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Tips for GoPro Timelapse Video

 

What is a time-lapse video?
Simply put, it is a series of photos of the same scene – shot over a period of time. The images are then combined into a video and it gives the appearance of time being speed up. It is great for showing a busy market, sunrises, sunsets, blooming flowers, etc.

The GoPro shoots in 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 second intervals. They also make free editing software called GoPro Studio Edit Software. It is specifically for creating time lapse and slo-mo videos.

Decide on the shooting interval.
For example a time-lapse shot with one image every two seconds.
Remember that it’s easy to remove extra images, but they cannot be added if they weren’t shot.
This king of shoot produced almost 700 images (4.12GB) over 35 minutes.

Decide on image resolution.
Lets say images was shot at 10MP (3840px X  2880px).
This is overkill and is rated as ultra-high-definition (2160p).
For a standard high-definition video, you should shoot at 1080p (1920px X 1080px).
This is around a 2MP image but because you will sometimes want to crop the video, it is a good idea to shoot a slightly higher resolution (like 5MP) which gives you some room to crop and still finish with a high definition video.

Decide on playback rate.
I’ve found that 15 fps (frames per second) playback rate keeps things fluid without making them move too fast.

Render and upload.
Once you’ve organized your images and entered these settings, you are ready to render the video and then upload it on a video sharing site.

Tips for GoPro Timelapse Video and settings gopro time lapse

Use a solid (stable) tripod:
There are lots of options (tripod, suction cup, etc.) but it is hard to beat the Joby Gorillapod.

Use long-life batteries:
The last thing you will want to worry about is your battery dying halfway through the shot.
I like Wasabi brand. They last longer than the standard battery that comes with the GoPro. And they come with their own charger (both wall and car adapter). (Search on Amazon)

Use a huge memory card:
Space is the other constraint. Shooting hundreds of images over a short period of time will quickly fill up your memory card.
I like using a 32GB Class 10 microSDXC card or 64GB – I haven’t been able to fill one in a day yet.
Choosing the right image resolution will help ensure that it doesn’t fill up to quickly. (seek the other articles of the number of pictures can be stored on a memory device)

Take time to frame it up:
Even the most magnificent setting can look awful if you don’t take the time to frame it up. Follow the rule of thirds to shot a pleasing video.

Avoid distracting elements:
One of the major problems with time lapse videos are the close up elements – because they are distracting and they can ruin the whole video.


Steps to Shooting The Time Lapse Images
To create a great time-lapse video, you’re going to need some great images.

Here are six things you should do:

1) Frame It Up Well:
The first time I used the GoPro to shoot a time-lapse series I was so excited about what I was doing (with the camera) that I forgot what I was actually doing (shooting images). What I ended up with was 2000 poorly framed and poorly exposed images. Which I deleted after we returned home from the Galapagos. It was a few hours of Galapagos midday sky and water activity – and it would have been beautiful if I had just taken my time setting up the shot.

2) Use a Tripod:
Without a tripod, your images will not blend properly into a watchable video. Like a Joby Gorillapod or 3-Way Gopro.

3) Don’t Worry About Every Image:
Not every image is going to be good. Don’t worry about it. When you sit down to create your video, you can quickly scroll through the images and delete any that have an extra object. Because of the number of photos used, you can easily delete the ones that you aren’t happy with – and no one else will know.

4) Use a Large (and Fast) Memory Card:
While a slower card might be okay for a point-and-shoot camera, the GoPro is made to produce high resolution images very fast. A slower card probably won’t keep up with the incoming new images. And when you are shooting your time-lapse, the last thing you want to worry about is running out of memory.

5) Be Prepared to Wait:
You will need to have patience. Don’t setup a time-lapse unless you have some time on your hands. Some video took hours of shooting to produce a 30/60 second video.

6) Take Your Time Editing:
Every time-lapse is different. There is no rule that determines what your frame rate playback should be. I have had good success with 15 fps for clouds and sunsets. But this frame rate makes road traffic look like it is hyperactive. Experiment and have fun. You might need to output each set of images a few different ways to see what looks best. And choose some appropriate music. Because a time-lapse is just a bunch of photos, there is no sound. You will need to add something to the clip to keep it alive.
Then render the video for web and upload to YouTube (for example).

MORE TIPS:
Choose the right lapse. This is perhaps the most important point when dealing with a “time-lapse”. The interval between shots is what will determine the speed of our final video. The longer the interval, the quicker will be the movement of the elements of our shot, and vice versa. But we must adapt the interval to the real movement of our scenery.

Confused? Here are a few suggestions of lapses depending on the scene.

Clouds moving very slowly, interval of 10 seconds.
Clouds moving normally: interval of 5 seconds.
Clouds moving very fast: interval of 3 seconds.
People walking down the street: interval of 2 seconds.
Path of the sun on a clear day, nterval of 30 seconds.
Night landscapes, stars, moon, etc.: nterval of 20 to 30 seconds.


Knowing how long your “time-lapse” takes. This is the second major variable that we have to calculate. In many cases we know it, as in a football game or a sunset. We’ll set an interval and clip duration that gives us an adequate number of frames. On the contrary, if we are shooting a scene without beginning or an end, like a flowing of a river, the exposure and interval will determine the length of the shot.

Some quick math: Knowing that we need 25 frames to create one second of video (in the European PAL system, in the United States it would be 30) a standard length of 10 seconds of footage will need 250 frames. Therefore, we only have to multiply 250 by our lapse to know how much time we need to invest in doing the “time-lapse”.

It can happen that you do not know the duration of the event or you want to capture a long scene, like a thunderstorm formation. In these cases, the interval is the premium: choose the right one for the scene and select “infinity” or “zero” in the number of frames of your remote. Now you just have to be patient.

 

 


Here a video I found for a shooting at nightlapse with a Gopro 4
Shutter: 2 sec
Color: Flat
Interval: Continuous
White Balance: 5500
ISO: 400
Sharpness: Medium

 

 

 

 

Update you gopro in case it's not...

You can download the update now from the GoPro site.

Here is the update info from GoPro:

  Hero Black v01.02.00 new Features:

Adds Automatic shutter option for Night Lapse mode
Adds Continuous interval for Night Lapse mode

Performance Improvements

Increases image sharpness in various video modes
Decreases Time Lapse shutter lag
Optimizes Time Lapse auto exposure performance for 0.5 and 1 second intervals
Decreases thumbnail load time on the LCD Touch BacPac™
Increases file transfer speed from camera to computer

Usability Improvements

Simplifies Default Mode menu
Adds 5 min option to Auto Off
Displays HiLight Tags in thumbnail gallery on the LCD Touch BacPac (3rd Generation only)
Improves swipe and playback controls on the LCD Touch BacPac (3rd Generation only)
Displays the most recent video or photo first during playback on the LCD Touch BacPac

General Improvements + Bug Fixes

Addresses an issue that may prevent pairing with the GoPro App
Addresses an issue that may disable live preview on the GoPro App
Addresses an issue that may cause the camera to appear out of range with the GoPro App
Improves battery level icon accuracy
Addresses an issue that may prevent files from being deleted
Addresses an issue which may cause the camera to automatically power on when connected to a computer
Other improvements and bug fixes

HERO4 Silver v01.02.00 new Features:

Adds Automatic shutter option for Night Lapse mode
Adds Continuous interval for Night Lapse mode

Performance Improvements

Increases image sharpness in various video modes
Decreases Time Lapse shutter lag
Optimizes Time Lapse auto exposure performance for 0.5 and 1 second intervals
Decreases thumbnail load time
Increases file transfer speed from camera to computer

Usability Improvements

Simplifies Default Mode menu
Adds 5 min option to Auto Off
Displays HiLight Tags in thumbnail gallery
Improves swipe and playback controls
Displays the most recent video or photo first during playback

General Improvements + Bug Fixes

Addresses an issue that may prevent pairing with the GoPro App
Addresses an issue that may disable live preview on the GoPro App
Addresses an issue that ma
y cause the camera to appear out of range with the GoPro App
Improves battery level icon accuracy
Addresses an issue that may prevent files from being deleted
Addresses an issue which may cause the camera to automatically power on when connected to a computer
Other improvements and bug fixes

 


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