I’ve been incorporating my GoPro Hero camera footage into more videos lately and wanted to see how it performed for timelapse video. There’s a plethora of timelapse video out there – some great (the Philip Bloom Skywalker Ranch video is breathtakingly beautiful), some not (click here for a bad timelapse ex.)
The process of setting up your GoPro for timelapse, and uploading the images to play out in Quicktime is super easy – This great tutorial by Camarush walks you through each step – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65wHnBn8Az0. A few notes and extras that I learnt through the process:
- I shot all my Timelapse videos at 5 second shot intervals (a picture every 5 seconds) – you can adjust this setting on the camera – tutorial walks you through it.
- You will need QuickTime 7 to transform your images into an image sequence – QT 10 doesn’t have this feature. You can upload QT 7 HERE.
- I imported the finished timelapse video into FCP and adjusted the sequence settings for HD 720p (960x720p) video with a square pixel aspect ratio and ProRes 422 LT compressor. When dragging the footage into the sequence do NOT allow the sequence settings to match the video. This way you can keep the large size of the timelapse video and have the freedom to manipulate it with motion keyframes or hone in on a tighter shot.
- I also adjusted the aspect ratio (viewer window motion tab > distort carrot) to 10 to prevent the video from stretching out. I color corrected the footage as well using the 3-way color corrector under Video Filters.
The 3 timelapse videos you see below were done quickly in the past couple of days. I tried to find scenes that draw the viewers eyes to a particular area and showcase movement in different ways. I shot them with the purpose of incorporating them into future videos to add a different video perspective, not as stand alone videos – I think you would need some pretty dramatic landscape or city imagery to keep interest in a stand alone timelapse video.
The first video was shot in half an hour and shows a high street angle that highlights the sky – clouds or a sunset/rise are a must for this; a blue sky moves very little! The second video was shot over a one-hour period and was placed at eye-level. It highlights the fast-paced action at a local skatepark with the cityscape in the background and lots of moving clouds overhead. The third scene was shot over a period of 2 hours – it’s a cityscape that draws the eyes to the activity on the water and the transition from day to night. I’m going to go back and shoot this video over a longer period of time to capture to full transition to darkness because it didn’t get dark enough for me to use in a video, but for this purpose I’ll use it as an example so you get an idea of what you can get ( 2 hours of hanging out at Seattle’s GasWorks park until 9:30pm after a busty work day as enough for me for this purpose).
As always, I’m interested in hearing your feedback and any additional GoPro timelapse tips or tricks that worked for you!