Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time Lapse

A month ago or so I saw this effect on the water early morning, it started my brain gears turning on how to capture a time lapse of it. Something I've been meaning to figure out for a while. Any way long story short I figured out a way of doing it for free with the gear I already have.

Canyon Lake Sunrise Time Lapse

Interesting to note the surface wind was east and the wind at cloudbase was west. Quite typical here.
I'm sure it is now way easier than it used to be... But in case you are interested (and I'll probably forget and look back here to remember) here's how I did it.

First obviously you need a whole bunch of pictures that are framed the exact seem way, or move at a steady rate. Then you'll likely need to re-size those pictures to the resolution of the movie format. I used my GoPro Hero 2 in the medium mode (narrower field of view @ 8MP) at an interval of 2 seconds for about an hour. You'll need some kind of tripod.

I used MIR (Multiple Image Resizer 4.0) - (open source)
 to crop and resize to 720p.

720p is 1280pixels×720pixels progressive (non-interlaced)
 - 921,600 pixels (~ 0.9 megapixels) per frame
 - Aspect Ratio of 1.77  or  16:9

Note most pictures are taken with an Aspect ratio of 1.33  or  4:3
Then use PhotoLapse 3.0 - (open source)
  to put all the reformatted pictures into a movie format.

You'll want to use a decent codec - I'm currently experimenting with DIVX
I saved  @ 30fps but 15  (frames per second is probably fine).
That will spit out a avi file which you can edit, or not.
I used AVS which is not free, but windows has MovieMaker and Apple has Imovie.

Now I am wondering what would make good subjects. Cloud life, flowers opening, plants growing.
My Old Camera has a great lens but will only automatically take a picture every minute which for a sunrise is not quick enough. Knowing the interval is key. With the practice though you'll end up with a lucky shot in the mix.

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