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5.1 Image Import and Review

Adobe Lightroom is an amazing application for all kinds of photographic work! In this lesson, you'll use Lightroom to organize your files as you prepare them for post-processing. You'll also want to look over your sequences and quickly preview them, looking out for problems and determining your work approach.

5.1 Image Import and Review

So, we've been out on location and we've shot some sequences. Now that we're back home, it's time to start figuring out our workflow and turning our sequencing into time lapse video. To process our time lapse sequences, I'm going to show you my own workflow using Adobe Lightroom, LRTimelapse, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere. Don't worry if you're new to this software, I'm gonna introduce you to the most commonly used tools, and walk you through the steps necessary to produce video. If you don't already own versions of this software, you should be able to find demo or trial versions of the software, so you can follow along with these tutorials. Let's get started. So, I've just got back from a time lapse shoot, and I thought I'd share with you my workflow for getting them off of the memory card, and preparing them for post-processing. So I'm gonna fire up Lightroom, and I'm gonna use import, and here's a sequence of shots, looking a bit murky. And if we scroll through, there should be three different time lapses here and they're all mixed up together. I'm gonna put on the sort order by capture time, cuz we see some of these have got mixed up there. That's not cool. Now I can see them in order. So I went back to the lake, shot three different time lapses but on this last one, some kids come running all over the jetty. And I had to do it twice. So I'll show you what I did to work around that. First off I'll just click on import, it's gonna send it to my default photo's folder. I always import them in the same place and then I'll ship them off elsewhere later on. So I'm gonna click on import. While it does that I'm gonna go and make tea and I'll come back. Once it's all there, and we'll continue talking about it. All right. So they've all imported. Let's take a look at them. So, I shot a couple of sequences, each 200 shots, so that's gonna give me about 8 seconds each sequence. What I begin by doing is finding where it begins and where it ends. Let's scroll down here and see that's where the last frame of that one was. And this is where the next one begins. So what I tend to do here is hold down the shift. I did have the first one selected. If you hold down the shift to select them all. What you can do is right click and choose Stacking > Group Into Stack. And what this is gonna do, instead of me have to make a folder for it, it's gonna put them all conveniently into a stack, so I can see just the first frame of that. It's important to have them in order when you do this. Sometimes they get a little lost and shuffled. So I'm gonna take this next one and do the same. Select the first one and go all the way down to the last one, and hold shift. And I'll go back to the first one, right-click and choose stacking, group into stack again. Now, this next one, I had a bit of a nightmare. I was on this pier, and I set up this shot, and some kids come running and jumping around on this thing, so I'm sure this shot is really shaky and nasty, so I did it again, but I also had kids come over a second time. So what I did to show the break, because I know all the images will look similar, is, I put my hand in front of the camera and took a shot of that, so I know that that's the break between these, otherwise it would've got lost. So let's just grab this one, ignore the ones before it, go all the way to the end, and you guessed it, let's group those into stack again. So I'm just gonna take these middle ones and throw them away, cuz there's no point keeping them I don't think. So I'm just gonna hit delete, and delete from disk, and thrown away, gone for good. So what I end up with then, is three different sequences from the same location. Now what I want to do is find where they are in the library, right-click, notice that I've selected this stack. I'm going to right-click and choose create folder inside, and I'm going to call that one pier1, and I'm going to click this one that says include selected photos. When I click on create, what that's going to do is isolate that particular batch. It's gonna take the whole stack, and now I've got them in their own folder. I can expand the stack, and I've only got those images. If I right-click on that, and choose Show in Explorer, or Show in Finder if you're on the Mac. Here's the folder. It's taken the RAW images, and it's also taken the JPEGs, so I'm gonna repeat the process for the next ones. So, they're all still in the same folder, and again, I'm just gonna select the stack right-click on the folder, choose create folder inside, and I'm going to call this one pier2. And same again. And this one I will call CloudReflect. So that saved me a bit of work, and now the JPEGs are confined inside each of these folders. What I usually do is try to preview the files, so we go into pier1, and just make that full screen. I can hold the arrow key and see a very rough preview of that so I'm just gonna fly through. It's not overly interesting because the clouds didn't change. We got a bit of ripple on the water there and bit of blowing in the reeds, but nothing so exciting. And all I'm doing there is holding down the arrow key. This one is still in a stack, so I need to go back to the grid, unstack it, double-click the first one, and then just hold down the arrow key. That's kind of interesting with the, the boat there. These will be very short time lapses. And let's take a look at the CouldReflect one. I'm holding G to return to grid mode. Select the first one in the stack, and then hold the arrow key. Whoa, and look at that wobbling around, and then the kids left me. So this little piece here is where kids came bouncing around. I might try to use this one for stabilize, and see how bad that is. See if it can be rescued. Once I've done my previews, I'll come back to my folders, And rather than keep them all mixed up with my other stuff, I've created some folded on another drive. I like to keep everything organized. And I'll simply drag the folders like so, and dump them in my other drive. So you can just hold them over and it'll expand any folders you have there. At the moment though, this drive is completely full up, so I'm not going to drop them there, and instead I'm going to leave them exactly where I found them. And that's my very simple process for getting the images into Lightroom, and for quickly previewing the different files. What I want to do is use the JPEGs though to get a better resolution preview. So if I return to the, show in explorer, let's take a look at the cloud reflect one, and we'll analyze the JPEG sequence. I use QuickTime for Windows, and if you get Quicktime Pro. It has a useful feature, where you can basically open an image sequence and preview them. So, under the File menu, you'll find Open Image Sequence. It's good here to enter the frame rate, so I'm gonna go for 24, and then I'm going to navigate to where it stored that file, I put it in BIGDADDY, and it should be the last folder created in here, and there they are. So let's take a look at the cloud reflect. Notice it's totally ignored the camera RAW files, in favor of the JPEGs. Just click on open. Now these are very low quality JPEGs, they're really small, but they're gonna give us a good preview of how this sequence will look. So here it is. And it's generated a movie file. It's stitched them all together and if we click play, we can have a look at that. This is a slightly more useful way to preview your time lapses. I quite like that cloud there, but you can see, there are several kids running around me and killing the moment. But as long as there's not much motion blur I might be able tot stabilize this one and rescue that. So, let's have a look at that one later. If I go back to the file and click on save. I can save this now as CloudReflectPreview. And I'll just go up one level, and I'll keep them all in the same folder, but at the top level. And that's going to make a file for me, a self-contained movie, and that should change. This is a way for me to just quickly see what I might need to do on this. Let's make another one. Open image sequence, and this time I'll go for pier2 because I think that could be an interesting one. Remember the settings from the last one, it's going to take a moment, so I'll enjoy my tea. And there it is. And let's have a look at it. It seems I've pressed, the camera is pretty stable but you notice it jumped on the first frame, and the clouds are quite interesting. You see it goes gadonk. I must have walked away from it and wobbled the tripod. I'm using my little Slik Pro so it's prone to a little bit of wobble but, that's not so bad. I think I can rescue that. And let's see, was there actually anything of interest on this first one I did? So I'm gonna go up, just check this one, and click on Open. Let's have a look. So the cloud's not really doing anything. Maybe when I edit the RAW files I might get more out of that. There's a little bit of a breeze in the tree line there which could be interesting. See the sun comes out and disappears again. But there's not really much work needs to be done to this. There's no flickering, it's pretty stable. I'll save that one with the other ones. That's pier1.mov. And we'll save that. And, let's save this one as well, this was pier2. So now I've got all three of my previews saved. I can look in that folder and quickly get an idea of, oh yeah, it was that one. Now they're in my computer, and they're bagged and tagged. They're ready to open up in LRTimelapse. To turn a dusty, boring looking time lapse into something a little bit more interesting. Before we can use our time lapses within LRTimelapse, we need to separate our RAW images from our JPEGs. Ordinarily when I'm shooting, I don't shoot JPEG, as they take up unnecessary space, but for the purpose of this course I chose to shoot both together, so I can demonstrate the differences between shooting RAW and shooting JPEG. The problem in Lightroom. Here's my sequence, but although I know there's RAW and JPEG, we can only see the RAW files here. We can go under the settings here, and choose under Preferences. To treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos so we can see both. Ordinarily I've got that unchecked, so it didn't separate them on import, so what do I do? Well, as my RAW is here, I'm going to right-click on the folder name. Show in Explorer. And I'm gonna go into that folder. I've changed the view to details, so I can see them all in order. And I'm simply gonna split them up. So I'm gonna create a new folder, and call that JPEG. And then I will scroll down until I can see my JPEGs. And I'll just take that, and hold shift. I can just cut those, scroll back up to the top, and paste them in my folder. Now, you wouldn't normally do this type of behavior with Lightroom because it would get confused usually. But as long as the RAW images are in the same location, it's not really gonna have a big cry about that. So I'm gonna repeat the process with these other ones. I'll go to the Show in Explorer, and dive in, and go to View, choose Details, put them in order of Type, create a new folder. Call that JPEG, and then I will find the first one, select it, go to the bottom, hold shift, right-click, cut, travel back, go inside there, paste that in. Now my job is done there. I can return to Lightroom, and it shouldn't really complain that the JPEGs have gone walkies, and I am now ready to start using my time lapses inside of LRTimelapse. Let's move on into there, and see what can be done.

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