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How to make timelapse movie

Lately I have been doing timelapse. It is a way of making movie using series of photos capturing each movement in the scene.

So how does one make a timelapse.

To make a timelapse you need the following:

  1. A camera to capture the movements(a DSLR camera would be great in order to have a digital format you can use with a program or software)
  2. A tripod for a stable setup. Also, tripod will lock your position, remember that the purpose of a timelapse is to capture the movement of the scene not that of the camera. Your camera should be just in one and the same location
  3. A moving scene. It could be a scene where only one subject is moving or several objects are moving.
  4. Software that will allow you to combine the series of pictures into a single movie. I used Lightroom 3 and downloaded a preset that allows to make the photos come into a 30fps to 24 fps. FPS stands for FRAMES PER SECOND which means in a second you actually saw that number of photos. So for 24 fps there were 24 photos put together in one second.
  5. Additional software to integrate other film elements like sound or music and credits. I use the free Windows Live Movie Maker.
  6. A cable release to trigger shots without adding movement. Also, though optional an intervelometer will be helpful to let your camera capture a series of photos at a time interval by itself.

Taking the shots:

  1. Make sure you have the spot where the scene will capture most movements
  2. Setup your tripod in a way that camera shakes will be avoided.
  3. Set your camera to manual focus to avoid refocusing during shots.
  4. Adjust your camera accordingly to get a clear shot or whatever artistic style you want to add to your timelapse.
  5. Attached your cable release or your intervelometer.  Make sure it is attached in a way that will not add a shake to your camera every shot.
  6. If you are just using a cable release decide at what intervals will you take a shot. I usually take every 5 seconds. If you are using an intervelometer you can set it and just let it shot photos on itself.
  7. Take your pictures. The number of photos will depend on what movement you want to capture.

Making the timelapse:

  1.  Transfer your photos to your photo editing software
  2. Make necessary changes to your photos. Remember though that whatever changes on one photo it should also made to other photos. Lightroom has the sync function to effect a change in one photo for the rest
  3. Make sure that the photos are lined up in the right order. In Lightroom I combine the photos using Slideshow adding a preset that will convert it into a film in a 24-30 fps.
  4. After making the video, combined other elements like music and credits using another software.
  5. After adding other elements save the movie file in a format compatible with video players or to acceptable formats by online sites like Youtube and Vimeo.

 

Below is another sunset video I made, but this time it has some cloud movements. Also, if you noticed there is a slight glitch right before the sun really sets. I sneeze or something so as a reminder always make sure that you will not be interrupted when taking the series of photos.

Enjoy!

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