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Creating Quality Time-lapse Video With Lightroom and LRTimelapse

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Published: 19/03/2013
By: larry

Time-lapse video can be a wonderful addition to real estate video where you want to dramatize any kind of view. Rather than using straight video or a still image on the screen for several seconds a time-lapse with rolling clouds give an elegant dramatic look.

Creating time-lapse video is pretty easy. You basically shoot a series of frames on a tripod with a remote controller every 2 to 10 seconds. I use either a CamRanger or a TC-80N3. You can then import the resulting stills into Lightroom, do adjustments and then use the Lightroom Slideshow feature to write a video file.

To get high quality time-lapse video, without flicker you need to pay attention to a lot of other details. Here are some great resources to help you get through those details:

  1. Gunther Wegner's, Time Lapse shooting and processing, PDF e-book
  2. Gunther Wegner's, Professional Templates for Lightroom
  3. Gunther Wegner's LRTimelapse de-flickering software. This is essential to remove the flicker from a time lapse sequence. It is used in conjunction with Lightroom.
  4. Dave Delnea's Timelapse, An Introduction to Still Photographs in Motion. This PDF e-book was just released. It describes how to use Lightroom and LRTimelapse together much like #1.

I have a copy of all 4 of these. I recommend them highly. Back in September of last year, the last time I did a post on time-lapses one the commenters pointed out Gunther Wegner's products (1, 2 & 3). Gunther's LRTimelapse along with Lightroom has become a standard creating time-lapse video.

14 comments on “Creating Quality Time-lapse Video With Lightroom and LRTimelapse”

  1. So can you do the Ken Burns effect with Lightroom? I've always used After Effects for that.

  2. I love these time lapse videos, especially stuff like the "African Skies" with the clear, starry night sky. I am curious though, those that do time lapse for real estate, do you just set up the camera (a second camera I assume...) and walk away while you are doing the rest of the shoot? Do you just leave the camera there unattended or do you sit there and wait...? My guess is that most people would set it up and then go on to other work, but how do you make sure nothing happens to the camera, like it getting knocked over or even stolen...? I have the gear to do these but Im still not sure the 'safest' way to go about it...

  3. Some of these time-lapses are jaw-droppers. Another option for real estate is to simply use a phone. I added a timelapse at the end of of the following video. I set this up before going into the house to document details for marketing, and then picked it up when I finished. The workflow on an iphone is infinitely simpler than a full-blown DSLR solution. I created the final video sitting in the driveway. Of course, you won't get the highest level of quality, but a huge investment in time and money for an A+ time-lapse is rarely worth it for a real estate video. Here's the vid with the timelapse - http://brushwoodway.com/

    Having said all of that, I didn't know Lightroom did this - I'm definitely going to try this out with my DSLR.

  4. Gunther is awesome with his work. Cant wait to meet him in May for workshops in South Africa. I actually have a 3 meter timelapse rig with a 2D Merlin head on it that is fully programmable.
    Actually want to incorporate more timelapse into my real estate videos. This one has got a bit in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_vHBzTxpJU .
    This is timelapse I shot last year from my home during one of Cape Towns most epic storms: https://vimeo.com/49490905 .

    Anybody got a link for a house that has entirely been shot on timelapse??

  5. Brad and Frank did a timelapse on a studio shoot using the iphone and it really came out nice. You can see it on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PowerVisionMultiMedia from February 27th - and while you are there be sure to like the page! I was amazed that you could do this on a phone. Great to know we can use lightroom as well. We are so lucky to be working at a time when technological tools abound and we have such a variety of methods to choose from for everything digital!
    P.S. Dave Williamson - I love the New York time lapse on Vimeo - thanks for the link.

  6. Tom Lowe is the master! His website timescapes.org is an incredible resource for time lapse photographers. Post any questions in the forum as there is a wealth of knowledge there. Also post your videos in the showcase theater for constructive criticism and feedback very similar to the flickr photo share here at pfre.

  7. @Sandra - FiLMic Pro 2 is the best app for the iphone that I'm aware of. You can fix the focus, exposure and white balance throughout the shoot. The timelapse mode shoots one frame per second, then you can render it to a video. From there, I use tiltshift Video to speed it up, add tilt-shift effects, etc.

  8. @Sandra - TimeLapse works well, although you can't make as many adjustments, but it is free.

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