Time-lapse cloud video

I’ve been learning about my Canon EOS D-SLR camera and wanted to try a time-lapse cloud video. It was pretty easy!

Step 1: Install Magic Lantern

I installed Magic Lantern add-on firmware so I could get an Intervalometer (a thing that takes a picture every x seconds). I was kind of surprised Canon didn’t load this feature by default, but this only took a few minutes to get running. Neat.

Step 2: Take lots of photos from a tripod

As a first test, I just pointed the camera out at the fairly nice clouds around the setting sun and set the interval to 10s. I ran the camera in manual mode and got the exposure about how I wanted it before starting the interval. In this case it was 1/640s exposure time, f/2.8 aperture. I’ll have to play more to figure out how to do the exposure ramping tricks.

Step 3: Process the photos with a frame interpolator

Lots of people use something called Twixtor to render interpolated frames between the interval (to smooth out the motion) but I’m a linux guy. I came across slowmoVideo which seemed to do the trick. I built in on Ubuntu 15.10 without trouble and sent it a bunch of photos. It was rendering really slowly so I pre-shrunk the images with mogrify first to like 30%. It still took about an hour to render this short clip.

Finally, I threw some audio on with ffmpeg and the result is what you see above. Pretty slick! I hope to take a lot more of these in the future.

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