Processing a time lapse sequence

For those that worked shot time lapse sequences at the club’s outing, or will be doing so at the field trip with the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club, or are simply interested in doing it on your own, here is a set of simple instructions for putting your project together using Lightroom and Photoshop.

Import your image files into Lightroom and make any necessary adjustments (exposure, contrast, noise reduction, etc) to the first file. Synchronize the adjustments to the rest of the files. Export the files in jpg format to a new folder. Rename the files before or during the export to ensure that they contain a proper numerical sequence within the file name. 001.jpg, 002.jpg, etc or timelapse-001, timelapse-002, etc for example.

In Photoshop go to the “File” menu and choose “Open”. Select the folder that contains the jpg files and highlight only the first file in the sequence. At the bottom of the window check the box for the option labeled “Image Sequence” and then click the “Open” button. At this point the images will be imported as a time lapse sequence into Photoshop and you will be prompted to select a frame rate. Choose 30 for a normal look or 24 for a cinematic look.

If you wish to customize the time lapse project go to the “Window” menu and choose the “Timeline” option. Whether you are leaving the time lapse as-is or customizing it you will need to render it to complete your project. Go to File>Export>Render Video. In the dialog box you will specify an output location, a file name, format, size, and frame rate. Typical format will be H.264, high quality. You can keep the same frame rate as you decided upon import or change it here if you wish. Click the “Render” button and wait for your project to be completed. Have fun!

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