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Tutorial: How to Create Dynamic Timelapses With DSLRs

This tutorial demonstrates how to create vibrant timelapses using high-resolution images captured with DSLRs, and edited and exported with Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, and Photoshop.

When we're finished, we'll choose the Save option and Camera Raw will begin to batch save all of the photos and edits we've made. When the images are done saving we'll move into Adobe Photoshop to assemble our timelapse. Open Photoshop, navigate to File in the toolbar, and select the New option. Here we'll enter a name for our project and choose a video preset. Now we can choose a size for our final output. As I mentioned earlier, in this project, my photos are much larger than 1080 HD. My camera actually produced photos at a resolution of 5089x2863 pixels. With that in mind I'm going to create a Custom document type (Figure 7, below).

Figure 7. Creating a Custom document type in the New dialog in Photoshop.

Next we'll proceed with adding our photos to Photoshop, navigate to Layer in the toolbar, and choose Video Layers > New Video Layer from File. Select the first image in your photo stack.

Additional Adjustments

Photoshop has now imported your photos into a video file. Navigate to Window in the toolbar and select the Timeline option. This shows you the timelapse that we've created. There are a few other things we need to adjust before we can export our timelapse. Navigate over to the Timeline panel button and select the Set Timeline Frame Rate option. The Timeline Frame Rate dialog opens (Figure 8, below). I'll enter the 23.976 frames per second that I wanted and then I'll press OK.

Figure 8. The Timeline Frame Rate dialog

Now we'll adjust the length of our timelapse by selecting the Play button in our video layer. Here I can adjust the speed of the video so that I get the duration I originally wanted, which was 15 seconds. This is why I recommend getting a few extra frames during shooting in the event that you're a little short, or if you've had to remove photos from the sequence.

Exporting the Video

We can now export the video. Navigate to File > Export > Render Video. This will open a new window which allows us to name our file and select the final destination. We can also choose a format for our video. In my case, I'd like to do further editing with this in other programs such as Premiere and After Effects, so I'll chose QuickTime with an uncompressed quality setting. Look over everything else and make sure it matches your settings. The rest looks good, so I'll select Render to export the video. This may take a while depending on the speed of your machine and the export settings you've chosen. I promise that the results are worth the wait.

Using this method will produce some dynamic timelapses. You can take things even further by adding those jib or slider movements in Premiere or After Effects since you have all of the extra resolution to play with. Check out the past tutorial I created called Creating a Moving Timelapse Effect in Adobe After Effects to see this technique in action.

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This tutorial will show you how to create jib/slider movement by using 2K footage in your 1080p Adobe Premiere Pro CC project.