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Thread: DSLR time lapse halp thread
05-24-2010, 10:40 PM #1advres Guest
DSLR time lapse halp thread
So for you time lapse junkies... Help a brother out.
What is the best duration of exposure for different times of day, time between exposures, ISO, shutter speed, yada yada yada? I tried doing one star moving time lapse tonight with 10 second exposures, 5 seconds between exposures for 2 hours. Didn't come out great due to city lights changing and washing out the sky. I also noticed a "studder" between frames... no motion blur so it didn't look smooth.
Suggestions for night TL's? Day TL's? Complete photo jong and would like to get some of these tight. We got a storm blowing in later this week and would like to get some ill overcast cloud, storm TL's if possible.
Any info would be helpful.
05-24-2010, 11:01 PM #2
peep the forums here
Just dealing with your first try, 15 second cycles should in no way give you stuttering. I've been shooting stars at 20-25sec exposures at 5 second intervals and it's crisp. My guess would be either your computer is hanging up on raw frames or that funky light issues are creating the illusion of stutter. You know your shit though so I think you'd be able to tell the difference between stuttering frames and flicker from light. Something's definitely up though. 15 second cycles for stars is nothing.
Are you trying to get streaking or just rotational movement with stars?
I've been shooting stars at 1250 ISO and getting things pretty crisp. Just take a few singles and check your exposure for your settings.
Just a heads up on shooting dawn/dusk timelapses with changing light. It's fucking difficult. Auto settings will lead to all kinds of flicker as you change iris settings. There's stuff out there like granite bay deflicker which kind of works but not perfectly. There are novels worth of info about shooting dawn/dusk on that timescapes forum though. All kinds of ways of dealing with it. Do a search on 'holy grail'.
Just generally speaking though, I've been setting shutter speeds to whatever produces the effect I'm after (blurred motion/crips stills/proper star exposure) and then setting intervals to whatever produces the proper length clip for whatever time span I'm looking to capture. Just do some math with the end framerate you want. The way I look at it is what do I want my individual frames to look like? It IS going to be video after all.STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.
05-24-2010, 11:30 PM #3Registered User
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Contrary to what might seem logical....shooting medium quality jpegs @ f/2.8 will help eliminate the stutter. There are fewer sharp details in the medium jpegs, especially shooting wide open. This will help get rid of the flicker between frames. Also, shooting wide open, your lens iris doesn't have to close down every frame, also helping to smooth things out.
05-24-2010, 11:40 PM #4advres Guest
Computer definitely wasn't hanging up. I opened the image sequence and sent it out ProRes 4222 1920x1080. My comp will play that no problem.
I do know my stuff when it comes to post but I am a total jong behind the lens. I couldn't get a good exposure due to the ambient city lights so I think that was my major problem. I did test shots at 800 ISO, f5.6 and had the computer controlling the duration to 10 secs. It really blew out the foreground but was able to see more stars than I could see with my own eyes. I tried a high ISO but the sky looked more auburn color because I think it was pulling more of the ambient light. I think my location had a lot to do with the shitty pictures.
Again, I may have the ISO too low because when it comes to manual photography I am a newb and just trying to learn.
The "stuttering" wasn't so much a choke, but it definitely didn't look as smooth as I have seen many time lapses. I was doing some reading and they say you want more longer exposures so you don't actually get a solid still, but a little blur so the motion looks more realistic. It's like doing graphics without motion blur on. It looks solid frame by frame but doesn't look realistic when played in motion.
I was just trying to get the star rotation which I did get, it just didn't look as smooth I would have liked.
I dunno. It was my first ever try so I guess I can't get a perfect look from the getgo.
05-24-2010, 11:46 PM #5advres Guest
Would I be better off using the 50mm prime? I was just testing this out so I used my 18-55 wide open kit lens.
05-25-2010, 07:59 AM #6
Advres: get the hell away from any light source that's not constant when you're doing night stuff. You've seen the result. You get frames with varying light and that just looks poopy. What you're saying about some motion blur makes a bit of sense and blown up, the good takes I've gotten with stars aren't really showing crisp circles. But viewing on my 1080 television still looks really damn sharp.STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.
05-25-2010, 11:11 AM #7advres Guest
Thanks for the info guys
05-25-2010, 07:40 PM #8
Set the exposure you want and then do the math as for the desired length of the clip.
Set exposure however you see fit. ISO, f stop, shutter speed, ND's. Obviously always constant on those three settings, i.e. manual.
Also always want at least a second exposure, even in full day time. Helps out tremendously.
And yes a prime lens is going to give you a much better image than that kit lens. The 18-55 is a piece of shit as far as quality. It does ok for video, but anytime you can use the prime, use it.
05-27-2010, 07:38 PM #9advres Guest
When I got home I threw my tripod on the deck and just started shooting again just to see if I could fix this stutter thing (not really trying for a nice composition or anything until I get it settled) I threw a real low quality/quick and dirty one up just so you guys can see the stuttering effect I am getting. Brought it into After Effects instead of via quicktime hoping the resize quality would be better.
This was with 5 seconds interval between stills. Shutter speed was still waaayyy too fast I think. Even with the super lo-fi render you should be able to see the stutter. I have been using the EOS Utility writing directly to my laptop from the camera instead of using an intervalometer. Could this be maybe causing anything (I doubt it).
05-27-2010, 09:53 PM #10
That's retarded. You're a waste of human life and resources.
Slow your shutter speed down. What is that like 1/infinity? Remember, you're making video, not snapping the sharpest stills ever in sequence. Even this guy is getting the same problem with the faster moving volcano effluent.
[ame="http://vimeo.com/11673745?hd=1"]Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull - May 1st and 2nd, 2010 on Vimeo[/ame]
Check out the difference between how the volcano steam looks vs the foreground cloud shadows and such. The foreground looks dope while the a lot of the volcano stuff looks all stuttery. If clouds are moving pretty quickly, you can also just decrease your interval to smooth it out. The faster you 'speed up' something the more likely you're going to get that stutter if it's already fairly fast moving.
Last edited by kidwoo; 05-27-2010 at 10:03 PM.STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.
05-29-2010, 04:19 PM #11advres Guest
Problem was I realized (duh) was that I couldn't get long enough exposures due to lack of ND filters. Just ordered a set of 4 and we'll try again next week once they come in. Got them for my 50mm prime.
05-29-2010, 10:00 PM #12
I've gotten some really good cloud footage without nd filters. I'm talking 100ISO, with a small iris since depth of field isn't a concern with landscapes with me.......you may find you don't need them. But you'll definitely want them for video, no question.
I guess I got kind of lucky with the DSLR timelapse stuff from already doing a bunch of it with my video camera at 2fps. I had a better idea of what interval I wanted. With fast moving clouds, I've shot as quick as 1f/2s
06-11-2010, 03:38 PM #13
Bump on this thread.
I just picked up an intervolometer (sp?) for my D90. Heading out to Yosemite in T minus 2 weeks from today. Getting PUMPED.
Advres, how's your progression coming? Any new footage?
Kidwoo, is there a short and simple on how the smooth scrolling effect is done on that timelapse vid you posted above? The one with the cool foreground effect? I know, I'll check the link to what you posted before. Just thought I'd ask.
06-11-2010, 03:47 PM #14
The easiest way is to do a false pan 'within' the frame. A DSLR image is WAY bigger than even a 1080 video so you can move your field of view within that bigass image to give the illusion of zooming/panning etc.
It's something you do in your editing software. I can tell you how to do it with premiere or after effects.......just set key frames for postion. One at your start point and one at your end point.
The more difficult way is to get a motor drive and literally move the camera between frames.
06-11-2010, 03:58 PM #15advres Guest
The ND filters have been a life saver. For shooting bright daylight stuff at a low ISO and slow shutter speed (~1 sec) they were a must. It's also nice that I have my intervalometer now because lugging my laptop around just for timelapses was not only stupid, but a PITA.
06-11-2010, 03:59 PM #16advres Guest
06-11-2010, 04:04 PM #17
06-11-2010, 04:16 PM #18advres Guest
EDIT - let me be accurate though. Not a "motion blur' filter. the layers motion blur that you enable per layer in AE and in the motion tab in FCP.
06-11-2010, 04:30 PM #19
06-11-2010, 04:43 PM #20
I'll have to find a cheapo version of the software you mentioned above. By premiere, I'm assuming you meant adobe premiere.
06-11-2010, 05:56 PM #21advres Guest
06-11-2010, 10:35 PM #22
this is what you want lev
The price sucks ass but it's reaaaalllly convenient
06-11-2010, 11:03 PM #23advres Guest
So I threw a couple of my test lapses together. No audio, just 5 different tl's. I shot them raw but haven't had time to adjust. As you can see I got blown out a couple times in the exposure. Still getting things dialed. I love the last of the 5 if my card didn't run out too soon.
06-11-2010, 11:11 PM #24
06-11-2010, 11:21 PM #25advres Guest
And you really just blew my mind about cr2 files. I just tried it because I was changing my raw sequence into a jpeg sequence through camera raw first. I can't believe the camera raw window pops up when you import them into AE. That saves a MAJOR step and will help so much.