Motion timelapse short

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treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Hi, for a few months I've been getting involved in a nature/outdoors film comp at uwolchallenge.com
I've just completed a short using a modded astronomical tripod, with pretty good results (well I like to think anyway!) - the tripod itself only cost $160 shipped from the states!!
After seeing a shot on tv a few years back that followed the sun accross the horizon I've always wanted to play with this technique. Let me know what you think :)

youtube version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZGWr8KpH_M

55mb sor3 MOV http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challenge7/03_UC7_tempusfugit.mov

perproductions
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Joined: Jan 2 2008

looks brilliant to me!! Can you expand upon the tripod you used. Would love to know more about it??

treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Sure, search for a user called milapse on youtube, he's put loads of tutorial vids up - it's a unit called the meade autostar with a 494 controller - basically it has a d-pad and speed setting - in a very low tech fashion you use a clamp to hold down the direction key - horiz or vertical, or two together for diagonal motion. It's pretty simple to get to grips with...

Christian Lett
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Joined: Apr 26 1999

Hey, I loved this video! No crits from me - great work!

Christian

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Michael.Bradshaw
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Joined: Aug 1 2005

really liked this, love the artistic side of it but the technical effort that goes in as well.

Would love to fiddle with stuff like just to try something different for fun.

like it a lot.

M.

EVGA sr-2/ 2x x5850 win7 x64. Editing in Ppro CS5 Shooting on Sony Z7, nex-VG10

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Nice one, well done :D

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Bob Aldis
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Joined: Mar 7 2001

Great stuff. It also for me answers one of those "how do they do it" questions. The time lapse is obvious but the moving camera puzzled me.

Do you use a camcorder or still camera?

BobA

Bob Aldis

treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Thanks for the comments guys.

Bob, I used a sony hvr-a1 on these, just for an ease of getting around on public transport!
It would also quite happily take the weight of an Fx1 with large batt and WA lens. You have to get the bracket made yourself, but I managed to find a metal bookend L shape type thing that did the job perfectly with a few holes drilled in it. I think my wife may notice it missing at some point when a stack of books hit the floor ;-)

Mike Pulcinella
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Joined: Jan 30 2007

Beautifully shot and well edited!

What is that music? It enhances the visuals very much.

treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Hi Mike, the music was created in sony cinescore, which although a little bit intense, can be toned down to produce this sort of feel ;-)

stoo
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Joined: May 28 2001

amazing video!

treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Some of the guys over at dvinfo wanted a bit more info on how to do this, so I wrote a bit up - and in the spirit of things, I'll post it here too....

Getting and setting!

Order the "milapse" telescope ( think $90 - plus a further $60-70 shipping to UK - still only £80-90 all in!!!) up from telescope-warehouse.com - it basically arrives minus bracket for telescope use. All you need to do is get a bracket made at a metal shop, which will fit the 4 screws in the tripod head and have a 90 bend, and a screw hole to fit the camcorder secure screw. In my case, I managed to "acquire" a metal bookend from my kitchen ( which will no doubt catch up with me at some point ;-) and drilled it myself. The tripod has i think 100 +deg vertical movement and 360 continual horizontal - so make sure you secure the plate so it is horizontal at the middle of the vertical range. Secure your camcorder ( in my case the hvr-a1 is a small form HDV camera) and get ready to shoot.

Using in the field.

Add 8 aa batteries and start the machine up. When it has started, wait 10s and push the speed key. It will display a speed, which starts at 2deg/sec then goes all the way down to 2x in incements as you push the speed button, which i think is something like 360deg in 24 hrs ( but don't take my word on this - there are about 8 speed levels in total ). Get the tripod as even as possible - it doesnt have a spirit level and frankly the tripod is of poor quality contstruction, but what the hey! Now, with it set to the fastest speed, pan across your intended shot by using the d-pad arrows ( left, right, up, down ) to make sure there's noting odd in the way and all angles are well framed. In my case I set the focus on the cam to manual - infinity and left the exposure on auto to handle the changing light areas - you may want to play around here. Now, sit for a few minutes without filming and watch your scene - how much action do you have going on? which direction is it moving? Is something going to happen at one point that you want to make sure is captured? Use this information to decide what speed to run at, and what angle to capture. It's take you a bit of experimentation to get this right, but most of these sequences were captured at 16X or 32X. Also at this stage think about how the movement will work between adjacent scenes in the edit - will a diagonal work here against a diagonal in another shot? will it slide into another shot travelling in the same direction? Obviously, choose a spot that will not put you or others around you in the way of any harm!
Movement is sustained by a very simple technique - a bulldog clip, like the ones use for holding files together. Using this you can clamp down 1 or two buttons at a time ( 1 for v/h 2 for diagonal ) to keep the head moving.
Once you've decided on your scene, roll the camera at normal speed ( and hope you bought a lot of tapes!! - unless you have interval record, try playing with it! ), and keep an eye on it. Resist the urge to swing the whole rig round because something is happening 180deg from the lens ( unless of course it's something like a UFO ;-) - just let it roll and commit yourself to waiting. Generally people will start talking to you because you look like a freak stood on a corner with an army surplus rocket launcher - but you get used to it....

Back in the edit

This is the dull bit. Capture the hours of footage you have filmed ( unless of course, you have a camera with interval record which will do X frames over X seconds, which my old TrV900 has but doesnt appear to be on the hvr a1!) then import it into your timeline - then crush it down to a speed that works.
Then stick it on the web so we can all see it.

Cheers!

Rob

Michael.Bradshaw
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Joined: Aug 1 2005

thanks rob thats really helpful. I really want to try this out just for fun.

went to the site but it wouldn't take my uk address so i sent them an email. They sent me a paypal invoice for $165 and the kit is on it's way.

Hooray, I reckon my z1's are too heavy but i have been looking at getting a hc1 or hc3 recently as a small camera for weddings. Would they be suitable in terms of their manual abilities, (iris, gain, shutter speed etc) or should I consider an a1 or even a v1 if money is ok?

Once again, thanks for this, looking forward to playing.

M.

EVGA sr-2/ 2x x5850 win7 x64. Editing in Ppro CS5 Shooting on Sony Z7, nex-VG10

treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Hi Michael, if you get a stiff alu bracket machined I can't see the problem in using the z1 - it handles my fx1 fine, but my slightly flimsy bracket doesn't really like the weight :o After all it's designed to swing pretty large optical telescopes about the cosmos! Shipping took about 2 weeks for me, please let me know how you get on with it :)

Michael.Bradshaw
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Joined: Aug 1 2005

ok, cool. I'll get something made as soon as I get it.

hopefully once i think of something to film i'll stick something online for people to nosey at. I could probably do something at church, either the carpark filling up with a few hundred cars or the actual morning inside.

Looking forward to fiddling with this. M.

EVGA sr-2/ 2x x5850 win7 x64. Editing in Ppro CS5 Shooting on Sony Z7, nex-VG10

treborsnave
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Joined: Sep 4 2007

Ha! Yeah I'm actually shooting a family wedding next week and thought it would be great in those scenarios!!!

Michael.Bradshaw
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Joined: Aug 1 2005

ohh, thats a good idea. lol, i'm just stealing all your ideas.

Theres a dvd you can get, it's all timelapse stuff and interesting things like rows of flats being demolished in slow motion etc. Its a russian sounding name. It's fascinating.

Would still like to buy a small camera for a steadicam but worried the hc1 won't suit with it lack of full manual comntrol.

Also like something small to combine with another hobby of radio controlled helis but I'll need a bigger heli to carry the weight.

M.

EVGA sr-2/ 2x x5850 win7 x64. Editing in Ppro CS5 Shooting on Sony Z7, nex-VG10