Inside Lanternsmith Promo part 03: Gopro Time-lapse Hike Blend Effect Breakdown

Heya all, so here is a quick test that I made combining frame blending and stabilization onto a piece of footage that I obtained while shooting the Lanternsmith video. The results are pretty interesting. I am going to use some version of this effect in the final video I think. (in small doses of course, as it is way too hard to watch for very long.)

my thoughts:

what I like:

  • the section when I slowly panned the camera up towards the canopy worked pretty well. When I edited to the audio i was able to sync it up pretty nicely
  • The section around the 1:42 seconds mark where I had more of the ground in the frame came out well, especially on the rocky ground, where it seemed like the ground was shifting and the blender was interpolating between different rocks as the movement of one rock.


  • The frame blending got pretty confused at certain points, resulting in black tearing of the footage. I believe this is because of a couple main issues:
    1. frames had too much movement for the frame blending algorithm to pick up on the patterns.
      • The camera was on my head, and I wasn’t really paying any attention to where I was looking, so whenever I turn to look at anything, the video looks that way as well… sounds obvious, but its hard to remember when you are dieing under the weight of a hiking backpack. In the future I am going to either try to be super conscious of where I am looking or scrap the head mount all-together and anchor the camera to my chest.
    2. there was not enough intermediate data to interpolate the placement of subsequent frames.
      • I shot the footage with a time-lapse of 1s, I think that in the future for this effect to work I am going to go with at most .5s or use a video source if I can.
    3. The features in the image were not distinct enough to detect movement.
      • Due to the gopro auto exposure compensation for timelapse modes that was added in update 03.03.03, the gopro auto adjusts exposure on each frame when in .5-1.5s modes to have a uniform exposure level over the entire length of the timelapse. I noticed that on some of the frames, the images were quite blurry, although the ones that I took at the sunny trailhead seemed fine. I dont know for sure yet, but it is extremely possible that the gopro auto adjusts the shutter speed to be slower in order to maintain the image exposure level in lieu of adjusting the ISO to avoid image grain. If  this is the case, the I believe this effect will be much better achieved using the 4k 12fps or 2k 24fps settings rather than the timelapse setting, as the auto adjustment will not occur yeilding less blur per photo, making the blending easier with only a minimum of quality loss.
  • I dont know why it is, as I have uploaded many videos to youtube without incident, but it seems that when I uploaded this one, the 1080pHD version looks terrible. I will attempt to re-upload later
  • other than that, from a DP point of view, I would have wanted to make sure to stay at the back of the group as I was hiking and make sure that all four actors were in view.
  • From a directoral point of view, I would have also mandated that the main character in the video should be the one to carry the blue backpack with the staff in it. As I described in part 2, it was discovered that the main character’s backpack could not actually carry the staff, as it was an external frame pack with little internal space. When it happened, I should have rolled with it, but asked the two actors to switch backpacks.  The result is somewhat confusing, as you see the main character take the bag, and then the girl walking with it.

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