Hyperlapse is a great technique that could be used in various ways. Since I’ve bought a 3 axis gimbal, I’ve been testing different techniques to improve my hyperlapse sequences with that device. Trying new things is always a great experience, I hope this article would encourage you to go out there and shoot some hyperlapses 😉
If you want to see full, detail comparison between the Handheld Gimbal Hyperlapse and a regular Hyperlapse check out this post: Hyperlapse Comparison – Tripod vs. Gimbal Hyperlapse
The handheld gimbal hyperlapse is a subject I chose for my second video tutorial. It’s a really interesting and simple technique, that gives us an awesome motion blur and the sense of high-speed. You don’t even have to run and you get footage like from the super fast vehicle 🙂 So, first of all watch the video and then you can read full, in depth description of this technique below 😉
3 axis gimbals stabilize the camera so effectively that you can do long exposure shot handheld. Of course it’s not unlimited, you won’t get sharp image with 5 sec exposure. However it’s good enough to add a lot of motion blur to your shot, just slowly walking forward holding the camera. The basic concept is simple – you set a longer shutter speed, use the intervalometer or low-fps video (like 1 or 2 frames per second) and walk forward holding the gimbal as stable as possible. For my shots I used mostly shutter speed of 0.5″ and interval of 1 sec. It’s a good value for a regular walk with a camera. For a very slow walk I used 1″ shutter speed.
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That long shutter speed handheld can decrease the sharpness of the image a little bit, however you get an awesome feel of super fast movement thanks to the motion blur that appears in the frame. Objects closer to the camera appear to move faster (so they are heavily blurred) and objects further from the camera move slower, so they are less blurred or just sharp. The result is a super smooth footage. Motion blur is really important – the same speed footage with shutter speed of 1/1000s would be reconized as less smooth by the viewer, even if he wouldn’t know why.
Set-up the gimbal
There are two ways of doing that:
- using the free profile (so the gimbal is not following any movement)
- using one of the follow profiles
The first one is good for straight road. Probably it will cover most of the situations. The second way is for more complicated shots – you can take turns within your sequence.
Using the ‘default’ follow profile of course woldn’t give you the best results. In the picture above you can see my settings for the Alexmos gimbal. For any other gimbal – look for the yaw axis deadband and speed settings (it could be named differently). The basic idea is simple – increase the deadband so the gimbal skips smaller movements and lower the speed to make it look good in timelapse (standard speed would be way too fast for a timelapse). While shooting you have to predict the turns and rotate the handle before the turn. It depends on your settings, so you should test it on your own.
Other axes should be locked – so roll and pitch shouldn’t follow your movement. Of course you could use follow also on the pitch. I’m just trying to show you the basic concept of the technique, variations are on you 😉
Combining with programmed movement
If you’ve read my 3D Timelapse head with a gimbal you know that some gimbals can be programmed as a motion control head. The tilt movement in my example video was accomplished with this feature. It’s simple, just set some short timelapse duration, like a 3-6 min. Then set-up the shot just like you would with a gimbal mounted to the tripod. When the movement starts – just walk forward with your gimbal 😉
This technique is way faster and simpler than a traditional hyperlapse. Of course I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement for classic hyperlapse, you get different result in both techniques. It’s a great addition for video projects of any kind, I’ll definitely use that a lot.
I would love to see your work using that technique. Put it in the comments or share on our Facebook group to get a feedback from a timelapse community 😉 Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter! See you next time 😉
Nice work. Looks great.
Super, mógłbyś podać wartości z warp stabilizacji?
Te ujęcia nie były stabilizowane w post produkcji, poza obróbka w lightroom to ujęcia prosto z aparatu 😉
Awesome tutorial as always.
I am wondering whether you are able to provide a full tutorial of faking a hyperlapse. What I mean by faking is that you shoot a video rather than a footage and in post you apply effects to it. (Say posterize time and cc motion blur)
Hey, thank you 🙂 I’ve got one shot in mind which will be a ‘fake hyperlapse’ so there should be a few words about technique. I’m not sure when, but I want to shoot it 😉
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So I am working on a little Hyperlapse project and with a lot of trial and error, its slowly starting to come together. I have about 1 minute edited of the rough cut so far. I still find myself fiddling with the best shutter/interval settings. I have been shooting 1 second intervals and shutter set to 0.8. My biggest issue is maintaining focus. I am using a Rokinon 14mm 2.8 AF lens on the Sony a6500. I’ve been using the AF on the a6500 to lock focus then I will switch over to MF with Focus Peaking turned on when I begin walking to create the hyperlapse. What I am finding, is a lot of my shots are still out of focus. The good thing is that with the motion blur, it doesn’t look horrible but I want it to look awesome and in focus! Ha! Any tips or suggestions on how to create crisp in focus shots while flying the gimbal when creating the hyperlapse? I have been shooting everything at night but I do want to add some daytime shots in my video. When you go to edit, do you think its better to edit all your night shots together and have your daytime shots all together or it doesn’t matter with mixing it up? Last question, I am using the paid Sony Timelapse app. On the settings screen, what is the best Tracking option that you use? I have been keeping mine at AEL but was wondering what the LO-MID-HI was all about.
Hello Chuck 🙂
When it comes to focus – handheld hyperlapses with long shutter won’t be perfect. If the focus is set correctly, so most of the frame is sharp, everything depends on how accurate you will be moving the gimbal. Every up-down or sideways movement is on you, because gimbal won’t Stabilize that and such movement will make the frames blurry. In my shots there are always a few frames that aren’t sharp but as you said – it’s not really visible. You could shorten the shutter or delete the worst frames, but it’s not always necessary to get pleasing to eye result.
Usually I prefer to connect shots like: day shots, sunset, night shots, sunrise etc. But it’s not a rule. If I don’t have enough footage I just mix them together.
I tried different sensivities in the Sony app but I don’t really see much difference 😉 I think I keep it at LOW