Take Your Time-Lapse to the Next Level by Blending in Real-Time Video

With less expensive gear being introduced all the time, we have seen a boom in time-lapse films in recent years, making it easier for just about anyone to make their own time-lapse clips. But with the deluge of videos comes innovation and the need to differentiate yourself. Filmmakers have used time-lapse in some creative ways with production techniques like multi-axis motion and post-production software like After Effects to achieve wild results. A relatively new approach is compositing live-action footage over time-lapse video, and it is pretty easy to do.

The team over at Rhino Camera Gear have added another tutorial into their growing library of awesome tips and tricks, showing us how to composite live-action footage over motion time-lapse in only a few simple steps.

Kyle Hart, founder of Rhino, has a few straightforward guidelines when it comes to shooting and processing your clips to achieve this effect. The first piece is having some type of motion-control time-lapse system. Hart is using the Rhino EVO with motion which Fstoppers has been playing around and testing the last few weeks. You don't need a Rhino, but for your shots to line up, you will need a slider that moves the same distance and your clips to be the same duration when complete.

The next thing you are going to want to pay attention to is the background of your live shot. Since the compositing is achieved by removing the sky in the live-action clip, a clean background is critical. Hart lays out some specific things to watch out for, like don't shoot into the sun and avoid mountains, water, or other detailed backgrounds. You want a nice contrast between the silhouette and the area you are going to key out.

From there it is pretty easy to complete the effect is postproduction. Simply key the silhouette and invert the matte so the sky ends up being removed, revealing the time-lapse clip below. From there, get creative and try and push your time-lapse videos even further.

How are you taking your time-lapse to the next level? Will you use this effect?

[via Rhino Camera Gear]

Casey Berner's picture

Casey Berner is a photographer and videographer based in Seattle. After living in the Midwest, he followed his passion for the outdoors and took up residence in the Pacific Northwest shooting timelapse and landscapes. He spends weekdays in the office as a video and photo producer and weekends in the mountains exploring with his camera.

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Diaries Downunder, recently used this technique in their video for Air New Zealand. Shots at 0:05, 0:20 and 0:27 are all real time or slow-mo with time-lapse composites.