24 August 2008

24 hours time-lapse: A day in the life

BlahI was playing and experimenting with iMovie's built-in time-lapse function and decided it'd be cool to make a 24 hour recording with it.

I did some testing (among which a 5 hour cloud movement recording compressed to 5 minutes) and paid attention to the weather forecast as the camera would be partially outside and I didn't want rain on it. 16 August seemed to be the perfect day, so I set it all up and got ready for the recording.

I should however point out I didn't yet wanted to record 24 hours, I first wanted only the part of the day when it's actually light outside. Therefor I started the recording somewhere inbetween 2 and 3 am, just before I went to sleep, to edit out the dark part at the beginning later. The next morning (or afternoon ;) though I figured I would just let it run until 3 am to have the full 24 hours anyway. This is why it starts and ends at 3 am, rather than midnight.

After the recording it needed some more tweaking. The video initially was 48 minutes long, I squeezed that back to 24 minutes (for a technical reason: the time-lapse records frames with adjacent fields (as delivered by the camera), rather than frames with fields 30 fields apart. Recording twice as much and squeezing that back fills in the correct fields for smooth motion). This meant one second in the video represents 1 minute of the day. But 24 minutes really is too long and too boring for one shot, so for internet use I sped it up even more to its final 4:48 minutes (that's 4.8 mathematical minutes, which is 1/300th of 24 hours, so the video is sped up 300 times). I also increased the contrast in the clouds and in the shadows a bit.

I think I was lucky with the weather too, the clouds didn't move so very fast, so even at 300 times the speed you can still follow them. I personally like the part where you can actually see the sun rays underneath them most :D

The time in the upper right corner should be fairly accurate. I ended the recording at 3 am on my Mac's clock exactly, which is fed by a timeserver. The times for various positions of the Moon and Sun are taken from various internet sources and seem to be correct. Fun to see how it's light before the Sun is up and after it's set :)

Music is the song Nucleus from Epiphany, it can be found on Simuze.nl. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

So I hope you enjoy as much as I do the video 24 hours time-lapse: A day in the life! :D