Timelapse Production Process

Are you looking to create a timelapse video?

The outcomes can be breath-taking, but the setup is key to achieve a quality result. In this blog we will take you through:

  • The gear you need
  • The timelapse process
  • The factors you need to consider

Timelapse production gear

Camera

If you want to pull off a timelapse video, you will need to begin with a quality camera. A lot of digital cameras come equipped with a timelapse setting so you’ll be ready to go straight away.

We recommend:

Tripods

Tripods are essential to any timelapse enthusiast. They provide stability and consistency which is crucial in the creation of high-quality content. A simple tripod should be enough for most people but if you want something more advanced there are plenty of options out there too!

We recommend the following:

Mounts

If there is movement during a timelapse, this can affect its quality. Using a mount for timelapse brings the benefits of:

  • Specificity –a mount that suits your project ensures an optimal result
  • Longevity – a mount will increase the longevity of your camera in the elements
  • Strength – in windy and harsh conditions
  • Control – a timelapse mount allows for specified movement and control

Intervalometer

An intervalometer allows you to program how often your camera takes photos during a time. You can set it and forget it! Some cameras have an intervalometer built into their hardware, so check your settings before going out to buy one.

Timelapse process

Now that we have our equipment, what’s next? Having a solid understanding of the settings you need to shoot timelapse footage in a variety of environments will be a key step for success. These include:

  • Exposure settings
  • Aperture rate
  • Shutter speed

You may also want to consider varying factors including weather conditions or time of day depending upon your project requirements.

Select your setting

What you want to achieve with your timelapse photography will impact upon the settings you select. We recommend using the slowest shutter speed possible for timelapse as it creates a smooth flowing effect. It’s important to remember when you change your shutter speed other settings will need to be adjusted to accommodate for increased exposure time a slow shutter speed brings.

If you aren’t keen on changing the shutter speed for your timelapse, you can create a timelapse effect in post-production. However, this technique often doesn’t create a high-quality result.

Aperture rate

There are many factors you need to keep in mind when trying to get the perfect shot. Aperture is used to determine how much light will reach your camera, and which part of an image should remain in focus for a particular shot. Experiment with different focal points until you find one that suits your project; then choose accordingly!

Shutter speed

The environment you are working with will change the shutter speed you use. A fast shutter speed is ideal for capturing a single fast-moving object such as an animal or an athlete. However, where there is mass fast movement, a fast shutter speed will look jumpy as objects will be captured every few seconds in a new position.

To capture timelapse as close to how the human eye would see it, you’ll need to slow down the shutter speed. A good rule of thumb for this technique is to set your shutter speed to double your frame rate.

Shoot timelapse video

If you have set up your gear and settings, you are now ready to shoot your timelapse video! All you’ll need to do is ensure your camera is securely set up in the mount and hit record. If you’re shooting in the day and night-time or harsh conditions you will want to take this into consideration.

Day vs night

If you’re shooting over a long period of time you will need to consider the effects of the day vs night-time on the outcome of your timelapse video. Settings you will need to consider are:

  • Aperture times – night-time will require a longer depth of filming which gives a crisper image from foreground to background.
  • Shutter speed – increase shutter speed at night to allow light to enter the camera.
  • ISO setting – reduce ISO settings at night to minimise the noise in an image.

Weather conditions

In harsher weather conditions your camera can be at the mercy of mother nature. Weather considerations you need to account for include:

  • Power source– solar isn’t a viable option during winter and the cold weather can zap a battery’s power
  • Rain/waterproofing – your camera will need a waterproof lens and case to ensure you don’t lose footage or damage equipment
  • Condensation – to remove the likelihood of condensation building up, invest in moisture removing sachets or a kit with an auto pressure valve to equalise air pressures
  • Turbulent wind – a sturdy tripod anchored to the ground can withstand substantial wind
  • Positioning of camera – in most circumstances, find a position that is slightly sheltered to protect your gear and footage

Timelapse post-production

Once you have completed your timelapse recording, you will be left with a long string of singular images. These images will need to be stitched together seamlessly to create a timelapse video. Post-production programs can be used to edit the images together and select the correct playback speed.

Processing software

To complete your timelapse and ensure the editing does it justice, we recommend using any of the following post-production software:

  • LR Timelapse
  • Adobe After effects
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Premiere Pro

Conclusion

So, are you ready to take your video production game to the next level? With the gear, tools, and techniques we’ve outlined in this post, you can create a timelapse that will be sure to wow. If you want some help getting started or have any questions about how best to use these tips for your project, reach out! We offer professional timelapse services at Birds Eye Media; don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything else we can do for you.

Get in Touch with Our team today!

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