This amazing timelapse may not initially stun you, but if you sit and watch thinking about how it was created – with 2 SYNCed Canon EOS 5D Mark III cameras side by side I think you'll be picking your jaw up off the floor!
I know what you're thinking… “not another timelapse planetMitch” and tho you're right, it is a timelapse, this one is unique – something you've not seen before. And, Joe Capra (whom we've featured before on planet5D) spent 2 years putting this one together! TWO YEARS!
And, imagine the process needed to take 2 DSLRs, and sync them so they shoot simultaneously, and then merge all those images into one beautiful timelapse. The editing alone must have been insanely time consuming.
It was so amazing I had to ask Joe Capra how he put it together. And he graciously spent time answering these planet5D exclusive questions.
I know you're going to show people how you put this together, but what's the most difficult thing about the project? Syncing 2 cameras or finding locations that work best?
The most difficult part of the process was the technical aspect of shooting. Everything needed to be in sync on every frame. All cameras and camera settings needed to be the exact same. I needed two identical lenses of the same quality. You can’t have a sharp copy and a softer copy or you will see the difference in the final image. Both cameras needed to be rock solid and not move independently of each other. i had a few shots where one camera was moving around during the shot and the other one was not, this was a huge pain to fix in post. Bulb ramping two cameras at the same time and trying to keep them in sync was a big challenge as well. Aperture flicker was another issue where the flicker is different on each camera. Because of this the normal deflickering workflow doesn’t work. I needed to deflicker each camera’s images separately before stitching, and then deflicker again after stitching. Another issue was when shooting with wide angle lenses. Some lenses are slightly soft and smudge a bit at the edges which caused issues when stitching, as well as sharpness issues at he center of the frame. Post processing, workflow, and storage requirements were a big issue as well. It was also enormous amounts of work. I eventually got a good workflow down and was able to work pretty efficiently, it the process was very tedious and time consuming.
Would you be able to tell us what software you used to make this?
I'm going to keep that one a secret, but it should not be too hard to figure out.
We've become so addicted to motion in timelapse but it is also great to actually sit and look at these scenes without every scene having camera motion, but just how'd you hook up 2 cameras to move in those scenes (I see ‘custom build panoramic rig' in the credits)?
I started doing motion control shots at the beginning of shooting, but changed my mind. There is so much detail and action going on in most shots that i did not want any camera movements to distract from that, so i chose to do everything static. I do have a couple motion control shots in the final video though. The custom built rig was just the rail and alignment system i made out of existing parts from different companies.
Related: Joe Capra's 10k Timelapse of Rio!
You've beautifully synced with the music as well! Do you have a relationship with the composer or did you pick from a library? And what's your methodology for picking music (I find it one of the hardest parts of the process LOL!)? Did you have this piece in mind when you started or did it come at the end?
Finding music for your video is in my opinion one of the hardest part about putting one of these together. The music has to fit the visuals, as well as the whole feeling of the piece that you want to convey. I usually spend weeks and weeks searching for the right music. I found the music for this video on themusicbed.com and instantly knew I found the right song for the video. To me this track tells a story, and i thought that it would match up perfectly with my idea for the video.
Lastly, you went thru a lot of work putting 2 cameras together to make the wide panoramic, wouldn't it just be easier to shoot with one camera and just crop to a panoramic aspect ratio? (I think I know the answer but I'm curious what you're going to say LOL). And what about using a phase one with those massive images and cropping for pano?
Take a frame from my video and split it in half (left and right), not take that half and crop the top and bottom off of it to give the illusion of a panoramic. Now, compare that to the original shot and tell me what ones you prefer 🙂
My thanks go out to Joe for making time to answer!
PANO | LA
Via Vimeo Description:
Shooting Pano LA has been the most ambitious, challenging, demanding, and rewarding project I have worked on to date. It was shot over a period of two years entirely in true panoramic form using two synced DSLR cameras side by side. The resulting panoramic timelapse footage comes in at a whopping 10K x 4K resolution when stitched. I did not shoot this film to achieve the extreme resolution. I shot it for the panoramic look, especially the compressed look you get when using long lenses.
Shooting panoramic timelapse was something I had always wanted to do. I love panoramic images and wanted to bring that look to timelapse, and I wanted to do it proper, not by faking it by just cropping the top and bottom of regular timelapse shots. I gave it a try many years ago but was never able to get the images from the two cameras to sync properly and get the images to stitched together correctly.
A couple years ago I was contacted by a client wanting some panoramic timelapse shots of LA. I told them I had tried it in the past and it did not work out to well, but that I am willing to give it another try. So I purchased some new gear and set out to my local testing locations in Malibu. The initial shots were successful so I continued shooting / testing for the next couple weeks. At that point I had acquired a few good test shots to show the client and sent them over to them. Long story short I never heard back from them about the project, but I kept shooting anyways. If it was not for that failed job/project I probably would have never got around to giving panoramic timelapse another try.
For licensing inquiries:
Please email me using the contact form on my site for the quickest response ( scientifantastic.com/contact-us-new/ ). All footage available in 10K, 8K, 4K resolutions and multiple aspect ratios.
Music: “Death in a garden” by Lowercase Noises ( lowercasenoises.com/ )
2 Canon 5DIII cameras
2 of each Canon 24-70mm, 24-105mm, and 70-200mm lenses
Custom build panoramic rig
Custom dual trigger intervalometer
Kessler Crane TLS with Second Shooter ( kesslercrane.com/ )
(cover photo credit: snap from Joe Capra – all images used with permission)