Creating another time lapse video

Time lapse videos intrigues me and after I created my first one earlier this year I kept thinking about another one, but this time with a much better quality. I didn't want to spend any money, but then I realized that I have gotten a DSLR in the mean time.

You can see the result below or on on YouTube and Vimeo. Make sure to watch it full screen in HD, when you have a good eyesight, you can see the church clock moving.



For those interested, this is how I did it and what learned during the process.

  1. I used a Canon 60D DSLR in combination with the Canon EOS Utility. The EOS Utility allows you to control your Canon camera from a computer (Mac in my situation) and it can automatically create a sequence of shots and store the images directly on your computer.
  2. Put the camera in a sturdy position and put everything on manual. This included timing, exposure and white balance, but also auto focus and image stabilization. Especially the last one took me a while to figure out. When you leave auto focus and image stabilization on you won't get perfectly aligned images and the end result is a shaky video.
  3. I aimed to create full HD video with a 1920*1080 resolution. The camera takes by default pictures with a much higher resolution, but that is not necessary. I reduced the resolution of the pictures to 1920*1280 pixels, otherwise the amount of data too process quickly gets very high.
  4. Now I took a little over a 1000 picture with a eight second interval, a time span of a little more that two hours.
  5. Since the images are slightly higher than the required HD resolution I used a little tool to bulk crop the images at the right height of 1080 pixels. This makes the processing into a movie a lot easier, because no resizing or realigning is necessary.
  6. I used Final Cut Express to make the movie, just start a new project, import the pictures and you are done. Add some titles and music and all set. Of course you can also your own favorite movie editing tool.

The next challenge is to create movement. I would like to shoot pictures at a higher resolution and then slowly move the video viewport during the movie, to create a sense of movement. Well I haven't really figured out yet how to do that. Next time.

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