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My camera has a setting on it to take pictures at assigned intervals during the day. I've always wanted to make a video to see how the plants grow throughout a month. What do you guys think would make an interesting sequence, a shot an hour or a shot a day?
 

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I have been doing a lot of timelapse lately using Canon's remote capture software. Once a day is nice but it makes for a very rough video unless you really speed up the frame rate. My latest time lapse is of Hemianthus Callitricoides using a Macro lens, I took over 30,000 frames at 1 frame per minute. I had to stop after 3 weeks as my babysitter turned the PC off on me :-( Unfortunately my PC also wasn't powerful enough to process all those frames to compose the final video (working on new PC now but will still take a long time to complete, still resampling all the photos and removing bad frames one by one), I did however do a sample using every 100 frames, meaning approx every 1.5 hours. While the video is nice it's not as smooth as I would want it to be. Also many frames need to be omitted due to fish, snails and other critters getting in the picture. Also had a lot of undesired movement under the substrate from burrowing snails, it's really incredible just how much they move things around, only visible in time lapse. Another problem with my earlier time lapses is the amount of growth that occurs at night, just as much as during the day if not more. So my latest time lapses are using LEDs as spotlights in order to illuminate the subject during day and night.

I also ran into a problem with using the Canon A70 which seems to freeze up after approx 2000 frames, not sure why, I had to unplug it all and turn camera off and back on to continue the capture, I got into a routine of doing this once a day now. I also had to adopt a firm base for the camera so that all this turning on and off didn't move the camera and therefore ruin the timelapse.

It's a lot of fun and a lot of work too.

Here's one of my first attempts, it's one the worst but it's the only one I have available right now. It requires a DivX MPEG4 decoder to view it as it's very compressed to keep the file size down. This was a single shot taken every day, unfortunately however my son kept moving the tripod each day so I had to guess the position each time. Mush easier to do on smaller tanks on a desk where the camera can sit on a small tripod or book without anyone tripping over the tripod which needs to stay in the same position for many days or even weeks.

http://www.gpodio.com/posts/animation8.avi (1.5Mb)
(I suggest people right click on the link and save the video locally, then run it from there. My connection is a little too slow to run it directly from my web server)

Hope that helps
Giancarlo
 

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Oops, I'm sorry, this is not the video I thought it was...

This was a time lapse of a single day, one frame every 10 minutes from lights on to lights off. Although the plants open up before the lights come on you can see them closing towards the end of the day.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Great work Giancarlo! Reminds me of the Disney produced nature films I used to see in school when I was a kid. All you need now is to add some dramatic classical background music. :)
 

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I have a Mac with OS 6.2 and QuickTime 6.0.3. QuickTime can't play the videos and I have not been able to find any information about the problem on the Apple web site. Apple claims that QuickTime 6.0.3 can handle MPEG-4 videos.

Off topic, a bit, but those old Disney nature films were not the most honest portrayals of nature. For example, I was disillusioned to find that, to show the lemmings supposedly migrating to the cliffs and jumping into the sea (an old myth), they trapped all the lemmings they could catch for 40 miles around, gathered them together, and drove them off the cliff by beating dishpans and using barking dogs.
 

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BUY A PC!! hehe just kidding! There is bound to be something other than quicktime you could download to play the vids with. There is no DivX player for MAC?
 

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Buy a PC??? Never!! This may mean that I will have to upgrade to OS X, which I have been resisting. Probably the OS X QuickTime, version 6.5, can play it.

Doing video's of growing aquarium plants is something I have been wanting to do for many years. I have always wanted do a video showing development of a nutrient deficiency and then recovery when the needed nutrient is added.
 

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HeyPK said:
I have a Mac with OS 6.2...
If you're still using OS 6.2 then I think it's time to get out of the 80's and join the 21st century! Or perhaps we can scrounge up an IBM AT and a copy of Win286 for you to try. [smilie=l:

Isn't there a :shock: Windows Media Player for Mac now?
 

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Oops! A typo. I meant OS 9.2. At the college where I teach. most of the faculty have PC's and they are perpetually being laid low by viruses, adware and spyware, or hardware failure or the just plain kludginess of Windows. Those who have overcome all these difficulties are justified in feeling proud. However, by default, I have wound up doing classroom assignments for the entire college as well as class standing, and semester and cumulative grade point averages for all the students on probation. And, this is on an old Mac G3 that is still going strong.

Giancarlo, Since you are set up to do time lapse, would you consider doing one of aquatic plants developing a deficiency---say, nitrogen---and then recovering from it? I bet one could see all kinds of responses to the deficiency and the recovery from it with time lapse that would not be seen with "ordinary" time.
 

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Thanks guys.

Wow.... even got Oliver out of hiding ;-)
(you need to post more often my friend, we miss you)

I wish my PC had the power to process this last one as it's the longest sequence I've done to date. Besides the hours it takes to go through all the single images and remove bad ones the hardest part of all this is keeping the camera going and in the same spot for a number of weeks, specially if you have a 2 year old running around the house :) I started a harness that hangs off the side of the tank to hold the camera, once that is complete I plan to do some longer videos.

Giancarlo
 
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