Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion
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What Software to start with?
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Author:  nealix [ Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  What Software to start with?

I want to get started learning Time Lapse. I read the FAQ on this site, and watched some youtube videos.

I can't seem to find info on what software choices and procedures can be used with Lightroom, on Windows 7,
also able to deflicker (smooth exposure variations due to light changes).
One tutorial has LR presets that only unzip on MAC and not Windows, other tutorials mention buying
expensive Adobe applications like after effects or premiere for editing. And some tutorials or posts
mention alternate software options, but don't say if they work with, or require, a LightRoom workflow?

Is there a tutorial and recipe somewhere for what people should use, to get started, if
they have Windows 7, LightRoom 5, and PhotoShop?

I don't know if PanoLapse/RawBlend is the best choice, or LRtimelapse, or others?
Since I am just now starting to learn, I prefer a software option (Deflicker, Exposure smoothing) that
is not more than $100 US. (I already have Adobe LightRoom and Photoshop CS6)

Thanks,

Neal

Author:  amongstmyselves [ Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What Software to start with?

Hi Neal,

I don't know of a Newbies type tutorial. But since you have Lightroom you certainly have a program that will allow you to convert you RAW file sequences to jpg sequences. Of course if you are just shooting jpg to start with then Lightroom might not be as useful.

So generally one would convert their sequence of still jpg images into a video file eg: avi or mov file. You can then place it in a video editing package where you can edit in other timelapse sequences and then save out to something like mp4 to view the edits. For a basic free program that will convert your jpg sequences you can use Virtualdub. I still use this program now because I can automate the creation of avi files. Sorry to add to confusion but once you start using avi files you bring up another question which is the codec or image compression that is used to compress the images into a smaller byte size for the avi file. If you have a fast recent computer with RAID discs then you can probably not use compression to start with. I can't think off the top of my head what free or affordable codec works on Windows 7. Many people including myself use the Cineform codec which there maybe a free version of ?

So you'll probably want to get a video editing package. Nothing special is really needed to start with if you just want to join sequences together and add music. Sorry again I can't suggest any without doing a major search. I use Sony Vegas just because I started using this many years back. Many people use Adobe Premier and After Effects. After Effects is little over the top for editing with though but can be used to do fixups.

Now as for something to iron out the flicker then it is best to avoid it in the first place. Don't use automatic modes on the camera, go totally manual, avoid fast exposure settings on the camera and if possible use a small f stop. But this all depends on what you plan on shooting. If you are planning to attempt "holy grail" on your first night then you best think again.

I think the tutorial on this forum is a good start. There is quite a lot of talk about flicker which you've focussed on but personally I've rarely had the problem without making a silly setup mistake in the first place.

That said programs like LRTimelapse and Panalapse/RAW Blend have a more other functions that are useful whereby it will automate the RAW settings to produce a smooth timelapse where you have manually adjusted the camera setting during a sunset or sunrise.

I know it may sound boring but you should really just go out a shoot something first before bogging yourself down in software for fixing mistakes that you can avoid in the first place.

Hope this helps,

Steve R.

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