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moving time lapse shot--manual


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#1 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:12 AM

Does anyone know how one would go able calculating a moving time lapse shot manually (i.e. without a motion control rig)? Or if this is possible.

Thank you.
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#2 Travis Gray

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:32 AM

On a slider/dolly? Panning? Tilting?

You'd have to figure out your start and end points, the distance between the two, the time/frame duration, and then divide the distance into those steps. Mark it off, and move the camera accordingly.
That's assuming frame by frame.

If you're just recording straight video and speeding up in post, you could just set an interval for yourself to move the camera the required distance.

So if I'm doing a time-lapse that's 10 seconds of screen time (24fps), and takes place over 2 hours, and I want the camera to move 4 feet... that's a shot every 30 seconds, 240 shots, 48 inches/240 = .2 inches every shot.




....waiting for someone to point out giant errors in my math.
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#3 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:12 PM

I'm sorry, I'll be more specific.

I was thinking more in terms of pans or tilts on a tripod. I have a nifty little camera, that kind of looks like a toy, a Brinno time lapse camera. I've been shooting my first feature for the past 8 months before I discovered this camera, and decided to incorporate it into the film.

The way it works is so simple, that any child could use this camera with ease. It shoots at HD resolution, but has no manual functions other than the time lapse features, which allows you to set the frame rate, and interval of recording. So say: 1 frame, every 1 second, played back at 30 frames a second. Or 1 frame every 1 second, played back at 15 frames a second (for a more choppy look).

There's a little blinking light that let's me know every time a frame is being recorded.

Given these parameters, how would I go about getting some awesome moving time lapse shots (i.e. Breaking Bad).

Thank you!
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#4 Travis Gray

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:21 PM

So panning and tilting on the tripod? Same rules apply. Measure it out. You would need some way to mark it off on the tripod, or some tripods have marks on it. My old crappy sunpak had marks for panning.

So, if there were 20 marks, and I wanted 40 frames, just split the distance between the marks and move it once a second.


What I've done with a time-lapse before, just to do a quick pan, and I know some people (without naming names...) have done this on bigger projects, but you shoot it on a DSLR with an intervalometer and at a larger resolution, then you do a "pan" or move in your editor.

Either way, without automated motion control (like kessler's revolution head) or something that you can make precise movements on, you kinda have to wing it.
Assuming I'm understanding correctly.
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#5 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:55 PM

Thank you, this is helpful.

A motion control rig would be pretty nice... but expensive.
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#6 Travis Gray

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:58 PM

if it's a one-off, look into renting.

Lens Pro To Go up this way has one.
http://www.lensproto...lt-head-system/
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#7 Chris Millar

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:32 PM

If you can model the rig in a 3d program (no way as complex as it sounds) then animate that how you want your shot in real time you should be able to access the angle/distance over time information for each axis then manually make the same movements on the real rig.

You choose how precise and tricky you want to be ;)
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#8 Chris Millar

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:40 PM

Maybe that freeware prog Blender ? Never used it but I think it'll have everything you need.

You'll have really nice accel and decel ramps - basically a full keyframe/bezier profile editor.
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#9 Nicolas Gomez

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:12 PM

Really hard stuff to do... Just make some device where you can measure distance and angles properly.... If you get a nice ide about it share it please.

http://www.elsotano.com.co/videos.php
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#10 Chris Millar

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:23 PM

Really hard stuff to do... Just make some device where you can measure distance and angles properly.... If you get a nice ide about it share it please.


Posted Image
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#11 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:26 AM

Somehow I think having a geared head would make this easier: You could use a precise amount of rotation of the wheels for each interval.
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#12 Chris Millar

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:34 PM

Sure, but all a geared head is doing in this case is giving you finer resolution of adjustment (and cost) - same could be had by a cheap laser making a 'lever' that would project on to some markings on the floor or whatever ;)
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#13 peterasimmons

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:38 AM

With small cameras such as GoPro etc, you can achieve great results by mounting the cam on a mechanical device such as a clockwork oven timer (for timelapse panning shots.) In fact, you can buy ready-made devices on Ebay specifically dsigned for this purpose, for reasonable money.
With ingenuity, it should be possible to apply similar techniques to tracking shots-maybe mounting the cam on a toy railway carriage on tracks, with the carriage pulled along by string (the string being wound onto a spindle on the clockwork oven timer.) ie motion control on a tight budget!
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#14 Phil Hocker

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:26 PM

Lots of great ideas in this thead. Building a simple rig with a small stepping motor, maybe a worm drive (steal it from your window blind adjuster) wouldn't be hard or costly.
- If you're going to do much of this, investing in a basic motor-control PCI plug-in computer card you can program would be easier than you think.
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#15 Phil Hocker

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

More on do-it-yourself: The homebrew robotics folks have lots of components to solve the timed-camera-reposition problem. Check www.pololu.com. Control via a USB connection. Hope this helps.
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#16 Nicolas Gomez

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

I´m doing it old style, with a piece of chalk and nice markers on the floor.. for tilting i do it on a tripod, same story! but with a smaller chalk!

www.elsotano.com.co/videos.php
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