Creating Time-Lapse Video
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating Time-Lapse Video

with Richard Harrington

Video: Advanced recovery with Adobe Camera Raw

Rich: In this case, I didn't have the F stop open too wide. But I had a very short shutter speed, because I'd been previously shooting video on the camera. And the ISO was a bit high. Everybody screws up. But fortunately, Raw is a bit of a safety net. And let's see how good it is. We'll select all these images and choose to open them in Camera Raw. That's a lot of blown out areas. And in fact, look at how the histogram is slammed. Well, I'll click Auto, and a bit has been recovered.
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  1. 3m 55s
    1. Welcome
      34s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 11s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 10s
  2. 4m 20s
    1. The end product
      1m 9s
    2. Why shoot with a still camera
      2m 0s
    3. What you're shooting for: Objectives
      1m 11s
  3. 7m 7s
    1. Frame size for delivery of time lapse
      1m 43s
    2. Frame size for acquisition of time lapse
      1m 45s
    3. Delivery frame rate of time lapse
      1m 36s
    4. Postprocessing choices for time-lapse photography
      2m 3s
  4. 17m 6s
    1. A solid tripod for time-lapse shooting
      4m 43s
    2. Using an internal intervalometer
      2m 15s
    3. Using an external intervalometer
      4m 36s
    4. Weather gear
      1m 6s
    5. Extending the power of the camera
      1m 28s
    6. Using a spare camera body
      50s
    7. Memory card selection
      2m 8s
  5. 5m 54s
    1. Shooting time lapse as JPEG files
      2m 15s
    2. Shooting time lapse as raw files
      2m 6s
    3. Shooting time lapse as movie files
      1m 33s
  6. 7m 34s
    1. Choosing a frame rate for time-lapse photography
      46s
    2. How long should you shoot?
      1m 10s
    3. Tracking the sun's position
      2m 50s
    4. Working the scene
      2m 48s
  7. 3m 4s
    1. Choosing the right aperture for time-lapse photography
      1m 6s
    2. Choosing the shutter speed for time-lapse photography
      50s
    3. Choosing the ISO for time-lapse photography
      1m 8s
  8. 10m 15s
    1. What does a slider add to the shot?
      2m 37s
    2. Building a slider
      3m 43s
    3. Basic moves on a slider
      3m 27s
    4. Keith's feature
      28s
  9. 8m 35s
    1. Stabilizing the phone
      2m 52s
    2. Setting up the shot with Lapse It
      1m 59s
    3. Using Lapse It
      1m 26s
    4. Using iStopMotion for iPad
      2m 18s
  10. 12m 8s
    1. Using a card wallet
      3m 9s
    2. Choosing a working drive
      3m 18s
    3. Transferring data
      5m 41s
  11. 8m 55s
    1. Using stacks in Adobe Bridge
      2m 29s
    2. Removing unwanted frames
      3m 2s
    3. Renaming and renumbering image sequences
      3m 24s
  12. 51m 54s
    1. Basic exposure with Adobe Camera Raw
      3m 30s
    2. Selective recovery with Adobe Camera Raw
      6m 25s
    3. Advanced recovery with Adobe Camera Raw
      5m 50s
    4. Reducing noise with Adobe Camera Raw
      2m 37s
    5. Removing spots with Adobe Camera Raw
      5m 41s
    6. Compensating for lens distortion
      5m 16s
    7. Stylizing the image with Adobe Camera Raw
      8m 49s
    8. Exporting the images to sequential files
      3m 42s
    9. Alternative workflow with Lightroom: Part one
      5m 36s
    10. Alternative workflow with Lightroom: Part two
      4m 28s
  13. 11m 16s
    1. Importing the image sequence
      2m 5s
    2. Refining the duration and frame rate
      2m 39s
    3. Adjusting the time-lapse sequence
      3m 35s
    4. Exporting the time-lapse sequence
      2m 57s
  14. 30m 22s
    1. Importing the image sequence
      1m 31s
    2. Refining the duration and frame rate
      3m 42s
    3. Frame blending
      3m 7s
    4. Adjusting the time-lapse sequence
      3m 33s
    5. Camera moves
      3m 54s
    6. Using flicker
      4m 59s
    7. Working with raw time-lapse sequences
      3m 35s
    8. Creating variable-speed effects
      3m 10s
    9. Exporting the time-lapse sequence
      2m 51s
  15. 11m 40s
    1. Importing the image sequence
      2m 23s
    2. Refining the duration and frame rate
      3m 39s
    3. Adjusting the time-lapse sequence
      2m 19s
    4. Exporting the time-lapse sequence
      3m 19s
  16. 12m 34s
    1. Importing the image sequence
      3m 17s
    2. Refining the duration and frame rate
      1m 53s
    3. Adjusting the time-lapse sequence
      4m 48s
    4. Exporting the time-lapse sequence
      2m 36s
  17. 1m 4s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Time-Lapse Video
3h 27m Appropriate for all Aug 14, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is time-lapse photography?
  • Why shoot with a still camera?
  • Choosing a frame size and frame rate
  • Using an internal or external intervalometer
  • Selecting a memory card
  • Tracking the sun's position
  • Deciding how long to shoot
  • Using a slider
  • Shooting time lapse on a smartphone or tablet
  • Removing noise and spots with Adobe Camera Raw
  • Importing the image sequence
  • Refining the duration and frame rate
  • Blending frames
  • Creating variable speed effects
  • Exporting your sequence
Subjects:
Photography Video
Software:
After Effects Final Cut Pro Photoshop Premiere Pro Lightroom
Author:
Richard Harrington

Advanced recovery with Adobe Camera Raw

Rich: In this case, I didn't have the F stop open too wide. But I had a very short shutter speed, because I'd been previously shooting video on the camera. And the ISO was a bit high. Everybody screws up. But fortunately, Raw is a bit of a safety net. And let's see how good it is. We'll select all these images and choose to open them in Camera Raw. That's a lot of blown out areas. And in fact, look at how the histogram is slammed. Well, I'll click Auto, and a bit has been recovered.

We can now pull down the highlights even more. That's looking pretty good. Let's take the exposure down a bit more, and lift the shadowy regions a little bit. At this point some Clarity will help. And I need to find the balance of letting some of those whites clip. Before, let's turn off the preview, after. So, quite a bit of detail there. Because I've changed that so much, I need to adjust the overall Saturation and Vibrance to dial it in correctly.

And I'll take advantage of a Curves Adjustment. The Curves Adjustment can be useful to put a little bit of contrast into different areas. So, for example, I can pull down the highlights a bit more while leaving the shadows less affected. The Curve Adjustment here was useful, because it let me tone down the exposure in the highlight region while leaving the shadowy areas mostly untouched. You can finesse that by dragging. And remember, the control points really give you flexibility to go after an adjust.

Just be gentle as you make those refinements. At this point, I'll do a little noise reduction. And that's looking dramatically better. I could play with how the blacks and the whites clip, and that can be useful to refinement. The before and the after state. I'll select all and click Synchronize, taking all those settings across the image.

And what you see is a shot that went from totally unusable to one that's okay. I certainly wouldn't call this the best shot of the day, but the point is, is with Adobe Camera Raw, you can take advantage of some pretty big fixes. Always and I mean always, if it is up to you, shoot Raw when doing time lapse. Remember, as we discussed in the field, you might need a few more cards, you might have to back up a bit more often, but the technical advantages that you receive are immense. As you saw here, it's a lot easier to tackle exposure problems with a Raw image.

For comparison, let's take a look at some JPEG files. What I have here is a series of JPEG files shot with a GoPro. Now, these files show motion, and this is from an unmanned time lapse camera. Well, there's a couple things wrong with the shot. Most obviously is the condensation caused by the extremely cold weather on the left edge of the frame, and that's okay. We'll crop around that and put a little bit of a vignette to hide it. However, the exposure here is not great.

Look how everything is sort of drifting to the left. I'll do an auto adjustment to pull that up a bit. And it's looking better, if not a bit overexposed. I'll recover some of the highlights to bring the cloud detail back in, and that's helping. But balance it out by lifting the shadows down below. Now, at this point, I have spread the highlights and the shadow sliders to the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. And while it's helped, we have safely reached the limit of what can be done with the JPEG file, at least with the first pass of processing.

We can always add an additional shadow highlights filter once we leave Camera Raw. But a little bit of clarity will go a long way to bring out some of that detail. And of course, let's fill in the color. That's looking better. Before, after. Let's crop. I'll choose a 9 to 16 aspect ratio, and we'll adjust that a bit. Here we go. That feels pretty good.

And I will commit that. And now, under the Effects tab, a little post crop vignette too guide the eye towards the middle. Let's adjust the Feather. So, from there to there, and the vignette is helping hide things. Alright, this is where we started, this is where we took it. For a GoPro shot, I'm pretty happy. This again, was an unmanned camera that only cost a couple hundred bucks, that I was able to tack up and get an additional angle of my scene.

However, it's not as good as a DSLR. Let me synchronize that, and I'll tell it to synchronize everything including the Crop. There we go. And now across the board, those images are updated. There we go. While I'm here, let me show you a little trick. Inside Adobe Bridge, one thing you could do is press the Spacebar to go full screen. You can now use the down arrow to cycle through your frames and get a low quality real time preview of what your time lapse shot looks like.

There are currently no FAQs about Creating Time-Lapse Video.

 
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