Perfecting Time-Lapse Images
Perfectly Clear is the best tool for finishing your time-lapse videos. There’s no other tool that can keep the colors true and rich while also perfecting the exposure and contrast. In a previous post, I showed you how I used Perfectly Clear to finish a bland photograph so that it brought back the feelings I had when I was experiencing the sunrise from a foggy mountain top, and I saved my settings as a preset.
After I made a few frames of the sunrise on this hill, I realized that the movement of the fog would make an interesting time-lapse sequence. I quickly switched my Lumix GH5 to time-lapse mode and recorded for several minutes with the camera shooting a picture every four seconds, which gave me 257 raw pictures. These can be assembled into a time-lapse many different ways, but I like using Photoshop to do it.
Compiling the Time-Lapse
You can use Perfectly Clear to apply a preset either in Lightroom before you complete the time-lapse or you can do it Photoshop after the time-lapse is compiled. I didn’t know which way was faster, so I tried both.
Using Lightroom to export all the RAW files and apply the preset in a batch to create new jpegs took my laptop 13 minutes, and then photoshop rendered the video very quickly, in less than two minutes.
Using Photoshop, you first export all the RAW files as jpegs from Lightroom, then open all the files as an image sequence in Photoshop (File>Open then select the first file in the sequence and check the Image Sequence box at the bottom). Make sure that you have activated the Timeline view under the Window menu at the top. Then, right click on the video layer and convert the layer to a Smart Object. Now use the filter menu to activate Perfectly Clear and choose your preset. The preset will now be applied to each frame of the video as it renders. If you try to play back the video in Photoshop it will be very slow because it has to render each frame as you watch it. It’s faster to simply render the video and view the finished product. File>Export>Render Video.
Which Way Is Faster?
I found on my laptop that doing the whole sequence in Photoshop took just 13 minutes total, including rendering the video. So It’s slightly faster to use Photoshop to do it, but it takes the extra step of exporting from Lightroom first. I think in the future I’ll use Lightroom to apply the preset and then use Photoshop to make the video only. Although, my pal Bryan Esler recently published an article showing how to use Lightroom’s Slideshow module to compile a time-lapse, and that’s very intriguing.
Whichever way you choose to compile your time-lapse, Perfectly Clear is the best way to get it looking it’s very best. What’s more, this method works for both Perfectly Clear Complete and Perfectly Clear Essentials.