I’m often asked how to shoot hyperlapse of the straight road. I use that technique in my videos a lot. This week I decided to shoot one of those hyperlapses, so I can explain it in this article 🙂
This is a shot from my 52 Timelapse Project. You can check out the details of the project or full list of the shots.
This week I took part in the XX Photo-Video Fair in Łódź, which are the biggest video related fair in the middle-eastern Europe. So, here’s one of the most popular places in Łódź – Piotrkowska street 🙂 It’s a straight and very even promenade, so it’s perfect for hyperlapse 🙂
There are a few ways to shoot this kind of hyperlapse. You can shoot it Handheld with a gimbal, with camera mounted to some vehicle (car timelapse tutorial) or with a camera mounted to the tripod. You can also mount a gimbal on the tripod. My shot was made with just a camera and tripod, so this technique I’ll cover in this article.
If you want to learn what hyperlapse is, check out this tutorial: How to shoot hyperlapse [TUTORIAL]
It’s probably the hardest and most time consuming way to do that, but you get a unique result, different from the ones with the techniques I mentioned earlier (except for gimbal on the tripod technique). The main thing in this kind of hyperlapse is to follow some straight line on the ground. It’s really important, because left-right movement can make your shot unstabilizable.
The main problem people report is that “there is no fixed point” in straight shots. In this example, it’s quite easy. My fixed point was the statue right in the middle of the frame. It’s not visible during over a half of the shot, however I know where it should be, and I point my camera somewhere in this area, just like in the picture below.
As you can see in my shot, the speed is different. Of course it could be done in post. However, as always, it’s best to do it in camera. Firstly, I was moving 3 paving stones per picture. After about 2 sec of footage (~50 pictures) I started slowly increasing the distance – up to 30 paving stones, which was about 3 meters (10′). The whole shoot took about 2 hours and I got over 500 pictures.
Unfortunately, Warp Stabilizer from After Effects is not the best for these kind of shots. The stabilization is quite time consuming, but it’s possible. My stabilization process was as follows:
- Stabilize Motion (one point stabilization or position + rotation). You can change the point during the video and then compensate the differences in position of the clip. After this step it should be way better 😉
- Warp Stabilizer with some low smoothness value, like 5-10%.
- Another Stabilize motion if needed.
As you can imagine, it takes some time to do that – it would be faster if working on 1080p footage, not full resolution stills, but we want it to be as good as possible. Stabilization means cropping, so let’s crop the images at full resolution.
I would probably use more often my gimbal for this kind of shots – it saves lots of time in post, because usually the footage is usable straight out of camera. However, if you don’t own that kind of stabilizer you can still get awesome results with simple tripod 😉
Show me your hyperlapses! Comment this article or share them in my Facebook group: http://facebook.com/groups/timelapse.hyperlapse.
Why not with gimbal? like the other one?:)
I wanted it to be an ‘old school’ hyperlapse, with just a tripod and a camera. I haven’t shoot such for a long time 🙂
OK:) I’ve never done it with gimbal yet. What are the pros and cons of each of technique in your opinion? Probably Tripod is longer? If you have to do something commercially for example what would you choose now?
Yep, shooting with a gimbal is much quicker (both shooting and editing because it doesn’t require stabilization). Probably that’s the reason I would use a gimbal more often, however you get different result than with just a tripod and I still really like the classic hyperlapse result (looks less like shoot from some kind of vehicle ;))
How about if it is not a straight road or you need to pass a corner, how will you pick a reference point when using a camera in a tripod and not in a gimbal. Thanks
There isn’t one best solution, it depend on the location, but usually just slowly pan the camera to the new fixed point. By slowly, I mean a very little movement between each picture