Image sequences, such as timelapse, are popular with our footage customers. For timelapse, pixels in two consecutive frames are very closely related, in both time and location. But your timelapse drive through a city could make a great image sequence with just the shots taken at stoplights. On the other hand, while a storyboard is a good reference for shooting footage, it probably won’t sell on its own. This month, we asked three expert contributors with popular image sequence clips for more tips on turning stills into footage.
Time-lapse of a modern office building being built by Andrew Lundquist
Andrew Lundquist: After capturing an image sequence, my typical workflow for timelapse work starts with Adobe Lightroom. I use Lightroom to correct any drastic unplanned exposure differences over time as well as clean up things like birds flying through isolated frames. One of the biggest tips I’ve learned is that even when shooting a straight sequence with an intervalometer and a tripod, you still have to be prepared to give every frame some attention. I’ve had to rebuild some clips several times after noticing new things sneak into them on only 1 frame that I missed before: insects, birds, an airplane, etc. It’s important to review the final output several times, slow it down, and look for any jitter or inconsistency between frames. After exporting the sequence as numbered JPGs, my workflow takes a different track depending on the clip. In this clip, the sequence spanned a long period of time and I couldn’t leave my camera in a fixed position for the duration. I made a mental grid of the scene and matched it as best I could in camera over a period of weeks. Then I used Photoshop to manually layer and align each frame with small corrections for perspective.
Image sequence of people dancing by Dan Talson
Dan Talson: This clip was created while I was at a music festival in the Ukraine. When there is a situation with lots of moving coloured lights and lasers (typical at clubs, music events) I really enjoy using long exposures to get light trails and blurs. For this clip i walked through the crowd taking a series of shots. Each shot had a shutter speed of 1 or 2 seconds and the flash fired to freeze in sharp focus some of the people then the shutter stayed open to allow the rest of the photo to blur. The photo sequence was then put together into a movie in After Effects, with any necessary colour correction carried out.
Graffiti video montage by Vello Virkhaus
Vello Virkhaus: I filmed the clip with a still capture in the Sony DSR-PD150 video camera. I then took the still image sequences into Adobe After Effects and re-sequenced them into motion. The additional film-like look was created using Twixtor (for frame rate manipulation of image sequences) and internal After Effects color correction on the sequences.