Case Study – Life-NYC

Times Square

Today’s post features a video of New York City shot by Benjamin JEHAN from France who goes by Titou on Vimeo. JEHAN is new to timelapse, but he did a good job with this video and is getting a good number of views. He agreed to share how he made this video with timelapseblog readers.

Tell me about this video. Why did you make it and what equipment did you use?

This is the first timelapse of a collection called LIFE, which consists of making videos of different places in the world to see life as it is….

I used a Sony Alpha 33 camera, with a 18-55mm lens, and a Vanguard MAK 203 tripod.

I made this video over about two days, but I prepared for it over ten days in NYC. I upped the colors a little and changed some others parameters in Lightroom. I used LRTimelapse for deflickering and then made sequences with 25 images per second with Quick Time Pro. Afterward, I used Adobe Premiere to make the film and After Effects to create titles.

Can you tell me about using LRTimelapse? Was it easy to use? How much does it cost?

LRTimelapse is a free application. I use it to deflicker my sequences. Because sometimes, when you shoot during the day, you can have some clouds and you have a flicker in the final sequence. You need to change little parameters to have smooth transitions between frames.

Why did you use 25 fps?

I used 25 fps because it’s the standard in France. I calculated during the shoot that 25 frames will correspond to one second of my final sequence. It’s very important when you shoot your timelapse to visualize in your mind, as best as possible, what you want and what the sequence will look like in the end.

How did you get the moving shots? Did you rotate the camera or do it with software?

Normally, professionals make moves with motion control rigs, but I don’t have the right equipment. I’m just beginning to make timelapse videos, so I just made the moves in post production with After Effects. My resolution was bigger than 1920×1080, so I could move my virtual camera within my scene.

Did you use any filters?

I didn’t use any filters for this timelapse. I just corrected my sequences with Lightroom to have more beautiful colors, but for my next timelapse I will use an ND filter… But I won’t talk more about it now. You will see it when I finish it! :-)

What settings did you use?

I only use manual mode. It depends on the sequence, but I also use manual white balance, with ISO 100, and f/22 to make a good image. My shots are every two seconds to have beautiful results with clouds, but with cars and people too.

What settings did you use for the final shot showing evening turning into night? Did you change the settings as the light changed?

No, this sequence was really difficult. I tried to change my settings but I didn’t have good results, so I made another sequence with ISO 200 and I just waited for night. You can try it and after 2-3 tests, you will be successful, I’m sure.

What would you do differently next time?

I will have a new camera. I don’t know yet if I will buy a Canon 60D or a Sony Alpha 65, and I will have a 50mm 1.4 lens. My next timelapse will be about another subject… I will make it in a beautiful city….with great color and harmony between history, nature and technology!

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