    The first clip is the original, 16 seconds

    second it a sped up to 6 seconds, in FCP.

    the third is streched down to 12 frames, then exported from final cut as a selfcontained movie and then streched out to 6 seconds.

    the sped up clips are the same length but give a very different feel to the final effect.

    The footage was shot on a canon ixus ii at 15 fps, dv & a tripod would have helped.
     

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