Time for Time Lapse

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

The idea: I had to go to Umeda this day for work, but it would only be for about an hour. It felt like such a waste to go there and just come back home. I decided to bring my gear with me and do a little time lapse of the area. Many of my friends who live in Osaka will instantly recognize all these spots. Originally I wanted to get more train shots at both JR Osaka Station and Hankyu Umeda Station but found myself getting lost in some of the other areas of Umeda. This is an ‘incomplete’ project as I would like to add far more to it.

The Gear: Canon 1Dm4, Canon 17-40 4L lens, a cheap (light weight) tripod and the Canon TC80N3 Timer Remote Control.

The Settings: In manual at f4, I first focused the lens with auto-focus on and then set the focus to manual (So that it would try and focus while doing the time lapse), I set the white balance to what I liked (Avoid Auto-White balance as this can change the colors with clouds moving overhead and the sun going up or down). I took a couple of test shots to make sure it was composed properly. Before starting the time lapse I turned off the preview picture option so as to save on battery power. I set the controller to take a picture every 2 seconds. I shot in jpeg because I was really just looking to have a bit of fun. I would shoot RAW but I only had 1 of my CF card with me and no spare batteries.

I decided to take about 700-800 jpegs per location. I took out my ipod and listened to music while the camera snapped away. The most boring part of the job. I would then move the camera and repeat all the above steps. Once I ran out of power (The camera and myself) I packed it all up and went home.

The Edit: I imported all my jpeg files into Lightroom and did a batch color correction on the images in their respective sequences. Doing this is easy in Lightroom: Simply make the necessary changes to your first image in the sequence, then select all your images with the color corrected image highlighted and hit the sync button in the lower right-hand corner of Lightroom. This should then apply all the changes made from your first image to all the other images. Then export them to a new folder.

Import the images in After Effects to create the ‘almost’ equivalent 4K project. From here you can re-size the sequence to fit your 1080p or 720p timeline. Or you can do some fancy zooms and pans as I did with this video without losing any quality/detail. The zooms and pans are done using key frames. I set a key frame at point A (The start) and then pan or zoom and set a key frame at point B (The end) over a desired length of time. Do a quick Google search on key frames in Adobe After Effects and there are plenty of easy to follow tutorials on this.

Since this is more of a test video than an actual project, I am not too worried about all the details (read: flaws) in the video…with the exception of 2. The first is a brief moment of black between the last scenes, even though it was for just a split second. I had already deleted the project and really couldn’t be bothered to go in and edit that out. The second, something that was really out of my control, was the second to last scene where I wanted trains coming in and out of the station to be the subject, but a couple decided that they would stand right there. I thought they would move out of frame eventually, but they never did.

Music: Crash OTS