Shooting a Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video
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Shooting a Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video

with Richard Harrington

Video: Evaluating the shot

Now that the rendering is complete, I want to take a look at Now, I really like this here.

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Shooting a Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video | Course Tutorial
1h 33m Intermediate Mar 28, 2014

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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
Photography Video
Richard Harrington

Evaluating the shot

Now that the rendering is complete, I want to take a look at the clip full screen and really evaluate it for playback and quality. In Premiere with the Program Monitor selected, you could press Ctrl+tilde or the accent grave key. This is the key next to the number one on the U.S. keyboard. If you're using an international keyboard, just check your keyboard shortcuts and look for Maximize or restore active frame, and you'll see the shortcut key specified there. When you have the control key, it will maximize that window and hide the player controls.

Alright, up arrow takes me to the beginning, and lets take a look at the first part of the clip. This was when we were using shallower depth of field. And a shorter f-stop. This leads to less streaking, but less of the shot is in focus. Although, overall, it feels pretty good. There is a lot of light on the Vegas strip and I think we've got a good balance here, of things being in focus. With that said, there's not a great depth of field here. So, it's a good thing it's fast motion, because a lot of the image isn't quite sharp.

You see that basically the mid-field is sharp. >> BLANK_AUDIO >> But feels pretty good. I like this at eight frames a second. It's enough to absorb what's there and really see what's happening. Alright, now we're at a longer shutter speed. You can see that we're getting more streaks in the cars, the stripes on the road. And this feels much faster. Even though it's the same frame rate, it feels like we're flying through the scene. We're driving very quickly.

And as we're going through things like highways, we start to get streaks. You'll also notice that the longer exposure time leads to the starburst effect on some of the lights. So, I must say, I like both instances. They take on a very different feel. Even though we're shooting with similar intervals. Now, I really like this here. The GPS worked quite well. Even though we were varying our speed in the car, it feels like we're moving at a constant speed down the highway. You see those brake lights occasionally go off, we're obviously slowing down for the off ramp, there.

But nothing seems to change. That's the benefit of shooting with the gps. We have a constant sense of perpetual motion. Alright, little dark here, so I probably need to do redevelop this here. We changed the location. Now we're back into the light, and that's okay. Normally, you won't have such huge variances in the light, but if you need to, you can selectively develop. A little tough here on some of the longer exposures. You'll notice that things tend to blow out a bit. But that's okay. All in all, this feels pretty good. We've gone to a shorter shutter speed here, so things are a bit more crisp.

And we're back to the beginning. Alright. All in all, I'm pretty happy with that. For me, I think I preferred the more hyperkinetic version that had longer streaks. But this first version here would work very well if we were taking a more documentary approach. If we wanted to be able to make things out as we drove, I would use the shorter shutter speed and it leaves things much more recognizable. On the other hand, if I wanted things feel more energetic or more dream like, the longer shutter here really works well, and I'm very pleased with the performance here on the open road.

The GPS handled it quite nicely. We're maintaining a constant sense of speed and motion, and it performed very well. I don't see much shake, and this feels like a good overall production. For the most part, we're focusing on hyper lapses where the shot was triggered at a set distance. As we drove in the vehicle, every time we drove a certain threshold of a distance, the GPS in our device, in this case, a phone, would trigger a shot in the vehicle. This was particularly useful, and you can really see the benefits here in this night time footage.

We have what essentially looks like constant speed, but the reality as we were driving around, and if you've ever driven the Las Vegas strip, you'll recognize that it is the epitome of stop and go traffic. We were constantly hitting red lights. Dealing with speed changes. Getting our speed up, and then immediately having to slam on brakes. In the hyperlapse where we used the gps to trigger, this creates a very smooth result. Because the shot off at a certain distance, everything works out just fine. On the other hand, by comparison, the GoPro is shooting at a set interval for time.

And because our speed appeared to change, the time lapse itself takes on a very start and stop, jerky type animation. So as we're moving through this, what happens is, it just doesn't feel fluid. Now, the use of GoPro is a fun way to shoot a time-lapse and very practical. It just was not the right solution for our vehicles. But, we did shoot it as a point, counterpoint so you could see the difference between the two approaches. Alright, this particular shot worked well. I've got one more nighttime shot that's much more experimental.

We'll take a quick look at that and then we'll explore a longer, open road sequence and see how this did during the daytime.

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