23 March 2009

Eclectic 3.0 Roads Less Travelled - time lapse EOS movie

What do people without an EOS 5D Mark II do to get a movie fix? The answer is simple, time lapse movies. Take a big heap of still frames and then assemble them in to a single movie file, kind of like the guys at Disney drawing out each scene of an animation. There's been some high profile film makers using EOS cameras for time lapse animation. Tim Burton used a selection of EOS-1D Mark II cameras for his Corpse Bride film in 2005. Aardman animation the makers of Wallace and Gromit have also used EOS cameras for stop motion.

40DThis is not a post for EOS-1D owners exclusively though since Los Angeles based Ross Ching has shown that the EOS Digital Rebels (EOS 300D to EOS 450D in Europe) and EOS 40D can also do awesome time lapse.  Ross has just posted his latest time lapse film Eclectic 3.0 shot with his EOS cameras on the Roads Less Travelled in the western USA. This latest film in his Eclectic series shows Ross employing a new technique using a tilt-shift lens for some sections of the time lapse that makes some of the scenes look a little like a model landscape.

Ross' previous Eclectic 2.0 movie was picked as a demonstration movie on the big HD screen in New York's Times Square last year. It is truly stunning stuff with the camera being moved by a tracking telescope head. This is one big download at 360MB for the full 1080p resolution with options for smaller 720p and 480p sizes.

If you are tempted to try and see what the clouds and landscape in your backyard does in a couple of hours then some tips;
  • turn off the power down timer
  • use Av mode and select an appropriate aperture
  • turn of the review after each shot to conserve battery life
  • use manual focus
  • use a big card and shoot JPEGs unless you've got one hell of a lot of time for RAW processing or a big fast new computer
  • use a timer controller TC-80N3
  • charge your camera battery before you start, and use a battery grip with two batteries in if you have one
  • you don't need to shoot full resolution shots, small JPEG will do fine and make the processing easier
  • use Apple Automator (MAC) or FastStone Image Resizer (PC) to batch crop your shots to 1920 x 1080 pixels before assembling in QuickTime Pro.
  • use a tripod
  • don't bother trying to capture the birds on garden feeders - birds are far too fast!
Depending on the speed of movement of your subjects, then start a few trials at 5 second intervals and then maybe go up to 10s or more. The longer time gaps the longer you need to shoot for to get a reasonable length of movie clip.


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