Author Topic: Timelapse / FPS override ... I panicked... real world account of ruined session  (Read 3983 times)

Ivan Lietaert

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I have a 550D and I love ML. Though this is my first post here, I have used ML for quite a while. I like focus peaking, audio meters and overlays. For over a year I have been working on a passion project (On Holy Ground) and now I want to add timelapse to my videos as well. After limited initial tries at home, I felt confident and I went out for a test 'in the field' and ... I messed up.

My only success was actually at the start of my field test: a 300 shot series with the intervallometer. The result of that is posted below, and I have a question about it (see below).
Then I started worrying about all the shutter clicks, so I thought the FPS override mode would be better for the life expectancy of my camera. So I went into FPS Override mode. At 1/3 exposure, my shots were overexposed (I was shooting straight in the sun), and that's when I made a mistake that would ruin the rest of the evening: in order to get correct exposure, I wanted to change the aperture, but unfortunately I turned the aperture ring of my manual lens in the wrong direction (I only found out when I got home it was at f4 instead of f16!), so my shots stayed overexposed... Then I started panicking. As far as I'm able to reconstruct, I must have turned the dial to movie mode, while in FPS Override and intervallometer mode, the result is that the camera stopped clicking (which I thought was good), but instead of recording one long movie at 3fps, it recorded a sequence of separate movies... As it got darker and colder, and I felt insecure about the outcome of all this, I soon gave up...
At home I could easily edit the timelapse sequence (see below). I also looked at the movie sequence: it was correctly exposed, but boring and too long, while there was not noticable movement of the sun in it, so I didn't use any of it.

So here is the result of my fieldtest. (jpegs heavily edited in Lightroom). Question: there is some flickering. What could be the reason?

UPDATE: The flickering, I found out after some research, is probably caused by the short exposure times of the still images (1/1600). It is advised to keep exposure under 1/100.


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hehe yeah. ML is a tool like a knife.
if you hold a knife on the wrong side, it will hurt.
if you hold it on the correct side, you can do very cool things with it.

the video looks very nice, i like it.
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Ivan Lietaert

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Here is an update! So I went out a second time, this time better prepared, learning from my mistakes!
In order to keep the flickering away, I kept exposure under 1/100, so now the timelapses look better, with only minor flickering.
In FPS Overexposure mode, I still got overexposed footage, even at f22, so I didn't waste any time with it. I guess the only solution here is a (variable) ND filter. I'll give that a try on my next trip.

So here it is, for those interested:


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Yeah ND filter is a must, for the fps override.

However, it also makes your regular time lapses a bit nicer if it's in bright conditions as well, a bit less likely to suffer from flicker.

It's a pity there isnt the 60fps mode for the 550D, it can help make the video play back faster if you are recording at 3fps or whatever. Not too tricky to speed up afterwards though. :)

Ivan Lietaert

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Today I did a little test at home with an nd filter and 'fps override'. Just to make sure I'm well prepared for my next trip. My variable nd filter is really useful here. I just wish I had more sizes of them. I only have a 52mm which fits my 55mm and 50mm lens, but I would love to have one for my samyang 14mm lens (which actually doesn't allow a filter to fit, due to all the glass in front).
I actually like the 'fps override' method: there's no flickering, and the workflow is fast and easy in Vegas: it much easier working with one event in the timeline instead of 300 (or more).

Details about this clip: 2 fps and accelerated 4x in post. I added a vignet in post and used Magic Bullet Looks.
Filmed with a manual Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 at f11 with a Light Craft variable nd filter.

Ivan Lietaert

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Finally did a decent effort for making a deflickered time lapse video.
Here is the synopsis of the workflow:
1) shooting 2x 300 pictures with Magic Lantern's intervalometer on my 550D (jpegs)
2) in Lightroom, added a creative preset (color grading) and changed to 16x9 format; then exported to 2048 pixels wide jpegs
3) in VirtualDub: imported the 300 jpeg sequence and added the MSU Deflicker 1.3 plugin. Rendered to 2048 avi (huge file)
4) imported the avi into Sony Vegas; added titles and music; sped up the avi to fit the music score; rendered to 1080p mp4
5) Done