An absolutely stunning MUST SEE tilt-shift timelapse "The Lion City"

by planetMitch46 Comments

This absolutely stunning new tilt-shift timelapse short shot in Singapore on Nikon and Canon HDSLRs called “the lion city” which is an absolute total “must-see” with a new technique I've never seen before. It is fascinating and very cool.

I know you've seen people say that this is a “must-see” before but I'm not kidding this time this is really really cool stuff and we've gotten an update from the movies author Keith Loutit who told us a bit about how he managed to make this movie without giving away all of the inside secrets of course.

But first watch this and then you'll be dying to read what Keith Loutit has to say about the behind the scenes.

I insist – watch it now – we will wait.

The Lion City

[tentblogger-vimeo 49753231]

exclusive planet5D info

Keith sent us this exclusive info:

Hey Mitch,

Thanks for the questions.

After developing the tilt shift / timelapse combo as my main style, I've been working on a series of experimental focus and light transition techniques that build on many of the same principles.

For ‘The Lion City', the idea behind the use of the technique is for focus and distance to be something the viewer can experience. It also doubles to communicate the constant heat and humidity that hits you whenever you leave the comfort of air conditioning in Singapore.

Because its the first time I've released in this style, the film is hard hitting, and full of effects… more so than if I were releasing a story based concept. Many of the scenes are not really tilt shift.. they're what I call ‘clean shocks', or 'tilt shocks', depending on whether I choose to keep the tilt shift effect, and these are the focus of most of my experiments now going forward.

The film is all digital stills, shot on Nikon D3s and D4 bodies. I also use the Canon 5D MKII / Little Bramper combination for some day to night work. The tracking shots use an extremely large scale dolly that can be transported, so I can control both camera and subject speed independently. For focus effects I make efforts to use lenses where possible (large format bellows and classic Rodogon & Nikon lenses), or modified enlarger lenses. If I'm shooting without effects I use a range of 80's – 90's Nikon lenses I've had modified (crippled) for timelapse work. Edited in FC Pro, Post effects in After effects.

I haven't fully made the transition from optical to post processed effects yet, as I find the lenses often survive the color grade better.

from the description on vimeo: |

A short film about Singapore.

Thanks to Michael Adler Miltersen for composing the arrangement and sound design for this film (

Music by Sepia Productions (Michael Adler-Miltersen)

Sound design by Sepia Productions

Thanks to the following people who helped with this film:

Yan Szu Ong, Singapore National Parks Board;

April Tan, Juliana Tan, Irin Lin & Belle Tan – Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority;

Cheryl Ng, The Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore;

Jing Han Foo, Singapore Housing & Development Board;

Fulvia Wong, Singapore Flyer;

Ong Jun Wei, National Day 2011;

Steven Tan, Shaw Organisation;

David Phan, P&G Photographic.

via The Lion City on Vimeo.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Amazing! I’m amazed with the depth this technique created.

    As a Nikon shooter myself, it was a bit surprising to come here and see he shot this on Nikon cameras and lenses (along with the 5D). 😉

    1. oh my god, the Ron guy is here too? , folks, he´s just here to grab attention. please ignore him.

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  3. I’m poor with english so I don’t really understand the focus technique. Is humidity or depth of field or post production?

    btw one of the best video I’ve ever seen!

  4. Thanks for insisting that I watch it. I was sceptical with your “must see” but you were correct.

    1. Author


      ha! I worried about using that title, and many people abuse that kind of stuff, but this one I really truly absolutely meant LOL

      Tho it did bring in a TON of viewers so maybe I should just do it all the time 😉

      Naw, I am kidding.. I would rather my readers trust me!

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  11. Amazingly beautiful work! I love that technique and will work hard to do that myself when I head down to Australia for a client shoot in April, just STUNNING!

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