Doing a time lapse from Los Angeles to Vegas...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 103734, May 3, 2010.

  1. 103734 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #1
    I got the set up and just trying to get the little details hammered out.

    I plan on running it on aperture priority mode with the focus locked. I want the video to be between 25-45 seconds, and its about a three and half hour drive (12600 seconds). That works out to 420 pictures at one picture every 30 seconds and at 15fps this will make the video 28 seconds.

    So anyone with experience doing this type of time lapse what do you think about these settings? Should I lower the fps for the video to lengthen the video and is 30 seconds too long between pictures?
     
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #2
    For a start you can max the resolution at 2mega pixels as this will be a resolution close to 1080p HD. Anymore than this and it will hurt your computers processor!
     
  3. jammiefreerider macrumors regular

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    Aug 23, 2006
    #3
    I have never done a timelapse like that before sounds interesting. You want to keep in standard video playback speeds of 24fps (film) / 25fps (Europe) / 30fps (US). Which, is up to you and where your final display is. Say at 30fps your length of time will be 16 seconds which is fine length of time for a timelapse. Because your in a moving car you dont really have the option to pan & scan to make long timelapses more interesting.

    I would shoot at about 4-8MP JPG to get details then patiently sort it the right size in post after. Also I would try and shoot ever 10 secs to make the video smoother. You will travel a long way in 30 secs. The extra time collected will probably be cut down by you aking out sections of the timelapse like too much boring shots of dessert or traffic in the city etc. Its always best to have too much footage.
     
  4. jammiefreerider macrumors regular

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    Aug 23, 2006
    #4
    Definately practise with a short drive to the supermarket. Timelapse is hugely trial an error.
     
  5. needlnerdz macrumors regular

    needlnerdz

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    Jun 10, 2006
    Location:
    switzerland
    #5
    beyond locking the focus, I would highly recommend setting the whitebalance to a specific value rather than auto- otherwise you'll get some funky colored shots in the mix [= good or bad depending on your preference]. second I would go for taking double the amount of shots you plan on.. you can always filter them out later [not such a fun task] but it might help the video in the end be less jumpy and flow from scene to scene? going 60+mph on the freeway and taking a shot every 30 seconds.. thats a pretty big gap between sites?
     
  6. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

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    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #6
    I just did a time lapse yesterday and I took almost 600 photos in about three hours. I would raise the total number of photos a lot, I'd maybe go up 1000. With something like this where there will be so much change between each frame.

    As for post, I've found that 15 fps is a good speed for time lapse as objects don't jump a lot not does it race by faster than you can see but you might have to do a bit of playing around.

    Also, if you want I can post my Photoshop action for resizing images to be 1920x1080 so you don't have to do it manually.
     
  7. M-5 macrumors 65816

    M-5

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    Jan 4, 2008
    #7
    I'm not sure if you're familiar with this video of a man who did a time lapse from LA to New York (7 day trip):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A-unBigvoY

    It sounds like a fun thing to do, and you should definitely show us your results after you do it with some tips and somethings you learned through doing it perhaps so that we can all learn. Best!
     
  8. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

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    East of Shangrila
    #8
    Assuming you are driving at 60 mph on average, 30 sec is a half mile between shots. That's a big gap - seems to me that the greater the distance, the greater the likelihood of the time lapse appearing disjointed. Maybe consider reducing that by at least half, if not by a factor of 3 or 4.
     
  9. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #9
    Ok how about this,

    Shots at every 10 seconds? the drive will prob be closer to 4 hours so this works out to 1440 shots, at 30fps that will be 48 seconds, and 96 seconds at 15fps. I will try both to see how it works.

    I plan on shooting at the smallest JPG setting with the white balance locked too.

    Another thing is that I wonder if I should shoot with the exposure set for the outside of the car or the inside, I am thinking it will be a better idea to set the exposure for the outside even if this makes the inside of the car dark.

    The last thing I am worried about is the battery life, I doubt that the battery will last for 1440 shots.
     
  10. azkennedy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    The Desert...
    #10
    The link below is a time lapse video I made last year and just posted to youtube so you could check it out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQTi_7nvW3c
    I set up a processing sketch(see processing.org if your not familiar with it) to capture webcam stills every 10 seconds. After I had all the images I needed, I created another sketch to piece the images into the time lapse video. The video posted was done at 15fps, but I could have assigned it to any speed in code. Unfortunately a lot of the detail is lost in the youtube compression. Also, the jump that occurs at some point is because my screen saver kicked in during the capture process and it took a minute before I noticed.

    My suggestion would be to shoot as much as possible because you can always scale it back to every other shot in post processing. If you're interested in the exact details of how I pieced the video together feel free to send me a PM. I've always wanted to try something like this myself...
     
  11. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #11
    I think my biggest problem will be keeping the camera alive for the duration of the trip.
     
  12. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

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    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #12
    Why are you so set on 15FPS? Do 24FPS like most things are.

    Ten seconds is still way too long. There wont be any continuity between shots. It will just be random pictures of roads.

    I made this highway timelapse last year. Shots are 2 seconds apart. I experimented with 5 seconds, but it didn't look good at all. 10 seconds would be even worse.

    http://vimeo.com/5106663
     
  13. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #13
    Ok Ill do 24fps since it seems like it is a common consensus that thats the best to go with.

    I can't go any lower than 10, I don't have enough memory space for that many shots, and you have to remember ill be driving through the desert and the only landmarks are mountains that are miles out so there won't be as much of a jump.
     
  14. azkennedy macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    The Desert...
    #14
    Image size

    Unless you're certain that you have the shots framed exactly how you'd like, you might not want to use the smallest image size either. A slightly larger size might allow you to crop artifacts like the hood or side of the windshield in post processing.

    Also, you probably could just pull over at rest stops to swap out your memory card or battery with little impact on the final video.
     
  15. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #15
    Good idea, ill shoot one setting above the smallest.

    I am going to have the camera in the back seat with and shoot at 10mm, from the tests in my drive way it captures the two front seats and all the front widows.
     
  16. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #16
    I tested it out and it ran for more than 4 hours and still had charge so I should be good battery wise.

    Everything looks good.
     
  17. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    Mar 10, 2005
    #17
    Set your timeline to 24fps, but you can set your still duration to 00:00:00:02. It'll be smooth. Stop motion is often done this way. Or you could try 00:00:00:02. Just make sure your still duration is a number divisible by your timeline framerate.

    Example...

    30fps, still duration of 00:00:00:06 = yes
    30fps, still duration of 00:00:00:07 = no
     
  18. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
  19. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    Sarcasmville.
    #19
    I'm gonna plug my little no-really-timelapse youtube here (filmed on old sony minicam on LP then imported into iMovie at 1/20).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih240vA14og

    In Sydney, Australia, there's a ring of motorways that goes around the city, so we went for a drive and filmed it. It was about a 120 km long round trip. We didn't get back to where we started cos we ran out of tape.
     
  20. eng42ine macrumors 68000

    eng42ine

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    Running into a burning building...
    #20
    What was behind the mirror that you kept on adjusting?
     
  21. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #21
    I was driving, but my friend was putting up the e-tag toll thing to make sure it would detect it. He kept on putting it up because he wasn't sure of what was the actual toll collection points.
     

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