Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Assembling a time-lapse sequence with QuickTime Pro, part of Creating Time-Lapse Movies with Lightroom and LRTimelapse.
- If you're looking for an affordable way to export, you can do that with QuickTime Pro. QuickTime 10 or X is installed on Macs natively and this doesn't have the same Pro functionality, so be sure to visit Apple's website and find a download for QuickTime 7 and preferably a Pro license. If you're on Windows Platform, this is pretty straightforward to do and will give you the functionality you desire. Make sure you launch QuickTime 7. Remember, this is the older version of the application, before it went to the OS X version.
This is compatible with OS X and if you launch it, it's a pretty straightforward application. You'll need to make sure that you actually register it so that you have access to the Pro features, which include exporting. Alright, once it's properly launched and registered, you can go ahead and choose "File," "Open Image Sequence." Now, just navigate to an image sequence. Select the first image and click "Open." You'll now need to choose a frame rate. There's a pop-up menu, where you'll find all of the standard frame rates available as well as some of the multimedia frame rates.
You can also choose extremely slow frame rates if creating a slide show or something intended for low quality web delivery. Once you've selected a frame rate that matches your video needs, click "OK" and it will open the image sequence up. This could take a bit of time for a very large image sequence. To see everything, since the images are much larger, choose "View," "Fit to Screen." You'll notice that the aspect ratio is likely not 16 x 9. If you want to manually crop the image, you could have done this back inside of Lightroom before you exported or you can let QuickTime take care of it when you choose "Export." Alright, let's start that export process.
Choose "File," "Export." You now need to choose a location and give the file a name. From the pop-up list, you'll find different presets for file formats, as well as targeting things, like iPhone or Apple TV. I recommend that you choose the QuickTime movie format for the most control and then click the "Options" button. Here, you can assign the codec by clicking "Settings." Remember, the codec is the compressor/decompressor or the type of compression used to minimize the file size.
Simply choose your compression type and you'll find different codecs available. Remember, Apple ProRes is an option available for Mac computers, but you won't find this available on the Windows side. You can also choose to make an AVI file over in Windows. Depending upon your operating system, you'll find different codecs available and there are many other commercial ones. For example, if you have the Adobe software installed, the latest version of Creative Cloud, you might actually find the ability to use the CineForm codec, which is a good, high quality compressor that does a good job of balancing file size with image quality.
Okay, from the frame rate, I recommend you choose either a preset or select "Custom" and enter the frame rate yourself. Some of the most common frame rates are going to be 23.976, 24 for cinematic, 25 for over in PAL countries, or 29.97 for NTSC. Leave everything else alone for the gamma correction because you don't really want to make any adjustments to the image. That should've happened over in Lightroom. Now, you can click "OK.' The Filter button allows you to apply different filters to the output.
Again, I recommend you avoid these and instead make any necessary adjustments inside of Lightroom. Now, click the "Size" button and assign a size for the frame. You'll note that we can downscale to both HD sizes. Here, 720 and 1080. Additionally, you can decide how you want to get to this 16 x 9 aspect ratio. You can stretch the image, which probably isn't ideal. You can also Letterbox it, which will put black bars on either the top or the bottom, depending upon the aspect ratio of the photo.
However, I generally prefer to use the Crop option. This will give us a full screen image and crop away from the sides or the top to create a 16 x 9 shape. Alright, when ready, click the "OK" button. Be sure to read everything over one more time and look over what the settings are. When set, click "OK" to store those settings. And when you're ready, click the "Save" button to write the file. This will take a bit of time as it saves the file out. Remember, it's writing the file as well as resizing and re-compressing the frames to make a new movie.
When it's all done, you'll have a file that's ready to use in other editing platforms or for direct distribution.
- The benefits and challenges of using raw files in time-lapses
- Organizing and renaming images
- Processing in Lightroom
- Using LRTimelapse for advanced workflows
- Reducing flicker
- Assembling movies
- Integrating other Adobe applications