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Thread: Time lapse with Magic Lantern - LOL easy

  1. #1
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    Time lapse with Magic Lantern - LOL easy

    For the basic time lapse that doesn't involve using ultra long exposures that change over time say like a sunrise/sunset, putting together a basic time lapse movie was just so dirt simple - it was a hoot.

    As storm blew in the other day north our house and I just set up the camera on the tripod, adjusted the exposure where I wanted it, set the image quality to s2 (1920x1080) and set the intervalometer in Magic Lantern to 1 fps. (also turned off image preview as well)

    Downloaded the images to the PC, opened up MS moviemaker, loaded in all the stills, set the transition to .03 seconds. Saved the movie.... Done.

    The resulting "movie" had enough production value to entertain friends and families - perhaps a meteorology class and I have seen lesser efforts on the TLC/Discovery channel.

    Next steps are:
    1-play w/ frames per second vs. image transitions in software to see if a slower fps can work - note at 1 fps the shutter count gets big fast.
    2- fiddle with mirror lock up so the mirror stays locked up during a basic exposure unchanging series - noisy and distracting.
    3- charge the battery all the way up and see precisely how many frames a single battery charge can produce (though rated for 500 images, a partially charged battery rattled off 600 images of the storm cloud and the battery meter didn't budge)
    4- price out the cost of a shutter mechanism replacement as it won't take long to blow through a 100k shutter actuation count.
    5- work on Magic Lantern FPS override process to see if I can shoot "native" time lapse in movie mode with an ultra slow frame rate. (certainly would help shutter counts)

    Thanks for reading, I am still giggling at how easy this is compared to the olden golden film days.

    Mike
    Last edited by Busted Knuckles; 05-09-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Upload the video to Youtube and share it with us. :-)

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    I bought a TC-80N3 specifically for timelapsey stuff, never got around to it, sounds easy enough though.
    ditto Sean, we want examples please
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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    http://youtu.be/uRkAnKzbapU

    didn't look as smooth as on the PC image transition on this is .05 seconds which might be the cause
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    Thanks for reading, I am still giggling at how easy this is compared to the olden golden film days.

    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    http://youtu.be/uRkAnKzbapU

    didn't look as smooth as on the PC image transition on this is .05 seconds which might be the cause
    Nice one Mike. Just as Dr Croubie I have the timed remote(micnova brand) and it works very very good. It's quite easy to make a shot like yours.
    I think I have like a dozen of those and they look nice...however...I cannot get a 1-2min video out of it, because there is no theme or leading line.
    Making a simple shot is easy, but making a time-lapse movie is definitely a different story. You should plan your shots in advance I think.

    A few points I noticed down the road:
    - It eats your shutter! Haha I don't really care, but in two hours time you can easily get more than 1000 pictures.
    - Every 5 seconds is too slow for moving clouds. You get a flickering transistion that way. Every second is a little fast as well. Every 2-3s seems good to me.
    - You can use a point and shoot Canon camera and install CHDK. It will do the same and doesn't break a shutter
    - It's hard(at least for me )to sit still for more than half an hour. Take a second camera or something else to play with. Or just risk it and go home and return later.(I wouldn't recommend it)
    - Manual settings often work best, however sometimes AV or TV works better to control rapidly changing light.

    Anyway, nice try. I see your camera automatically took 1920*1080p pictures. Of course this makes the proces much easier, however having full RAW images allow you to change a lot of details(even slowly changing), but more importantly it allows you to fake a movement by zooming in or panning over the image. Because looking at a still movie isn't really interesting unless your subject is out of the ordinairy. In most highly regarded time-lapses you see the use of dollies, cranes and all expensive stuff, but faking a movement can work pretty good as well.

    Good luck!

    Edit: and of course if you do shoot in full RAW, you might be lucky enough to capture a specific moment and have it on the best settings.
    Also when I just quickly browsed through some of my attempts I could easily make a compilation video on things that you shouldn't do, or things you could try :P
    Last edited by Sheiky; 05-09-2012 at 10:11 PM.

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    Thanks, I am just beginning to fiddle time lapse. I agree that planning a full on TL movie would involve more planning than the fiddling I did. The jerkyness I think is from the image transition in going from still images to movie in the MS movie maker was .05 seconds vs. .03333 which would be the equivalent of 30 FPS for the movie when it is played. The actual shooting was at 1 per second --the big jerk in the clip was in effect a restart after fiddling w/ some settings. I suspect the 2-3 seconds you reference is indeed the right interval.

    I wasn't aware of CHDK - that may indeed be the way to go. I have always planned on the T3i/600d to be a learning event w/ a FF coming at some later point - that point coming soon - I can see burning through 100k clicks during my learning phase. I was thinking of getting one of the canon super zooms or one of the waterproof versions for some fun and games - time lapse underwater- that could be interesting.

    The time of time lapse - yep that was an interesting ah ha moment - One has to do the set up, start it, and hang out listening the camera go clickety clickety - bring a good book or perhaps other images to edit?

    Again thanks for the input, back in the 70's I remember doing the planning, etc with one of the 35mm movie cameras - lets just say I think the film and developing in inflation adjusted dollars was about equal to the cost of the T3i body. We have come a long way.
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    Mike after your post I started thinking again. I really would like to make a time-lapse movie. Short maybe, but something with a leading line in it. I have made a small compilation of some of my time-lapse " attempt" in which you can see clearly what's going wrong or perhaps what's going right. Since your thread is build around the Magic Lantern software, I will create a new thread purely for Time-Lapse tips and tricks. I bet there are more people out there beside you and I that want to give it a shot

    By the way, the book is a good option if the weather allows it

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    FYI

    Magic Lantern v2.3 (unified) was released yesterday (for supporters - i.e. those willing to donate as little as 5 euro) for the 5D Mark II. It now includes a lot of the features not previously available in the old version for the 5D2 which was more centred around video users.

    Some of the key features include:

    Zebras:
    shows areas of the frame where highlights are blown out or shadows are crushed. This has been improved on previous versions whereby it was a bit slow.

    Automatic HDR Bracketing: unlimited number of bracketed shots, bulb mode enabled, fixed or bracketed ISO

    Timelapse: included intervalometer, improved bulb ramping for time lapse in changing light conditions, dedicated sunrise and sunset modes, full manual ramping when required.

    Advanced FPS Control: full control over FPS in video, from 0.2 FPS to 35 fps

    Advanced ISO Control: mostly for videography, slight improvements in shadows and highlights. Alternate ISOs available.

    There's a bunch of other features too. Looks pretty good. The free version will be released on August 13th.

    I'm going to download it tonight and have a play, particulartly interested in the time lapse stuff.

    Will report back after the weekend.

    Ben
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    Senior Member btaylor's Avatar
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    Ok so magic lantern is the greatest thing that has happened to my 5D2 since I strapped the 70-200mm f/2.8 II to the front of it. There's some amazing features.

    The intervalometer works perfectly, haven't had a chance to play around with the bulb ramping features yet but I will next sunset/sunrise.

    The in-camera HDR is also very nice. I hand held a shot in the lounge room and set it to bracket at 0.5ev and let magic lantern automatically decide how many shots were required. It took 15 shots, aligned and merged them to a pretty damn good shot - especially hand held.

    There's a million other features and it's going to take me some time to get my head around them all but so far I am highly impressed.

    Oh - there's a function in there to prevent you having to touch the camera at all to trigger it, hence reducing camera shake. You wave your hand three times in front the the LCD ambient light sensor and the shutter triggers, amazing!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_taylor_au/ www.methodicallymuddled.wordpress.com
    Canon 5D Mark III | Canon 5D Mark II | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 | Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM | Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM |Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II |Canon 2 x Teleconverter III | Canon 580 EX II Speedlite | Really Right Stuff TVC 34L | Really Right Stuff BH55 LR | Gorillapod Focus | Really Right Stuff BH 30

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