10♠ – Make a timelapse

This week was my first crisis in this project. I say first because it probably won’t be the last. This was to be expected from a project like this which is both physically and mentally demanding. Also, from my experience with previous projects, I knew that sometimes you will feel low or won’t have motivation or time or all of the above. Something like that was this week for me. For the previous couple of weeks, I feel very tired and I’m having trouble getting enough sleep because I’m having problems getting my sleeping schedule back to normal. That was also probably the cause for my lack of motivation and inspiration for this week. I had very little free time this week and I was trying to use it to rest and I didn’t feel like I had time to work on this project. But the important thing for me is that I’m not too bummed about that. I do accept it as a normal part of life and I know things like this happen and in the end, it doesn’t matter that much since this is just my personal project.

So sometime in the middle of the week, I decided that this was a “discard” week. This is a term I started using in one of my previous projects. That is a week (or a day) when you can’t give enough of yourself to make something good so you’ll make anything just so you reach your goal and technically follow the rules. I even thought about skipping this week since the rules I have are mine and nothing is stopping me from changing them and taking a short break. But, I do like to follow through with my projects and arbitrary rules I set so in the end, I decided to make something.

Deciding what to make was hard. I thought about it for a long time. I’ve gone through the list of things I want to make this year multiple times and I couldn’t find anything that I was interested in making or that wasn’t too hard to make in a given timeframe or didn’t have materials for it. I thought about making some simple origami or some kind of a photo which are things that are on the list and they are my fallback that is there just for weeks like this one. But, I knew that if I would do them, I would do it badly, or it would be too simple and since those are things I’m good at, I wanted to do them better, to do something special for them. When I make origami for this project, I want it to be something complex and something that I haven’t made before.

Also, I was pushing back the decision as far as I could because sometimes I like to do that, to make the necessity my motivation. If I don’t know what to make now, I’ll leave it for the last possible moment, and then I’ll have to think of something because there is no more time to do so. And that’s how I ended up here. It was 19:30 on a Sunday and that was the last possible moment. So I looked around the room looking at different stuff to see what can I improvise. I looked at playing cards, papers, cardboards, strings, and everything and anything but still, nothing would inspire me. But, looking around the room I’ve noticed my Spathiphyllum wilted a bit which is a sign it needs watering. What is interesting about Spathiphyllum is that when you water it, it recovers really fast, in just a couple of hours. And because of that I always wanted to make a timelapse of that process. Plant timelapses always looked interesting to me and this is one where you don’t have to make it for a whole day or even days or weeks to see it moving. I decided that this can qualify as something for this project so I didn’t waste any time and started the timelapse immediately. I thought that Spathiphyllum needs a couple of hours to recover so I roughly calculated a 30 seconds interval which gives me a timelapse of 1 hour and 15 minutes and it seems that will be enough time. While the timelapse is shooting I started writing this post and it is 20:55 as I’m writing this sentence so I’m cutting it close for my arbitrary deadline which is at midnight. And to be honest, I actually like it. Tight deadlines excite me and motivate me for some reason.

The final thing that I’m not going to pretend that was intentional but I’ve noticed it while writing this post is that this timelapse is a bit symbolic for this week. I was the same as Spathiphyllum this week, wilted down, but next week I’m going to get back to the regular. I already know what I’m going to make next week and it’s a stupidly big project which is going to be hard to finish in one week but I’m going to do it anyway.

Boring stuff

This part is probably going to be the shortest so far so I’m going to write as many unnecessary details as I can so there is something to read. In general, timelapses are very easy to do. You can do them on any modern phone these days. But, I do have a DSLR so there’s no reason not to put it to good use. Even though my camera is a bit old, luckily it does have automatic timelapse functionality. It is a bit limited but it will do its job in this instance. The limitation of my camera is that it can only take 15o photos in a timelapse which is 6 seconds of the final footage. Since I’m writing this while the timelapse is in the making I’m not sure if that will be enough but I would like to have 10 seconds so in order to do that I would have to start the timelapse again manually after the first 150 photos are done. Also, I hope that the battery will be able to do that too since it wasn’t full when I started the timelapse. Because of that, I have a second battery in the charger ready to swap them if needs be, and every now and then I’m checking how is the battery holding up. The camera is set on a tripod and once I’ve set up the exposure and focus, I turned off the autofocus since the camera or the subject aren’t moving so it would be wasteful for the camera to search for focus for every shot and it could only lose it.

After the timelapse shooting is over, I will take the photos and import them into Lightroom. Lightroom is a great photo processor and one of the best features for this purpose is batch processing. That means that I can edit only one photo and then apply the settings from it to all the other photos. And since all of them are shot in the same lighting conditions with the same settings I can do that without any problems. When I edit all the photos, I will export them all in lower resolution, probably 2048px on the longer side because that’s my default resolution for internet content and I don’t need full-resolution files for the 1080p video I plan to make. I could use the full-resolution files to make a 4K video but I don’t see much benefits from that in this case.

Fun fact, while writing this I decided to put in a little stop motion animation. See if you can spot it. But this was probably a bad idea since I have to go to the other side of the room every 30 seconds and that is often in the middle of the sentence which makes writing this post a lot harder.

The final part is importing the edited photos into Premiere to make a video out of them. There is not much work here since you can import photos into Premiere as a sequence which automatically does all of the work for you. It imports the photos as individual frames. And since I don’t really want to edit anything about this I’ll just export it as H264 1080p video with a variable bit rate between 8 and 10Mbps. If it all goes according to plan we will have the timelapse in this post.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *