Monday, June 2, 2014

And yet another step in the right direction

Although I am still limited to non-Holly-Grail shutterless captures at the moment, ie no embedded EXIF; I have, I believe, taken another step in the right direct.
The silent DNG captures are about 1930x1087 pixels, which for a static HD timelapse is OK. But what about if you wish to do some panning and/or zooming? Well I could buy some expensive motorized track or head to move the camera as I capture the timelapse images. I can also use LRTimelapse, for example, to pan around in a virtual sense. But this doesn't correct for perspective, so the results can look unnatural.

This is where Panolapse ( ) comes in, as it applies perspective correction to create natural panning. It adds rotational motion to a sequence, essentially acting as a (virtual) motorized-head. It also does:
  • Panning. Simulate rotational panning with perspective correction.
  • Zooming. Animate a lens zoom in or out of your scene.
  • Blend frames. Interpolate RAW metadata like exposure, contrast, white balance, saturation, and more.
  • Deflicker. Smooth out changes in brightness.
  • Autoexposure. Get perfect exposure no matter what camera settings you're at, analyzing changes in aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
  • Combine JPG images into a video. Export to high-quality images or video (jpg, mp4, mov).
  • Fisheye Lens support. Works with both normal lenses and fisheyes.
  • Animate stitched panoramas. Supports 360° equirectangular panoramic images.
So, after trying out the Panolapse demo, I bought a full license, after all it was less than 20 Starbucks!

It is early days; however, so far I have adopted the following workflow:
  • Set up the ML-enhanced timelapse sequence as before;
  • Ingest DNGs into the PC;
  • Open up PS-CC and under scripts select Image Processor…
  • Carry out a batch upscaling. For example to 3800 wide, which gives you more pixel real-estate for virtual panning and zooming;
  • Finalize your ‘masterpiece’ in Panolapse, including deflickering etc.
Here is the result of tonight’s experiment: an HD quality timealapse, with panning and zooming, and captured without a single 5DIII shutter actuation; the real time was just over 65 minutes.

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