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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 13 May 2012 (Sunday) 20:07
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Time Lapse Help & Advice...

 
totalphoto
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May 13, 2012 20:07 |  #1

I am scheduled to do 2 timelapse scenes on a constuction site, one inside one outside. Inside is to be about 3 weeks long, outside will be about 6 months.
How can I do this without being on-site every day? What will it cost me for the equipment? Is there an easy way? I have not decided on camera brand or model yet also.....
I was guessing a shot every munute for 8 hours a day.....But I am no expert.....
Thank-you in advance!


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Tdragone
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May 13, 2012 21:22 |  #2

You don't need a shot a minute on a construction site externally. A shot an hour is sufficient, and probably overkill.

you have 2 options,
1. Intervalometer to do it in a handheld unit
2. Laptop with a USB tether, and use the provided canon software.

Inside the building... Where will you be doing this? Will it be in a location where you can guarantee the camera/tripod won't be disturbed? If not, you'll have a lot of post to do to clean up the series.


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totalphoto
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May 13, 2012 22:19 |  #3

Inside will not be touched, it is a secure spot. Intervalometer will have to be set every day or you would just plug and leave it?
Thank-you for the help!


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Hillbille
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May 14, 2012 15:46 as a reply to  @ totalphoto's post |  #4

The security for your equipment is the first concern. Six months is a very long time - especially around men that know how to take things apart and put things together. But if you are sure your equipment is safe.

First thing I would decide is exactly how "fluid" I wanted the final cut to appear. This will dictate the need for "frames". If you simply choose one frame per second and a 1/4 second delay between frames then the end result is pretty nice and not too choppy or jerky.

Making certain that the "view" of each camera is exact - for each and every exposure is essential. The outdoor shots will probably be the hardest as that will expose the equipment to many more people - and leaves a lot of room for error. Time lapse is hard enough when objects within the frame move jump) from place to place in frame to frame - but - if the BACKGROUND also moves or jumps then it will look very amateurish so having a permanent place for your camera and one that is easily repeatable is necessary. Just a tripod and a general location probably won't work.

Also the inside camera is likely to have more action in a shorter period of time than the outside camera - but - the outside camera should still probably be set to capture at least one shot every thirty minutes. You didn't specify the type of construction - but if it is a vacant lot now and when finished a structure will be where the empty space is now the a great deal can happen in short bursts of time. The framing for the concrete slab - plumbing - pouring and smoothing the concrete - framing walls - raising walls - roofing joists - siding and roofing will all happen fairly quickly WHEN it happens. There will be dead space time between but things will happen rather quickly when the time comes.

If you set your outside camera to shoot twice an hour - then you will have the option to throw out half the frames shot - and still have fairly good video. Remember - every 48 frames of ANYTHING represents one minute of video. My guess is that you'll actually shoot all six months outside because not only will the structure appear but the area will get cleaned up and shrubbery and landscaping, paving, painting and everything else will continue to happen right up to the last day. Doesn't sound like much - but over six months you'll have (6 months = 25 weeks = 125 days = (8 hour day and two frames per hour) = roughly 2000 frames - OR roughly 20 minutes of OUTDOOR video and that's only IF you throw out half the frames as repeaters where nothing changes!

If you set the frame rate to half that (speeding up the "play rate" to display each frame only one half second and a delay between frames of 1/8 second you will still end up with at least 10 minutes of outside video! The inside frames will in all likelihood be double what the outside rate was as more will happen in a shorter period of time. BUT - the inside frames will not start probably until at least halfway through the 6 month time frame. If you set the inside camera to shoot once every 15 minutes or 4 times an hour and this occurs for three of the six months - then you will have nearly 2000 frames for that too. All of these calculations are for 5 day work weeks with no overtime and a shooting schedule based upon an 8 hour day.

I would strongly advise you to make an attempt at this - in a TRIAL run BEFORE the time to actually start the project gets here! Make certain of your camera locations. Make absolutely certain you CAN duplicate the locations and placements of the cameras - no matter what! Make sure the cameras you choose CAN be powered for a minimum of 8 hours continuous "ON" operation - AND - that the resolutions you are wanting WILL not overflow the memory cards or storage devices you are intending to use. Normal P&S cameras definitely will NOT stay on for 8 hours on their internal batteries - at least none that I am aware of. That being said - it seems to me you will need to look for an external power source for the cameras at least. Something you can deal with on a DAILY basis would be good.

If it were me, I think I would copy all the files from the cards every night and start each day with each camera fresh. Then is anything would happen I would only lose THAT days frames and could probably carry on as long as I only had ONE failure of the system. Two cameras - two locations - two power sources and two security problems would make me a full time job for those six months - and that's only IF everything will go RIGHT!! LOL!!

Here is a link to a short 14 minute time lapse I shot. It is 73 frames shot over a 14 minute time span. I put it together at the 1 frame per second and 1/4 second delay between frames rate.

http://youtu.be/lqo5Cr​Aveuc (external link)

I was in a hurry as the neighbor was talking to me - so I set the camera on a little table inside my garage - and didn't check that it was pointed correctly! The picture is half cut off by the garage door - but it does serve to give you an idea of what I am talking about. Sorry for being so long winded!! LOL!!

Hillbille


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totalphoto
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May 15, 2012 22:59 |  #5

Wow Hillbille, thanks for all the advice! I certainly am having issues about leaving the cameras and having to be there every day. I was hoping to some how avoid that. It is a building move I will be covering, so, may be a lot of days with nothing going on outside.
I do not want the final product to be too long and not have people watch it, 3 to 5 minutes max....maybe shorter?
Lots of things to figure out yet, thanks again for your input!!!!


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Hillbille
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May 16, 2012 01:35 as a reply to  @ totalphoto's post |  #6

Time length of your "final" cut of the video will have to do more with frame rates and delay between the frames. The "editing" is where you can really make the video shorter or speed it up. The important thing is to have a GOOD location for the cameras - that you CAN place them in and have repeat angles and scenes. This is SO crucial to the project. If you CAN do that - then getting a shot an hour - over say a WEEK's time might not be out of the question. Depends a lot on the camera used and the other equipment.

In giving this a little thought - and if you are "contracting" to do this - so money might not be too big of a factor - have you considered installing "net" cameras with a WiFi feed and just setting a computer up to "monitor" the feeds and "capture" a shot sequentially? Maybe I don't know what I am talking about - as I have never done it - but it would solve a lot of your logistical problems. A couple of good streaming net cam's connected to a network might be just the ticket for this particular job. Matter of fact you might be able to get multiple "views" of the construction site a lot easier. If the resolution was good then it would work just fine. Inside too. Also I think possibly the cams could be set for "motion detection" recording so that when nothing was happening there would be no picture.

Just thinking out loud.

Hillbille


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totalphoto
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May 16, 2012 20:07 |  #7

Love your thoughts and out-loud thinking! Thanks, I will research my options.....from your info....


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Time Lapse Help & Advice...
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