Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Overcranking and time lapse, part of Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics.
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As we'll talk about later in this training series, Premiere gives us a host of options to play with the timing of our clips. But if you want to slow down footage and have it be the best possible, or if you want to really speed up footage, the best thing to do is to change the way you shoot. So we are going to talk about two of those methods here, Overcranking and Time Lapse. Overcranking is when you capture more frames than necessary. Again, you are going to need to consult your camera's manual in order to figure out how to do this, but let's see, for example, this basketball shot.
I recorded this at 24 frames per second mode, but its 60 frames per second. And what that means is that the camera puts data inside of the clip that tells Premiere here, to play that footage back at 24 frames per second, but it captured 60 frames per second. So the result is really clean, slow motion. You can see as this ball is bouncing, there is a little bit of motion blur probably because I didn't have the shutter speed fast enough, but you could still see that even though we are bouncing this very slowly, every single frame is fairly crisp and distinct.
And we wouldn't get this much cleanliness from using the time warp effect, as powerful as it is. So the cleanest way to do this is referred to as Overcranking, meaning that we capture more frames than necessary, but still in the given mode of the camera. Now you could also do the opposite, which is referred to as Undercranking. We have our camera, let's say, in 24 frames per second mode, but then we have it capture 22 frames per second and embed the information into that clip that when we take it back into our NLE, like Premiere here that it will play it at 24 frames per second, which gives it the feeling that it's actually sped up.
Rumor has it that Jackie Chan films his fight sequences at 22 frames per second. It makes it a little bit faster than it normally would, and that's totally fine to do. Actually, here in Premiere, you don't need to do that in your camera, but if you're going to do something really extensive, where you're going to capture a long period of time and you want it to go really fast, like this graffiti artist here, then you are going to want to do a Time Lapse, basically an extreme version of Undercranking. So, in this case, I think I captured a frame every second or so.
So I have my camera just setting up on a tripod and every second it would capture a frame. And that allows us, as I play this back in real-time here that this graffiti piece took many-many hours, but I was able to capture that in just a few minutes of video because of Time Lapse settings. And if you are going to do something this extreme where you have hours of video and you want to play it back quickly, you could do that with the Timewarp Effect. That's so much processing. That's so much storage on your computer. It's far better to just have your camera change those settings, so you capture it this way.
By the way, in case you are wondering, this graffiti was taken place in a legal graffiti wall, so don't think that I am trying to advocate vandalism or anything here. But basically, that's what I wanted to cover here, Overcranking and Time Lapse. To capture more frames than you need for super slow-mo, or less frames than you need for Undercranking and Time Lapse.
- Working with P2 media
- Keying compositions using garbage mattes and green screen
- Using transition effects, lens flares, and 3D reflections
- Compositing with blend modes
- Understanding spatial versus temporal compression
- Recording, mixing, normalizing, and fixing audio