How to achieve time-lapse with single person static?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Steve-F, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Steve-F macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    You know the sort of shot... a person stood fairly still in a street scene with all the others rushing by.
    I'm guessing options include getting the person to stand as still ass possible, filming for xx minutes and then speeding it up; or masking the person out of the background, keeping them normal and the background speeded up; or shooting person green screen and street scene separately and then matting;
    What's the best or any other options????

    I have a DSLR to shoot this (can do as video or as time-lapse stills) and FCP to edit.

    TIA Steve
  2. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    All of the methods you listed are viable, but it really depends on what you want your shot to look like.

    Is there camera movement in your shot? Does anything/anyone interact with the main subject? Does anything/anyone cross in front of your subject? Is your subject doing anything at all, or just standing absolutely still?

    Those are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself first.

    But without knowing what your framing looks like, I would say greenscreening would be the worst of the 3 options.
  3. Steve-F thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    I did find this example on Vimeo
    So I'll probably lean towards their method of just standing still, use a stills camera, a slow shutter speed and probably shoot about 1 frame per second. This would mean I could do a zoom effect in FCP as the frame size would be larger than final sequence.
    Any other ideas appreciated.

  4. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    i would use that method as well for a static subject, but i don't know if the vimeo project used stills or just speed up 24/30 fps footage, hard to tell on a non-HD stream.

    the extra pixels are a big deal as you noted and give a lot of flexibility for fake camera moves in post. The biggest factor in my mind would be the shutter speed as it's optically locking in a look in terms of motion blur, but a few tests should set you right. I would also check out burst mode (assuming a 7d or similar) if you plan on playing with framerate.

    If you use a remote timer you can get a precise interval without touching the camera and even make changes to your focal plane in between shots.
  5. eatmydiction macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2013
    Need help guys, thanks

    Hey, I have a similar problem. I have to create a music video and came up with a cool idea of having m character walk down a dark road while people, cars and clouds and all time lapsed and sped up. The character is in normal speed and is walking so the camera will move with the person.

    Any ideas to how this could be done?

  6. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Some kind of green screen effect? Have the time-lapse video as the back ground and film the person walking through the green screen normally. May not look natural though.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Rotoscoping is often used in addition to green screen.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    One option is to have your actor move/breathe/blink/etc., in slow motion while everyone else moves at normal speed. When you speed up the footage in your NLE everything else will appear fast and your actor will appear to be at normal speed.
  9. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I second this recommendation. It will probably yield the best results without having to deal with issues of keying, color matching, etc.

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