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Learn how to speed up time and create compelling visual effects with time-lapse photography. Join Rich Harrington in the field as he captures nature's patterns at Red Rock Canyon in southwestern Nevada, and shows how to frame your scene and choose the proper camera settings. He'll show you how to capture great images, whether you're using a DSLR camera and a motorized slider or just a smartphone you have handy. Then join him back in the studio to transform your still footage into a storytelling time-lapse video, using tools like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro.
This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We are honored to host this content in our library.
Rich: Now that the document is at the correct duration, I want to refine the framing of the shot as well as the color and the exposure. Here's how. With the layer selected, I can press Cmd+T. This will prompt me that I need to convert the video layer to a smart object, which is fine. Now that I've done so, Cmd+T will invoke free transform. On a PC that's just Ctrl+T. And you'll see that you have the ability to adjust scale. Hold down the Shift key so as you scale, it constrains proportion.
And you can now adjust and frame the shot. Pressing Return, will commit the change. If you twirl this down, you'll actually see key frames. So for example, I could set a key frame for the starting position by turning on the stopwatch for transform. Come to the end of the shot. There it is. Press Cmd+T again. And adjust the size a bit.
Making it look like it pushed in. Here we go. So, now, over time, there's two changes. As i drag through, you'll see that move. It goes from a wider shot to a tighter shot. Simulating the appearance of camera movement. Okay. Now that we've got the framing and remove correct, let's add an adjustment. I'll toss on an adjustment layer for curves and option or Alt + click on the word Auto, which allows me to fix these including a quick fix for snapping the mid-tones and restoring proper contrast.
Your classic S curve where you play with the highlights and the shadowy regions, is often a popular way to get a nice contrast and overall balance to the image. Some of the same adjustments you might have made in camera raw, can be applied here. Although hopefully the files came in how you like them. Make minimal adjustments inside a Photoshop and instead, process the original files ahead of time if you can pull it off. If you're bringing in a JPEG sequence directly, then you can go ahead and make the refinements here as necessary. The use of curves though, will come in handy or if you're happy with the overall exposure, maybe just round it out with a little additional vibrance. Remember, because this is a smart object, you can also take advantage of options like shadow highlights.
But, this can significantly extend the render time. To finish this out, I'm going to add a gradient adjustment layer, setting it to go from black to white, add a simple radial gradient with black at the edges. I can now adjust the scale. And put it into a multiply blending mode, giving me a little bit of a vignette. That darkens the edges, and pushes the eye to the center. Remember, you could adjust that scale to taste, as needed, to get the desired effect for the vignette.
I'll put that above the vibrance adjustment, and that looks good. Making sure to adjust the duration of the handles, so they properly match the footage. Holding down the Shift key will make things snap. And that's looking really good. So let's save our work. And when we come back, we'll talk about rendering.
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