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What can make a time-lapse video even more dramatic? Camera moves. By moving the camera between each exposure, you can include an additional element of dynamism to a time-lapse video.
In this course, author Rich Harrington is joined by time-lapse video expert Keith Kiska. Together, they explore the hardware, software, and creative decisions involved in creating moving time lapses, while on location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rich and Keith detail the types of motion that you can add to a time-lapse video, from basic movement of the camera to left-to-right, sliding, and two- or three-axis movements with high-end, motorized rigs. They also demonstrate hardware add-ons in a variety of price ranges, and show the post-production techniques that yield the highest quality.
Interested in more time-lapse tutorials? Check out more here.
When dealing with a multi axis system, we're doing much more than the standard single access time lapse. We're adding multiple axis of motion along a track or a pan tilt head to give that extra dynamic movement to your time lapse or scene. Some of the main things that we look for when we're actually setting up a multi axis time lapse shot, is you set your start point and you set your end point. And you have to figure out everything that's happening in between. In a standard motion time lapse usually you have one axis of motion, so things can get confusing, but not too confusing.
Now we're dealing with multiple axis of motion and everything actually happens in between. So we really have to take into consideration, everything that's going to happen throughout the entire time-lapse. The first thing you have to think about when having multiple access time-lapse is designing your shot. It's much different than the standard time-lapse. You really have to take into consideration all the movement that's going to happen with your time-lapse system. How many axes are you actually going to be doing? Are you going to be going just left to right, and having one axis in movement? Or are you going to be adding in a couple more, which adds much more complexity, but definitely pays off.
Some of the main things I look for when designing my multi-access time life shot, is something is the foreground. Something to show perspective when we're moving across a subject. When adding something in your foreground, it adds that extra dimension. It gives you perspective with your timeline shot. It gives the viewer a frame of reference so that we can really tell how much motion is actually happening. For example, if you're in the middle of the desert and you have this wonderful rock on the ground, sometimes, if I didn't have multiple axis of movement, I wouldn't shoot that rock, but since I do, I'm definitely going to want to get very close to that rock.
And actually move along, across it, so that I can see the movement in separation from the rock to the background subject, adding much more dynamic movement to my scene. A foreground subject can make any shape. Sometimes a rock, sometimes a tree, anything that's close enough to you that you can move along and across to show that perspective. Sometimes a tree works fantastically. You might not really notice it in the corner of your scene. And it definitely won't be that much of an eyesore. But it'll add just enough of that frame of reference so that you can really show off the fact that you're adding multiple axes of movement.
Another thing to consider when designing your multi access shot is what exactly happens in the beginning. So you want to set you your shot and take into consideration all the different variables that are going to change throughout the entire scene. Because not only is your scene going to change but your camera position and movements are going to change also. You can even use your multiple access system to follow the light. Track the sun as it's moving across the sky, track the clouds as they flow across, and even track all different types of things like traffic, or anything else that catches your eye. Some of the most creative ways to use a slider is to actually do a reveal.
Taking advantage of 3 or 4 feet, you can reveal an entire scene, like the one behind me. You can use the side of this building right here and start on the building. And then slowly reveal the entire city coming alive right before you. A reveal can really make a time lapse come to life. So make sure to remember some key points when you're doing a reveal. That your track is long enough to actually accomplish it. Also that your foreground subject is interesting enough to actually justify a reveal. And then don't forget to make sure both your foreground and your background subject are equally exposed.
Once you add multiple axis to your time lapses, you'll be so happy with the results that you will never look back.
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