Nov 7, 2012

Time Lapse Basics

In our film Bezango, WA. about Northwest cartoonists and comic artists. we plan on including quite a bit of footage showcasing the beauty of Washington and Oregon State. We've shot a lot of HD footage  over the last year, and we are also including time lapse photography for some of the transitional sequences in the movie.

Last week, while filming the fall colors in Eastern Washington, I discovered something that may be fairly obvious to others who have been creating time lapse with an SLR for a while. I use a Canon 60D for much of my photography and for creating time lapse/stop motion. For me it is important to film in manual mode.  Since I am shooting a sequence of still images to create the motion over time I do not film animation with video. After setting the dial to M for manual then I adjust the exposure properly and  and set the image size. 

This is where I made my new discovery last week.  To the right is the typical screen you would see for the 60D image quality setting. I had always thought to choose RAW largest format in order to obtain the best quality. Last weekend I realized that S-RAW should actually be fine for most animations. The best RAW setting has a width and height of 5184x3456, the S-RAW setting has a width and height of 2592x1728. This is still plenty big for most HD formats! It gives you room to zoom in and out of the image in post-production, and yet it frees up a lot of extra space on your Sandisk memory card (cuts the memory used by almost half) and also reduces the time it takes to work with the photos in Photoshop, Bridge, and Premiere. Another note is that I don't use jpeg, for me it is important to film the images in RAW so that I can adjust white balance, etc. as necessary.

Below is the 20 second time lapse animation of morning fog captured in Eastern Washington.
Eastern WA Time Lapse from AUSTINAMANDES on Vimeo.

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