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Is AE the best solution for timelapse editing?

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Richard van den Boogaard
Is AE the best solution for timelapse editing?
on Jul 6, 2010 at 9:27:29 am

Hi,

I am trying to figure out what the best software solution is for timelapse editing. So far, I have experienced that After Effects works really well, as it allows you to import RAW files as a sequence, leaving tons of possibilities for color grading and pan/scan as the source is a 5184x3456 pixel image. AE's engine works like a charm, even on those extremely large images.

I have used in the intro of the following video:

<object width="540" height="329"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/eIDoyuMHyzA&hl=nl_NL&fs=1?rel=0&hd=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/eIDoyuMHyzA&hl=nl_NL&fs=1?rel=0&hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="540" height="329"></embed></object>

Anyone else got a similar experience?

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com


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Uli Plank
Re: Is AE the best solution for timelapse editing?
on Jul 6, 2010 at 2:13:04 pm

Yes, in particular with CS5. It's very stable now with large images.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Scott Thomas
Re: Is AE the best solution for timelapse editing?
on Jul 8, 2010 at 3:09:42 pm

I have experimented with a number of systems and although a huge fan of After Effects I don't use it for time-lapse.

I re-mname and number my JPEGs if they are spread over more than one folder and then use QuickTime to open a JPEG sequence. This then creates a full size (4888 pixels wide from a D90) sequence.

I then use Save As (not export, which doesn't work) and create a QT Movie. This is huge but is self-contained and can be saved like a RAW image - ie untouched by Post.

I then bring this into Final Cut and edit it into a 1920x1080 sequence for zooming and panning. This last stage could also be done in After Effects, but for simple editing FC is slightly better. Render times are similar.

Finally you should keep three elements forever -
1. The original stills (which could be zipped to save a little space)
2. The full size QT Movie (although if you keep the stills you coould always recreate this if short on storage space)
3. The final 1920x1080 movie in whichever format you prefer. I also produce a small WMV reference movie on my laptop).

Hope this helps.


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Richard van den Boogaard
Re: Is AE the best solution for timelapse editing?
on Jul 21, 2010 at 2:06:01 pm

Yeah, I learned about the QT-route a while ago. I believe it was Philip Bloom who showed it in one of his blogs. I just find working with AE a lot more flexible. You can skip some of the steps.

Combining a number of JPEGs into a single sequence file, doesn't magically make it RAW footage. True, it's untouched, but being JPEG as a source, a lot of information has been thrown away.

Instead, AE allows you to open the RAW files as a sequence. Upon doing so, you can adjust the RAW settings for the first image in Camera RAW and then have that applied to all images in the sequence. After that, you can apply any other FX in AE to the footage before rendering it out for your edit.

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Is AE the best solution for timelapse editing?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 4:34:50 pm

[Richard van den Boogaard] "I am trying to figure out what the best software solution is for timelapse editing."

Do you actually mean "editing", the process of selecting shots, then creating a effective and visually-pleasing montage of them? If so, you'd probably be better off using a different application than AE.

Or do you instead mean the process of color correction, adding effects, creating motion graphics, compositing and animation? It's AE, hands-down.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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