Framing For Time-Lapse
Published : 19th September 2009
I have an upcoming job shooting time-lapse in which structures will be built approx. 400 feet tall. I'm trying to find ways that I can calculate how to set the frame so that once I lock in the shot prior to construction, that the composition will be nearly perfect when the structure is built.
I will be shooting at ground level... and although I'd rather err on the side of a little too much headroom,
I'm hoping to frame this as close as possible.
>>I'm trying to find ways that I can calculate how to set the frame so that once I lock in the shot prior to >>construction
Try using an inclinometer.
There are electronic ones too.
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Jack Cummings wrote :
>> I'm trying to find ways that I can calculate how to set the frame so that once I lock in the shot prior to >>construction, that the composition will be nearly perfect when the structure is built.
I can't remember but I think one of the palm programs such as pcine or pcam have this feature, haven't used my palm in ages, it is collecting dust somewhere. Otherwise you can use this formula which is from the excellent Hand's on Manual from Samuelson, p322
*distance = (object size *focal length)/image size*
You can move them around as you wish in order to calculate and check also make sure to stay either metric or imperial .
Also quoting from the manual :
where object (or image size) is the width or height of the photographed object (or projected picture) and the image size is the same dimension, i.e. if the Object size is the Object width then the image size must be the image width
Hope this helps, used it long time ago and it was perfect, have to go if question I am sure other people could help.
If you are on ground level and because of the height if you are limited because of distance then also take into account distortion.
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Basic Trigonometry. Here's a calculator to make it easy :
-measure distance of camera vantage point to building surface: this will be figure b in calculator
-building height & headroom intended (you could probably draw the composition, measure it and scale it up in % to figure this out) : this will be figure a in calculator
-the calculator will give you angle A
-Divide angle A by 2
On a balanced tripod use a clinometer (or cheaper and more exact : construction type clinometer from Home Depot (20$)) and aim your angle at the result of the above calculations.
Now you have to figure out what lens to use. Consult the American Cinematographer Manual, Filed of view table, chose the lens where Angle H matches your calculated angle A.
Florian Stadler, D.P., L.A.
>> Florian Stadler wrote: "Basic Trigonometry. Here's a calculator to make it easy:"
Thanks Florian.... It may be Basic Trig for most.... but I'll have to go to my son's high school Math teacher just to make sure I understand your answer.