One year worth of images give some amazing videos

Update:
I made three new videos of 2009 with my 5D Mark II last year.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2639782&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=01AAEA&fullscreen=1
One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

So far I’ve made two videos of the images I describe in this article. The one here at the top and another two minutes version. Read on to learn how I did this, to see the other video and to download the videos and images in high quality. And if you want to watch this video here at the top in HD quality you have to click through to Vimeo.

The story

Back in 2005 I did an experiment shooting images out of my window for one year. It turned out pretty cool and in the end of 2007 I decided to do the same. But in much better quality.

seasons1024

So I started shooting images with my Canon 400D. From the same spot each time, but not through my window. I found a spot outside that gave more or less the same framing each time I placed my camera. So, I went out on our balcony snapping some images at pretty irregular intervals all through 2008 .

20080414-dsc07821

20080414-dsc07819

Each time I snapped the following images:

3 exposures @10mm (Canon EF-S 10-22 F3.5-4.5 USM)
3 exposures @17mm (Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS USM)
3 exposures @55mm (Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS USM)

All images shot in RAW. The three exposures where: normal, +2 EV and -2 EV.

In addition to the images I decided to record some audio at the same place. Using my Canon S2 IS and my Canon HF10 I recorded simple background sounds trough 2008 as well. Not with exact connections to each image. More with a focus on getting audio from winter, spring, summer and autumn.

All together giving me a pretty decent range of material to put together some experiments.

Then what? The videos…

Link to this video in HD on YouTube.

At the top of this article you find a 40 second version that show one year. Using the 10mm wide angle images. Right above you find a two minute version made from the 55mm zoomed in images.

First I used Photomatix to make HDR images of the ones I decided to use. Mostly because the HDR effect makes the images flat so that the difference in light and shadows won’t disturb the transitions in my video.

Then I used Photoshop to align all the images. Placing the camera manually at the same spot each time won’t give the exact same spot. So I needed some fine adjustment. Photoshop does this. Here’s how:

First load the images you have chosen into layers by using “File->Scripts->Load files into stack
ps_seasons_01

When you have found all your files make sure to check “Attempt to automatically align…
ps_seasons_02

Give your computer huge amounts of time and get back when it has finished. Now Photoshop has adjusted all the images and put them on separate layers in one file. The next thing you have to do is to crop the image. Because of the adjustments the images are not the exact same size. A crop will do the trick.
ps_seasons_03

When the computer is done cropping you export the layers to files. “File->Scripts->Export Layers to files
ps_seasons_04

Now you have a folder with a bunch of images with the same framing. I decided to do simple dissolves between them.

fcexpress_edit

And ended up with a project in Final Cut Express that looked like the image above. I didn’t want one dissolve at a time. I wanted to make some kind of flow where one dissolve is taken over by the new one before it is finished. As you can see from the timeline my dissolves overlap.

The free downloads

First of all: please comment here or contact me if you use the images. I’ll link to all cool projects made from these files!

All the images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. In other words: Use them non commercially as long as you give me credit and as long as you share the work you do under the same license.

For commercial use please contact me. Or you can simply buy non exclusive royalty free use by purchasing the full quality file here: OneYear40seconds1920x1080.30p.H264.mp4
It’s $99,- and the money will be spent on hosting for my projects.

For commercial use of the full quality non branded still images you can buy the complete package of high resolution stills here: EiriksoStills.zip

indexflickr

And where are the files?

Images:
10mm wide angle aligned HDR images in this flickr set.
All the images from that Flickr set in a ZIP file.
55mm zoomed in aligned HDR images in this flickr set.
All the images from that Flickr set in a ZIP file.

Audio:
The audio as WAV in a ZIP file

Video:
40 second movie, 8 mbit/s H264, 1280×720 25p
Two minutes movie, 8 mbit/s H264, 1280×720 25p

But I know what I’m doing and want the full resolution RAW files to make something really cool!

Please comment here or contact me and I’ll provide you with what you want. RAW files, video footage, more audio from the same spot etc…

Whats’s next?

Eh. Well. I just upgraded my camera to a Canon 5D Mark II. Giving me a possibility of getting even higher quality footage from this nice view of some trees… Guess I’ll snap some images on my balcony through 2009 as well. 🙂

One year worth of images give some amazing videos

Test clips from Canon HF10

Filming those trees in full HD

People that have been following me for a while know that I bought a Panasonic HDC-SD5 and returned it because of too much noise in the audio.

So, I’ve been patient and waited for the Canon HF10 Solid State AVCHD camera. It arrived about a week ago and unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to test it in detail yet. So far it looks very good. Small, but more sturdy and solid than the Panasonic. No noise on the audio and a very nice progressive recording mode. Way better performance in low light and a built in 16 GB of memory in addition to the SD-slot.

It works very well with both iMovie and Final Cut Express.

Update:
Here’s a detailed review with tech specs on Camcorderinfo.

I have published some very short test videos and will add more later.

25p-960×540.mov 18-May-2008 01:22 43M
= recorded in 25p and scaled down to half size

25p-testclip-canon-h..> 18-May-2008 02:21 177M
= original recording in 25p, Apple intermediate file

50i-testclip-canon-h..> 18-May-2008 02:11 126M
= original recording in 50i, Apple intermediate file

50p-960×540.mov 18-May-2008 01:52 55M
= recording in 50i and converted to 960×540 50p

For the converting from 50i full size to 50p half size I’ve used the free and excellent JES Deinterlacer. I set it up with the following parameters under “Project”:
Standards Conversion
Custom
Minimal Blend
Settings: Height: 540 Width: 960 Frame rate: 50.000
Movie speed: 1.000

Here’s another quick clip. Something I did to demonstrate Shazam ID on my phone. The video is slightly edited in iMovie, transcoded and uploaded to Brightcove. The recording was done in 25p, saving the hassle of deinterlacing. If you’re reading this in an email update or RSS reader you might want to click through to the article on eirikso.com to view the video.

http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/376819422

And here are two stills from the same camera. It’s snapping decent 3 megapixel stills as well.

Still image from Canon HF10

Test clips from Canon HF10