Dan Hume's Blog


Editing video footage & Time Lapse Video
March 28, 2010, 4:52 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

Editing the Video

I’m now editing the video footage for my post production project. I am using the most basic editing software, iMovie HD. I was intending to use Premiere Pro, but when I play back the footage every time I made a change to the timeline, it would go all jerky. I think it has something to do with the format I shot the footage in, which was 720p at 50 fps. There is a setting in Premiere for working with files of that frame rate but It appears it only works with certain cameras. The footage was shot on my DSLR.

Anyway, iMovie is proving to be really perfect for editing my video as the playback runs smoothly and the software does exactly what I need it to do. Once this piece is edited I will render it into a quick time video and import it into After Effects.

At this stage I’m listening to the music and editing the footage so it all fits together. When I’m editing, I tend to play around with the footage and eventually as I get more into it I have a clearer picture of how the final product is going to look. So far I’ve used lots of cross fades and plain cuts. The cross fades are used to show a progression of time for the person walking around in the video. The plain cuts I have used to experiment with making the footage go in time with the music.

Time Lapse Video

I’ve done three time lapse videos of traffic at night. This is something I really enjoyed doing and I felt that I’d learnt something new.

I basically went out into Bournemouth one night and looked for some good locations where there was lots of teeming traffic. Once I had chosen a suitable location, I set up my tripod and mounted the camera on securely. Then it was a case of experimenting with different shutter speeds to try and see which speed gave the best effects of the movement of the cars. Once I was happy with a particular shutter speed, I then set the camera to shoot in a continuous pattern. Now, unfortunately, I was missing a very handy piece of equipment, which is known as a ‘Intervalometer‘. This is a device which you connect to your camera and you set to program the camera to take a photograph at a specific time, like a shot taken every 2 seconds. When I came to do the shoot I had to have my finger constantly pressed down on the shoot button. This was a bit annoying as when I looked back at one of the videos, although the camera was mounted securely on a tripod, my pressure on the button may have moved the position of the camera every so often during the shoot. This results in the video being quite jerky of moving up and down in different shots. An intervalometer gives you the freedom to leave the camera to capture the shots on it’s own, so it may be something for me to invest in as I really enjoyed doing the shoots.

One of the most important things you must make sure you do is set the camera to Manual settings instead of Automatic. Automatic setting will constantly change the exposure in different shots and you don’t get the proper effect of a time lapse video.

How I made the photographs into a time lapse video was very simple. I made sure all my photos were in chronological order before I opened up quick time pro. I then went to open image sequence in quick time, and went to the folder which contained the photos.

I selected the first photo in the file and clicked open. Then a window appears saying what frame I’d like to view the video with. I chose to use 15 fps. After that, an enlarged video box appeared so I adjusted the size to fit screen and behold the time lapse video was ready for viewing.

Below are three of the time lapse videos I did for this project.

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