Shooting a Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video

Color grading daytime footage


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Shooting a Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video

with Richard Harrington

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Video: Color grading daytime footage

You've already learned the essentials of editing a shot in After Effects, so I'm going to skip a few steps and just walk you through the parts that are different. If you didn't watch the movie on bringing in the files for the nighttime time lapse, be sure to check that out. And that'll give you a pretty good idea of the process. I've already imported a couple a different daytime sequences. This first one's pretty short. And it covers going through the mountains. There's a lot of shadows here. And it worked pretty well.
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Shooting a Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video | Course Tutorial
1h 33m Intermediate Mar 28, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Hyperlapse = time lapse + camera movement. You can get the effect by moving your tripod manually or along a track, but shooting hyperlapse from a moving vehicle is the one guaranteed way to get really dramatic time-lapse footage. And it doesn't take a lot of gear. In this course, Rich Harrington introduces the equipment you need and the techniques you should use to capture great hyperlapse sequences, as he travels around the Nevada desert during the day and captures the bright lights/big city of Vegas at night. When he returns to the studio, he shares his post-processing tips in Adobe Camera Raw, Premiere Pro, and After Effects.

This course was created and produced by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.

Topics include:
  • Choosing the right camera for hyperlapse video
  • Mounting your camera
  • Stabilizing shots
  • Programming the camera
  • Capturing shots
  • Post-processing, assembling, and color grading footage
Subjects:
Photography Video
Author:
Richard Harrington

Color grading daytime footage

You've already learned the essentials of editing a shot in After Effects, so I'm going to skip a few steps and just walk you through the parts that are different. If you didn't watch the movie on bringing in the files for the nighttime time lapse, be sure to check that out. And that'll give you a pretty good idea of the process. I've already imported a couple a different daytime sequences. This first one's pretty short. And it covers going through the mountains. There's a lot of shadows here. And it worked pretty well. You get a good idea here of what's happening.

Shot seems a bit reddish to me, and a little hot. But that'll be easy to fix with some post production. There it is, playing back at eight frames a second. Alright, we'll preview that at 24. Here's the next one, the much longer shot we just processed, and did a lot of options on. And this one holds up a bit better. I like the color grading on this one. It seems pretty solid, so we're going to work with this one first. But I did bring in a few more shots. This is something from later in the day. It's a bit cool right now.

Seems a little bluish, but that'll be easy to fix. Nice constant motion though. Feels good as we drive towards that mountain range. And then, one more option here. A very small sequence that we shot once we arrived at our location at the national park. One of the things I've noticed with hyperlapse is that, on particularly curvy roads, you can almost get a feeling of nausea because it moves so quickly, so I think that I need to experiment with some different frame rates, but still looks pretty cool. Let's start with shot two. We'll build this one up from the bottom up.

In this case, there are several autos coming into play. Auto is often useful when working with time lapse source material. Now, I've not applied a deflicker plug into this, instead, we're going to use just the built in effects as a trial. Remember, you can make a new adjustment layer by choosing layer, new, adjustment layer. Press the return or enter key and you can actually name it. Now, I've done that, and the first effect I applied was an auto levels effect. Everything looks pretty good here. I will let it click the whites just a little bit since this is a daytime shot.

And what I need to do is turn on temporal smoothing for one second. I then follow that up with auto color. And auto color just attempts to fix the color in a scene. It looks for the reds, and blues, and greens.It's tries to even out the histogram. Now aftereffects does not offer a built in histogram panel. So you just sort of have to learn to trust your eyes here. Or if you can see it, you can switch to the individual channels to look at them and get a good idea of what's happening.

With the temporal smoothing, it seems to work pretty well. Between the auto color and the auto levels, it's done a decent job of smoothing out the issues. We have less variety here in the color. I see a relative consistency here. And I feel that this is working pretty well. Note that the blacks and whites are clean. And we've got good even exposure. While I do prefer the use of granite-based deflicker plug in or other options from other vendors, I find that sometimes the auto-commands can work pretty well. An auto-level combined with an auto-color, with just a little bit of temporal smoothing, doesn't do a bad job at fixing things.

The next option here is a lot of fun. It's a film look. And here's a quick way to do it. On the adjustment level, you can apply a filter. I generally use the Fast Blur filter. Remember, you could just choose Effect, Blur, Fast Blur. Or use the Effects and Presets window to search for it. Once that filter's applied, crank it up to a reasonable value, and repeat the edge pixel so you don't get any gaps at the edges. When you place that into a mode like Soft Light or Overlay, you get a nice richening of the blacks and the whites.

This is a really simple way to do a film look, and you see that the colors in the mountain are beautifully coming through, and the sky takes on a nicer gradation. I do find that this is just a tad strong, though, so by pressing t for opacity, I can lower that down to 50% to split the difference on the effect That feels pretty good. And I'm always a big fan of the power window. Remember, layer new, solid. Sample a color from your darker shadows and click okay. Then double click on the ellipse here to add a mask.

Once that's added, you can invert it, feather it, and put the whole thing into multiply mode. That creates a nice darkening at the edge. Now in this case, it's a bit strong, since it's a daytime shot, so I'll set that to 40%. And that seems a bit more photorealistic. Alright. Kill that one and just rename this vignette. Remember, press the return key and, all in all, that feels pretty good. From the bottom up, auto levels with temporal smoothing.

That gets you a consistent exposure level, followed by auto color to restore proper black whites and color balance. And then a film look, which is simply a fast blur filter on an adjustment layer. Changing the blend mode to soft light or overlay, one of the ones that really gently combines, and then, your standard vignette which we've shown you how to make a few times now. Alright. That looks great. Let's preview that out and evaluate how the shot turned out.

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