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YouTube / Johannes Kopf

First-Person Hyperlapse Videos

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YouTube / Johannes Kopf

Researchers at Microsoft have developed a method to make smooth timelapse video from head-mounted cameras. That sounds kind of boring until you see it in practice, and you get a taste of the technical problems involved. File this one under "Computers are Pretty Amazing."

In the first video, the researchers show the differences between the source video (super shaky head-mounted GoPro footage), a "naïve" timelapse (just pick every 10th frame and stitch it together), and their hyperlapse process. Be warned, you might get motion sickness if you watch too much of this (especially fullscreen—and it's not full HD quality anyway). Given that warning, behold the might of computation:

Want more technical detail? Oh, there's plenty in this extended version, explaining the lengths researchers had to go through to make this work. It involves deducing the path the camera traveled, choosing a new (stabilized) path, and combining multiple frames to make that path work.

There's more information on this method from Microsoft Research, including a technical paper (35MB PDF). If you just want to check out more cool hyperlapse videos, I recommend: Google Street View Hyperlapse; New York in Hyperlapse; and a collection of hyperlapse videos from around the world.

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Vimeo
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Weather Watch
A Storm-Chasing Photographer Creates a Dramatic Video of Supercell Thunderstorms
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Vimeo

Most people flee inside at the sight of thunderclouds, but Chad Cowan runs towards them. As Colossal reports, the Kansas-based photographer and filmmaker has spent the past decade chasing storms across America’s Tornado Alley, a storm-prone region in the southern plains of the central United States.

Cowan’s goal, according to his website, is “to capture the awe inspiring beauty of nature in the most extreme and violent weather on Earth.” And with the timelapse video below, which Cowan created with friend Kevin X Barth, he does just that. Called Fractal, the three-minute film features the most awe-inspiring moments from hundreds of supercell thunderstorms, which Cowan recorded in high definition “over the last six years from Texas to North Dakota and everywhere in between,” he explains on Vimeo.

“The project started out as wanting to be able to see the life cycles of these storms, just for my own enjoyment and to increase my understanding of them,” Cowan writes. “Over time, it morphed into an obsession with wanting to document as many photogenic supercells as I could, in as high a resolution as possible, as to be able to share with those who couldn't see first-hand the majestic beauty that comes alive in the skies above America's Great Plains every Spring.”

You can watch Fractal below:

[h/t Colossal]

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Jamie Scott, Vimeo

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pretty pictures
Stunning Timelapse of Flowers Opening for Spring
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Jamie Scott, Vimeo

It took three springs for New York-based photographer and visual effects artist Jamie Scott to put together his latest timelapse, a four-minute piece of eye candy that tracks a series of blooming flowers.

He grew the flowers that appear in the film under a grow light in his house, which he also used as the light source for the video. He also managed to film plants blooming in Central Park while making the shots look seamlessly woven together. He could only shoot plants that were in season, so he had a short window of time to figure out how best to capture them. The flowers didn’t always bloom exactly how he expected, which made the process even more time consuming. In the end, he ended up with eight terabytes of footage that eventually became the short film.

For the viewer, it’s totally worth it. After you watch the timelapse below, read the whole account Scott gave to Fstoppers about how he made the video, because the whole process sounds crazy complicated.

Don’t miss out on his last viral timelapse hit, either. It’s called “Fall.”

[h/t Colossal]

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