Got a GoPro HD or a DSLR and want to make time lapse photography clips?
Update: You can make timelapse videos with footage as well. Check out the first part of this slow motion video tutorial.
Here's how you can do it:
Shoot tons pictures first
Use the time lase photo shooting mode (blinking camera) and take as many pictures as possible. I used about 500 pics for the 20 seconds of video that you can see below (second video).
For time lapse with stills, I use the 2 second delay between pictures (default mode in GoPro HD). This gives the most fluent video when you export it as a clip.
The longer the delay between pics - the more obvious will be the differences between an instance of a developing action and the next instance - and that could look choppy in video.
Keep the camera still (tripod), place it on motorized DIY slider or on a kitchen timer - for a great panning effect.
You may wanna crop those photos
If you don't like the squarish look of the GoPro HD pics, which naturally come in 4:3 aspect ratio, you can batch crop them to 16:9 proportions.
How to batch crop images in Microsoft Office Picture Manager
Use Microsoft Office Picture Manager - it comes with any Windows PC that has Office installed.
Follow these steps:
- Open your pics with Microsoft Office Picture Manager
- Click the left icon for Thumbnail View mode
- CTR + A to select all images
- Then click Edit Pictures symbol in the top bar
- Go to Crop in the right sidebar
- Crop your photo just as you want
- Click OK and all pics will be cropped to your desired dimensions
- Then click the Save icon and all the files will be saved under the same name but with a new aspect ratio/resolution
How do you actually find out the right resolution to match the 16:9 aspect ratio?
You use the cross multiplication (rule of three) mathematical formula to find it out. So you basically say:
- If 16 is represented by the width, namely 2592 pixels
- then 9 represents the height which we must find out; so we know that the 1944 pixels cannot be represented by 9, thus we'll replace it with X
- X = 2592*9/16 = 1458 pixels - this is the new height for our pictures
Following the same procedure as with the cropping, you can batch edit your pictures in terms of color, contrast and brightness. Basically, you do the color correction of all frames in batch and skip this process during editing.
If you're into serious photo editing, then you can use Light Room for amazing artistic effects and adjustments.
Import all photos into your video editing software
I use Magix Edit Pro Plus for all my GoPro video editing (I edit all kinds of videos with Magix actually). But no matter what software you use, make sure you have a setting that allows you to make each picture as a single frame.
This means that if you export say in 25 fps, one second of video will contain 25 still pictures.
See the picture below to learn how to adjust this setting in Magix for your timelapse project.
Timelapse photography video tutorial with GoPro & Magix
Taking stills or shooting video?
You can also make a time lapse scene by shooting video. Then you just speed up the footage in your editing program. In Magix go to Effects/Video Effects/Speed.
But it's actually better to shoot images and then render those as a video. Why?
- Higher resolution - with video, you're limited to full HD (1920 by 1080 pixels) but with photos you can go higher than that. This means more clarity and more detail captured in each image.
- Better exposure. With a DSLR you can adjust the shooting mode: exposure time, ISO, aperture, multiple focus points. That's why those night time lapse videos look so sharp and bright - coz each frame is actually a picture which had a long exposure time. Not to mention the big size and light sensitivity of the sensor in modern DSLRs which contributes to the high quality of the pictures.
More time lapse tricks for GoPro
Check out GetAwayMoments.com for a suite of tutorials related to GoPro video making.
Here are some sample vids:
DIY GoPro panning unit from kitchen timer
Plane flight time lapse
Keep shooting your outdoor adventures!
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