View Full Version : time laps.

02-10-2004, 11:49 AM
Im in a Botany 130 course this semester and we're starting to grow our own plants. Since i have no time for anything but school i thought i might as well get some extra brownie points with my professor and put my DVX to work. The plan is to get a time lapse shoot of my plant growing over a 2-3 month period. I planted one 2 weeks ago and it has grown an inch and a half. I know it wont be smooth or look remotely similar to what I've seen in movies like Baraka but i just need to get the look of it growing. Because i don't want to use hundreds of tapes i was thinking about maybe filming just a few minutes at a time each day and when it's time to put it all together just put nice transitions in between each cut. I realize the plant and the DVX cannot move and i will need a consistent light source for such fast takes. Ill be finishing it up in vegas. I have never done anything like this before and would love to hear any suggestions. Thanks

Neil Rowe
02-10-2004, 12:18 PM
one thing you night want to consider is to snap the frames at night, under artificial light, that way the light position and scource will always be excactly the same, wher as the sun will move pending time of day. you could evn put a bright light niext to it and make it look like it might be sunlight coming from a window or whatnot.

Neil Rowe
02-10-2004, 12:22 PM
..oh yeah, and use a shallow dof and tight framing, so that if anything changes in the background its not going to be as distracting to the main subject in animation as they would if they were sharp and clear..

just dont frame it so tight that your plant will grow out of frame,, but you can always animate the framing as the plant grows too, just by moving it little by little as it grows.

02-10-2004, 12:57 PM
The key will be good registration (not moving the camera). If you don't intend on leaving the camera locked down for the entire duration. Get an extra tripod and quick release plate and leave that locked down. Then put something in the frame as a registration point so you're sure you have the exact framing each time. The artificial light suggestion is a good one, as eveen if you take the shot at the same time every day, overcast conditions will alter the lighting.

J.R. Hudson
02-10-2004, 01:08 PM
IAL said it the great.

Controlled light source
Shallow DOF

Are you really not going to 'play' with the DVX for like 3 months??? :'(

Carrington Benz
02-10-2004, 01:09 PM
Hey - how would you go about this with the dvx ?
Can the dvx shoot at 1 frame at a time so as to not use up lots of tapes - I am not totaly clued up on timelapse but sure as hell would like to know ?

I mean for this type of project - do you just setup the dvx in a locked position then film a few mins every day & thats it ? or is there more to it ie: the 1 frame at a time thing + can the dvx even do 1 frame recording ? I know my super 8 can ::)

J.R. Hudson
02-10-2004, 01:18 PM
Hell yeah!


Not sure if you can do it in either 24p mode though.

02-10-2004, 02:37 PM
Even if it can not be done in 24p i can just film a few seconds and shorten it as much as i need in vegas. Which is what i was origonaly going to do anyway but ill give the one frame thing a try, thanks john. Also, what do you think would look beter, blending each day with transitions or just taking a single fram from each day and putting them back to back witch may give it a bit of a choppy look. Thanks for all the input.

J.R. Hudson
02-10-2004, 02:47 PM
I think definatley following what IAl said about a constant controlled light source for the bitchen image. As far a plants go, I'd do one in the morning and one in the evening!

I think frame to frame would not be as choppy as we think.

IF there is a way you can CONTROL your environment so that you use a certain light source, camera position and stay constant within how much you actually record footage it should be tight.

Worst case scenario, you do require some post work to smooth it out.

02-10-2004, 03:17 PM
It definatley will be a controlled environment. All windows will be covered, light and camera will not move and i will have the patients of a monk, or somthing. Thanks for all the input. Im expecting an A+.

J.R. Hudson
02-10-2004, 03:25 PM

I think the baaaad timelapse is when it is not controlled and you see a plant jumping all over the place due to the elements and light changes.

Come back and show us how it comes out! I've thought of doing somethign similar but can't NOT have my DVX :(

02-10-2004, 04:45 PM
hopefully i will be able to frame everything just right, put something at the base of my bogen and make note of all my settings. If I do this, i might be able to use my DVX for other things. If i cant, then it's going to be a long semester.

02-10-2004, 10:37 PM
I'd recommend using AFX and applying Effects>Adjust>Color Stabilizer to the final sequence in order to stabilize overall brightness. I've done some tests with a couple of time lapses and it works great!

02-11-2004, 09:44 AM
btw, interval recording doesn't record in 24p... It's still a rockin feature.

"just set it and forget it"...

02-11-2004, 10:57 AM
One-shot is available on the 100A. Also, I do a lot of editing for nature-type videos, and I have used a lot of time-lapse videos, and they have always been of flowers blooming or roses closing, which are things that normally happen within a day or two. Have you thought about doing just that, or does the project stipulate that you shoot the entire growth of a plant? Also, plants grow at different rates, some can reach full growth in a couple weeks, especially if the right soil and lighting is used. Call your local Plant Nursery and ask them about that. That will allow you to play with your DVX more in those 2 months ;D

02-12-2004, 04:31 PM
Rush, This is a "mystery plant" project. We are all given different seeds and not told what they are. We must record what we see as it grows. I wish i knew what it was. I do know what the seed looks like, maybe i can look it up in a plant book or somthing.

02-12-2004, 07:08 PM
Be sure that mistery plan is leagal in area you live.
Some times they may charge you for those plants.

02-13-2004, 11:46 AM
Got it. Maybe you can at least get special fast-growth soil at least...

02-13-2004, 01:04 PM
I wish i could but it has to be grown under the same conditions as the rest of the class. I already asked. But a little might not hurt.

Taylor Moore
02-13-2004, 02:55 PM
Also realize that you can image stabalize the video to get correct registration.

02-14-2004, 05:23 PM
Your talking about doing this in post right? Is this when you can move the frame up and down to get everything level? Now that you have sugested that im not so worried about having the shot in the exact same position if i must move the DVX. I think i just answered my own questions.

Taylor Moore
02-14-2004, 06:42 PM
Sorry Luke, I should have been clearer...yes in post you can re register the shot. *Main thing is to do as much measuring as possible. Camera height, focal length, zoom, camera angle. What would be best is to leave the tripod fixed and locked and have the camera on a baseplate, and ever so carefully replace it. Also do all measurements as well...this will get you in the ball park, then you can re-register the shots in AE. It wont be perfect but it will give you some flexibility, versus watching your camera rust from non-use while filming the plant growing.

02-15-2004, 10:24 AM
Do it with a digital still camera you don't mind leaving set up for a month.

02-15-2004, 10:59 AM
Taylor Moore, thanks for clarifying that for me. As far as using a digital still camera, my 3 MP Panasonic LC33 just wont cut it.

02-17-2004, 06:36 PM
How bad is it for my DVX to leave a tape in it when it's not in use. Also, do i have to rewind the tape after every time i put it away even though i will be using it from the position i left it in withen a few hours.

02-17-2004, 06:59 PM
Well, if you're using the tape ever few hours, you don't have to worry about rewinding it each time. Its good practice to rewind your tapes to the start when youre storing the footage, but if youre using it, its actually WORSE for the tape to be rewound often; it gives more wear on the tape.

As for taking the tape out of the camera, I'd not worry about it untill the day is done....but if youre shooting soon, its probably best to just leave it in. I'd take it out overnight, though

02-17-2004, 07:35 PM
Mike, thanks for the info. Silly question, when i eject the tape it sounds like it rewinds it for a split sec. or somthing. Do i have to end surch it everytime i put it back in or is it all ready to go when i put it in.

02-22-2004, 09:16 AM
Taylor Moore, thanks for clarifying that for me. *As far as using a digital still camera, my 3 MP Panasonic LC33 just wont cut it.

Why not? It'll be higher resolution.

Taylor Moore
02-22-2004, 09:31 AM
As far as using a digital still camera, my 3 MP Panasonic LC33 just wont cut it.

For sure your 3mega-pixel camera will do the job great, all the same concepts apply...all I would do is rig some type of intervelometer mechanism that will trigger the camera at consistent intervals, or do it manually...it just means you are on a regular schedule... boy. Day after day, hour after hour.

Here is a rig, I am representing for a friend, it is a high end version of your setup.

02-22-2004, 10:24 AM
Hey I did a couple quick setup timelapses when I was testing the Quickstream DV.. they arn't pretty and the crane one is a little jittery because I rendered it wrong, but its all in camera and no software applied fx.



02-22-2004, 02:11 PM
Taylor, that setup is great, it is very Baraka like, infact the first song was from Baraka. If only i had the cash. Jarred, that was dam good for a "quick" setup. Jumar, what i am doing is blending the time lapes with live action. When the plant gets to a certain stage the time lapes will be stoped and i will point out certain characteristics of the plant in one seamless shoot.