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Creating Time-Lapse Video
Illustration by John Hersey

Building a slider


From:

Creating Time-Lapse Video

with Richard Harrington

Video: Building a slider

Rich: As we established, this is about a half hour to set up. So obviously, you don't want to watch us do it in real time. But Kieth, there are several major components here. And just explaining the process, and we'll show folks what's involved. Keith: Well the first thing you want to do is, you want to establish your shot. Now when you're actually using the Kessler Slider, or using any kind of time-lapse, you really want a, a foreground subject, to move off of. This is very important. It's not just like you're taking a, a regular background shot. You really want something to move off of. So here, we chose this cactus, and then we're going to use the background -- the, the mountains as our background subject. Rich: I see we have two tripods here, so.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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 7s
    1. A solid tripod for time-lapse shooting
      4m 43s
    2. Using an internal intervalometer
      2m 15s
    3. Using an external intervalometer
      4m 37s
    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 55s
    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 34s
  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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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 Shooting Video DSLR Video
Software:
After Effects Final Cut Pro Photoshop Premiere Pro Lightroom
Author:
Richard Harrington

Building a slider

Rich: As we established, this is about a half hour to set up. So obviously, you don't want to watch us do it in real time. But Kieth, there are several major components here. And just explaining the process, and we'll show folks what's involved. Keith: Well the first thing you want to do is, you want to establish your shot. Now when you're actually using the Kessler Slider, or using any kind of time-lapse, you really want a, a foreground subject, to move off of. This is very important. It's not just like you're taking a, a regular background shot. You really want something to move off of. So here, we chose this cactus, and then we're going to use the background -- the, the mountains as our background subject. Rich: I see we have two tripods here, so.

Keith: Mm-hm. Rich: So, obviously, you don't want to just set this on the ground. We need a, a nice stable platform. Keith: Mm-hm. Rich: But it doesn't look like your tripods are particularly level, I ge, guess it's okay in this case to have dramatic angles, right? Keith: I, we like to, to go up a little bit. You can create much more depth in the image. Rich: Okay so you tend to go at an angle to the shot so that it could be a sideways angle, but by having that tilt. Keith: Uh-huh. Rich: It adds more drama, right? Keith: Oh, absolutely and every, every subject's different. So, you can really do whatever you feel like doing. Rich: Okay, so we've got that placed and I see that you've got, sort of a gear, pulley type system, motorized.

What's this piece up here, at the top? Keith: this piece right here? Rich: Yeah. Keith: This piece is a (INAUDIBLE) head. usually, you can just go up and down with the slider and put the bullhead on top of that. But with the pan and tilt head it allows us while we're traveling up and down to go left, right, and tilt upward and out. Rich: So you basically have two axis of motion. So you're going to have a sliding movement, but then you could add even more drama with the camera sweeping through the scene. Keith: Yeah, so imagine you're at night and shooting at Joshua Tree. Instead of just going straight across it, you could actually, now, you can rotate almost entirely around it. Or create the illusion of rotating entirely around the subject. Rich: That's very very cool.

So we've got all these pieces together. I see on top of the camera, looks like a control unit. Lots of wires and cables, and you play Donkey Kong with this, right? Keith: Pretty much, yeah. Rich: What is this giant box that we have here? Keith: Well these are the two Oracle controllers. One of the Oracle controllers actually moves the speed of the, the slider unit itself. And then the other one controls the pan and tilt head itself. Rich: So, so do you need two people to operate this? Keith: usually, yeah, I do. Rich: Okay, I guess it's kind of hard to sit there with two controllers. (LAUGH) Left, I meant right. Keith: Well, one person can operate it fairly easily, yeah.

Rich: Okay, so we have a joystick-type unit, it looks a lot like a traditional video game joystick, with a few extra buttons. But, are you manually operating this live, or do you have to program it? Keith: Well, you actually program. What you do is you pick your start point. You set your composition and you pick your end point and set your composition. Then you actually use this to program the in between. You program the speed, all that stuff. Rich: Okay, so, in other words as it's moving since this is not a moving video shot. It's going to go ahead and it's going to do subtle movements, right? It has to stop along the way? Keith: Yeah, we actually do shoot move shoot.

So let's say it actually shoots about 500 photographs. And it'll go about a millimeter every photograph. Rich: Wow. That's a, that's a high precision motor there. That's probably one of the main factors of the cost. Now, what is the second unit controlling? Keith: The second unit controls the pan and tilt access for the, the pan and tilt head. Rich: And are there any ways to actually control the camera? Can you do wrapping in the camera? Or, can you make any adjustments while it's recording? Keith: Well, actually if you use aperture priority, that way you can get the Holy Grail shot where the sun actually rises through a time-lapse. Those are extremely difficult to get but, that's the only real way. Rich: Alright.

Well, very very cool. We've got all these pieces set up. And I think what people are going to want to see next is how you actually program the move. So, I'm going to step out of the way. And let's get you in position, and just walk people through the process of key framing this. And this sounds like it's a lot like animation. Maybe, like, After Effects, where you set a start and end position. Keith: Mm-hm. Rich: All right, cool. Let me get out of the way and let Keith do his thing.

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