Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion
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Plants Growing tips????
http://forum.timescapes.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11180
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Author:  dieggs [ Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Plants Growing tips????

Hi,

It's been a while since i been thinking into do some timelapse for growing plants, starting from beens mainly, and blossom f flawers. Here are a couple of examples for what i would like to get as result>





My main concern is the lighting vs growing speed. I think that the best way to keep it consistent would it be to shot at night, but for what i read, for getting a right growing speed, there should be photos taken every 3 to 8 minutes.
I know i could keep the plants in a dark place all day, but then i think im probably stressing them and affecting they natural growing speed.
Other way would it be to still have some constant light, but for each shot use a more powerfull flash or light, so it dimms the constant light,
The video on the top says it used a light shed like these http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3 ... _Shed.html.

Any thought or tips would be greatedly aprecciated. I havent found many people experienced on these yet.

Thanks

Author:  sciencelookers [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

Question one is whether you're going after reality or beauty.

Pretty much all of the timelapsed plants seen on TV are shot indoors on little movie sets like the one setup inside that diffusion tent. Lighting appears constant with no flicker and no moving shadows. Usually that unnaturally diffused light. In most cases there are grow lights and photo lights. Some sort of rube goldberg timer setup turns grow lights off and photo lights on whenever a picture is taken. Grow lights may be on their own day-night cycle as well. Usually photo lights coming on briefly at night don't bother the plants. Using strobes instead of photo lights usually causes a very small but noticeable flicker. Some people have had good results with Einstein strobes being real consistent resulting in flicker free lapses.

Outdoors is a different animal entirely. Clouds passing and the difference between cloudy and sunny days creates a wicked flicker which cannot be edited out. Shadows appear with sun and go when cloudy. Shooting at night is awesome if you're doing long term stuff. Timer, no shots in day, strobe shots at night, beautiful lighting. Wind is going to cause this insane vibrating effect on leaves and such. One philosophy is that the daytime flicker and wind are part of the event being recorded. In fact, you can see really interesting stuff happening. Shooting one frame per day in the daytime, you see shadows move, but not east-west with the day, but north-south with the seasons. Wind in spring and fall, less in summer and winter, that sort of stuff. The other way is to shoot outdoors and try to make it as controlled as possible. Night shooting, and maybe some wind breaks. A couple of posts in the ground with a tarp or plastic sheet strung up like two walls meeting in a corner can make a relatively less windy spot in the corner.

Definitely let us know how it goes. Not that many long term lapses on here. Would be a wonderful break from clouds and hyperlapse of the fronts on fancy buildings.

Author:  Jack Ripper [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

Biggest advice is patience

I am currently doing some of this work, I have found it to be extremely rewarding.

Here is one of mine from about a year ago.


One of the clips has a bit of aperture flicker, but i managed to get the light down pretty well. That was shot for 24 hours a day for 7 days straight.

My setup

Olympus OMD w battery power
3 Elinchrom studio lights
5x4ft grow lights
1 room with no windows
1 home build lighting controller
Chronos timelapse rail

Lighting is the most critical aspect, I tackle it by using the strobes to light the subject, the controller will shut the grow lights off 1 second before it takes the image, then back one second after the image has been taken. It also runs day/night cycles.

if you do not have studio strobes you can also set it up to turn the grow lights on, and shoot while they ar on during the day, then at night turn the grow lights on long enough to shoot, but i worry about slight variances in the color of the lighting on the on/off period vs the on period.

I have a spare room in the basement I use that has no windows, this makes it very easy to get strict control of the lighting.

after that it is just experiment experiment experiment. The latest timelapses i have done which i used the setup seen below were nothing special, i was just working on synchronizing motion of the camera with the lighting to make sure it all worked out.

As for the speeds, with the Hycinth i was shooting once every 5 minutes, ialso did an orchid which i only shot once every 10 minutes, for the lillies below i show once ever 3 minutes. Each plant grows at different rates, the best bet is to just experiment around. If in doubt shoot more than less. you can always speed it up in post if you need.

Here is a sample, the movement was too aggressive on the first part, the second part worked out great. I use one elinchrom to light the subject, then one on the floor blasting the paper i put on the wall with some clouds painted on it. the OOF aspect gives it a somewhat believable look of a sky. Some of the plants are real, some are fake, i just wanted to give it a different look than something that was in a pot.



This weekend I am working on the next setup, that last one was really just a technical trial, and i plan to get a bit more involved on this next one, and try to do some things i have not seen before.

Image

Image

Image

Author:  pixelbot [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

There is a lot of advice on shooting plants here on the forum - I myself have dispensed some of the stuff I have learned from shooting plants - and there are two schools of thought when it comes to lighting plants, constant lighting and controlled lights. Basically constant lighting means you basically shoot with the lights you are using to grow the plants. Controlled lighting means the light source for the shoot is different from the grow lights and thus each source is turn off and when shooting and the grow lights can even simulate day/night conditions for real world plant growth/stress cycles. I am of the constant lighting school, as that is how I shot all my plants, I didn't have any perceived plant stress problems - I may have stressed the plant but I didn't notice any adverse effects for my shooting, and some of my blooms were already cut so constant light never bothered their "growth" if you look at the end of the tree fern clip you'll see that they were using constant lighting. The one benefit I can say with controlled lighting is that you can model the light for a more dramatic effect on the plants as opposed to the flatter grow lights used, of course controlled lights add a layer of complexity to your shoot and may introduce some flicker to your shoot. If you are starting out I would start with constant lighting, for the ease of set-up, and it will give you a chance to see how fast you need to shoot to achieve the effect you are going for.

Tim T

Author:  sciencelookers [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

That indoor studio is way cool Chris. The dolly track right in front looks like its supposed to go there.
Awesome lighting controller too. Neat trick bluescreening the background. Can drop in moving clouds, more woods, whatever, in post.

Author:  Jack Ripper [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

pixelbot wrote:
There is a lot of advice on shooting plants here on the forum - I myself have dispensed some of the stuff I have learned from shooting plants - and there are two schools of thought when it comes to lighting plants, constant lighting and controlled lights. Basically constant lighting means you basically shoot with the lights you are using to grow the plants.

Tim T


Hey Tim.

I had considered this, but i was afraid that the color of the light during the daylight period might settle into a pretty constant color, while on the night time period it may night hit the same exact color hue if only on for a short time for the image. So i just went right to controlled lighting. Have you ever noticed any issues with that? does it depend on the lights you use?

Author:  Jack Ripper [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

sciencelookers wrote:
That indoor studio is way cool Chris. The dolly track right in front looks like its supposed to go there.
Awesome lighting controller too. Neat trick bluescreening the background. Can drop in moving clouds, more woods, whatever, in post.


Thanks James!

Right now i just have the light blue seamless paper up and i painted some clouds on it. I did try to use a Chromakey blue screen but i run into a problem with DOF and getting the blue-screen trick to work with the bokeh from the OOF edges. I probably just need to spend more time in post processing learning how to properly do it, OR, get a manual lens and tighten up the aperture to increase the DOF. The M43 sensor helps in this regard because it does not have as narrow DOF as a full frame camera :)

Author:  pixelbot [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

Jack Ripper wrote:
pixelbot wrote:
There is a lot of advice on shooting plants here on the forum - I myself have dispensed some of the stuff I have learned from shooting plants - and there are two schools of thought when it comes to lighting plants, constant lighting and controlled lights. Basically constant lighting means you basically shoot with the lights you are using to grow the plants.

Tim T


Hey Tim.

I had considered this, but i was afraid that the color of the light during the daylight period might settle into a pretty constant color, while on the night time period it may night hit the same exact color hue if only on for a short time for the image. So i just went right to controlled lighting. Have you ever noticed any issues with that? does it depend on the lights you use?


When I was shooting my plants I shot them in a very small room and used lights that were always on (that's what I meant by constant - no day or night cycle) so the color never change (no warm up period) and I was using CFLs which do have a warm up period if you turn them off and on - and I never had any problems with growth, I even had a pea pod grow. You can see my plants at Grow! and Grow! 2

Tim T

Author:  dieggs [ Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

HI sciencelookers,

Thanks for your inside. I would love to see an outside longterm timelapse like you mentioned above.
For me, im planning to do some bluscreen compositing afterwards, so i´ll keep it ¨inside shooting¨. My plan is to show many datail closue-up shot´s with a black background, like in the examples, but then in a wider shot do some bluscreen composite, like if it was a small part on a planted field.

Another thing i been thinking is if the growing of the plants are consistent beetwen day and night, i´ll assume that the growth slows down during night, giving a not so constant speed to the whole timelapse.
Do you have any thought on these?


¨In fact, you can see really interesting stuff happening. Shooting one frame per day in the daytime, you see shadows move, but not east-west with the day, but north-south with the seasons. Wind in spring and fall, less in summer and winter, that sort of stuff.¨

Author:  dieggs [ Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

Hey Jack R,

Thank you very much for all these info, it is great to take a look at your setup. Your test are already looking great!
Was it too hard to make the timer for the light´s?, how do you sincronize the to the camera? Once i saw in an old photo store a fixture of a battery tha connected to the camera and to some regular lamp bulbs to use the instead of flash. But that wouldn´t solve the problem with the growing lights...
You are right when u say that i probably would like to go with a cheaper light setup. I was thinking that maybe just a couple of flashes would be enough, at least for the experiment part.

Another thing i been looking at is how to keep the soil moistured, like in the first example. I would like to be awake for many days just to keep spraying water to keep the soil consistency.

The equipment i would be usig is a DP stage zero coupled with an emotimo TB3. Still have to decide which camera, could be canon T2i, 6D or Mark III. (probably going with t2i)

Thanks again for sharing!



Jack Ripper wrote:
Biggest advice is patience

I am currently doing some of this work, I have found it to be extremely rewarding.

Here is one of mine from about a year ago.


One of the clips has a bit of aperture flicker, but i managed to get the light down pretty well. That was shot for 24 hours a day for 7 days straight.

My setup

Olympus OMD w battery power
3 Elinchrom studio lights
5x4ft grow lights
1 room with no windows
1 home build lighting controller
Chronos timelapse rail

Lighting is the most critical aspect, I tackle it by using the strobes to light the subject, the controller will shut the grow lights off 1 second before it takes the image, then back one second after the image has been taken. It also runs day/night cycles.

if you do not have studio strobes you can also set it up to turn the grow lights on, and shoot while they ar on during the day, then at night turn the grow lights on long enough to shoot, but i worry about slight variances in the color of the lighting on the on/off period vs the on period.

I have a spare room in the basement I use that has no windows, this makes it very easy to get strict control of the lighting.

after that it is just experiment experiment experiment. The latest timelapses i have done which i used the setup seen below were nothing special, i was just working on synchronizing motion of the camera with the lighting to make sure it all worked out.

As for the speeds, with the Hycinth i was shooting once every 5 minutes, ialso did an orchid which i only shot once every 10 minutes, for the lillies below i show once ever 3 minutes. Each plant grows at different rates, the best bet is to just experiment around. If in doubt shoot more than less. you can always speed it up in post if you need.

Here is a sample, the movement was too aggressive on the first part, the second part worked out great. I use one elinchrom to light the subject, then one on the floor blasting the paper i put on the wall with some clouds painted on it. the OOF aspect gives it a somewhat believable look of a sky. Some of the plants are real, some are fake, i just wanted to give it a different look than something that was in a pot.



This weekend I am working on the next setup, that last one was really just a technical trial, and i plan to get a bit more involved on this next one, and try to do some things i have not seen before.

Image

Image

Image

Author:  dieggs [ Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

pixelbot wrote:
There is a lot of advice on shooting plants here on the forum - I myself have dispensed some of the stuff I have learned from shooting plants - and there are two schools of thought when it comes to lighting plants, constant lighting and controlled lights. Basically constant lighting means you basically shoot with the lights you are using to grow the plants. Controlled lighting means the light source for the shoot is different from the grow lights and thus each source is turn off and when shooting and the grow lights can even simulate day/night conditions for real world plant growth/stress cycles. I am of the constant lighting school, as that is how I shot all my plants, I didn't have any perceived plant stress problems - I may have stressed the plant but I didn't notice any adverse effects for my shooting, and some of my blooms were already cut so constant light never bothered their "growth" if you look at the end of the tree fern clip you'll see that they were using constant lighting. The one benefit I can say with controlled lighting is that you can model the light for a more dramatic effect on the plants as opposed to the flatter grow lights used, of course controlled lights add a layer of complexity to your shoot and may introduce some flicker to your shoot. If you are starting out I would start with constant lighting, for the ease of set-up, and it will give you a chance to see how fast you need to shoot to achieve the effect you are going for.

Tim T




Thank Tim,

I think you advice for constant light for starters is the best option, as i also dont need to get that expensive setup.
By the other hand, im planning into do a final composite shot where the plant is in the middle of the field. So i think first i should get a controlled shot of the field.
These would be made with a DP stage zero- Emotimo TB3- Dragon Frame. The camera move would be a dolly back/tilt up, so we come from a middle shot of the plant to a revealing wider shot of the field.
The spot where the plant would be located should have some marks for tracking and the camera move would be saved for later replication on set.
So for these, i know i´ll have to emulate the field´s lighting, and i think for that i finally gonna end up with the controlled lights.
I know these shot sound kind kind of hard, and it is, but i already seen it done and it was a lot more difficult than mine.

Thanks

Author:  sciencelookers [ Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

Here are some examples of outdoor one frame per day timelapse. See how stressful it is to watch? Even when you ignore the awful image quality from the early el-cheapo digital cameras, the flicker and vibrating leaves is impossible to ignore. Chris' indoor plants look like all the growing plant timelapse you see on TV. See how pretty it becomes without a breath of wind and with artificially even lighting. Outdoors is awesome if you're doing it for yourself because you see more reality and discover stuff you didn't imagine was happening. If you want something you can show, you need a setup like Chris, or a whole line of them, each with its own tiny piece of forest.

Worlds fastest minute and a half. Posted when 90 secs was all they'd let you put on the site.
It was shot by dozens of little $30 point and click cameras. The project ended when I saw
1080 definition television and DSLR quality timelapse.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/3764029855/

Growing Gumbolimbo tree. You can see that each branch starts as a little stem below the new leaves. The stem stretches as the leaves grow, becoming a twig. Next year, the twig does not grow in length. It merely grows fatter to support the leaves and new twigs growing on it. All the length gained by the branch is due to this years growth. After the first year, that part of the branch does not stretch in length. In addition to bad quality from cheap plastic lenses, wicked flicker caused by cloudy and sunny days.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/4551714053/

24 hour intervalometer

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/3766923841/

Newer one for running seven cameras. The same board can be wired as master or slave. Master has seven camera control ports. Slave boards can attach to any of the camera ports and run an additional seven cameras or slaves.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/3769226101/

Strobes in housings made from plastic mailboxes on tripods made from PVC water pipe.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/4474824656/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/4474823840/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sciencelookers/4217075294/

Author:  Jack Ripper [ Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Plants Growing tips????

dieggs wrote:
Hey Jack R,

Thank you very much for all these info, it is great to take a look at your setup. Your test are already looking great!
Was it too hard to make the timer for the light´s?, how do you sincronize the to the camera? Once i saw in an old photo store a fixture of a battery tha connected to the camera and to some regular lamp bulbs to use the instead of flash. But that wouldn´t solve the problem with the growing lights...
You are right when u say that i probably would like to go with a cheaper light setup. I was thinking that maybe just a couple of flashes would be enough, at least for the experiment part.

Another thing i been looking at is how to keep the soil moistured, like in the first example. I would like to be awake for many days just to keep spraying water to keep the soil consistency.

The equipment i would be usig is a DP stage zero coupled with an emotimo TB3. Still have to decide which camera, could be canon T2i, 6D or Mark III. (probably going with t2i)

Thanks again for sharing!



I have a little home built jobber i use to synchronize lights and camera. If you are familiar with using microprocessors like Pic or Arduino, it it can be put together for under $75. Im using an Arduino R3, a shield that has a 3.5mm input/ouput as well as a relay that i use to turn power on and off to the grow lights, and an LCD/button shield. The great thing about learning how to use an arduino is you can put this stuff together and write code to make it easy to use and user friendly.

once i am done with this project i might offer kits for people to build thier own lighting controllers and such, but i have a lot of testing to do first. :)

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