I just created my first time-lapse video from photos taken with my D7000. There are two steps in this process, of course: take the photos and create the video from them. In this post, I will talk about getting the shots. The second part deals with creating the video from the shots.
Taking photos for a time-lapse video
Here is what you need and some suggestions:
- Subject: Choose a suitable subject: something that changes over time (but not too quickly) and looks interesting while doing so. Cars at traffic lights, an egg in a pan, clouds in the sky, …
- Tripod: You will almost certainly need a tripod for this.
- Camera and Settings: Of course, you need a camera that supports interval shooting. For the D7000, open the menu, select the SHOOTING MENU and select INTERVAL TIMER SHOOTING. You can then set the following options:
- Starting time: self-explanatory, just make sure the time is set correctly in your camera. Usually you will simply choose NOW.
- Interval time: the time between photo series. Setting this to 5 seconds means a series of photos will be taken every 5 seconds.
- Intervals and Number of shots: the intervals are the number of image series you want to shoot. the number of shots specifies how many images will be taken per series.
Example: If you set starting time to NOW, interval time to 5 seconds, intervals to 200 and number of shots to 2, the camera will take a total of 200*2=400 photos. Every 5 seconds, 2 photos will be taken and this will thus take 5*200 = 1000 seconds, which is about 17 minutes.
- Focus: You should focus manually before starting the series.
- Exposure: You should set expose mode to manual (M) and take some test shots.
- Batteries and SD card: You should make sure that you camera has enough power (check the batteries) and that there is enough space left on the memory card.
- Quality: For videos, you usually do not need full quality. You should consider switching from RAW to JPEG, maybe even set medium instead of high jpeg quality. Just don’t forget to set this back to RAW when you’re done with the shots for the video!
- Number of images to take: You should think about the video length you want before taking the photos. Videos usually run at around 25 FPS, i.e., you need 25 photos for 1 second of video. This means that the 200 photos used in the example settings above will give you a video that is 8 seconds long. So you may need a lot of images.
Now you should have a memory card or folder full of JPEG images. In the next post, I’ll explain what I did to create a video from them using Open Source software.
Here is my example video:
The second part of this post can be found here. It explains how to create the video from the photos you just created.