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5.3 LRTimelapse for Manual Mode

So to process my time lapses, I'm gonna use a piece of software called LRTimelapse, which can be found on this site here, LRTimelapse.com. There's a free version, which enables you to use the software with some restrictions. For example, you can only use 400 images in your sequence, you cannot shoot over 3K resolution, and some other things that aren't really gonna bother us for this course. If you wanted a more higher resolution output, then you'd want to look into buying a personal or professional license. Simply go to the Download section and find a version for your computer. And then once that's installed, join me in the LRTimelapse program for the next part of the course. Once you've downloaded and installed LRTimelapse, it might prompt you to install Java if you don't already have that installed. So follow the information to get that. Once you're in here, there's a few things to look at before you get started. Underneath Edit > Settings, by default, it's gonna have a 16:9 crop. I prefer to crop my images in post, so I will uncheck this one. And also, you might want to set the playback speed. There's a ton of other settings that we're not really gonna go into, and I'm just gonna simply show you my own workflow using this. There's a ton of great tutorials on the LRTimelapse site that you can check out yourself. I'm just gonna show you the basics. Just click OK to get out of there. Now, here's my Lightroom folders, and here's where I created these three different sequences. And I've separated the JPEGs from my RAW files, so if I click on pier2, and it's going to load the sequence. And if I go back to the original folder in BIGDADDY, then we can keep an eye on what it's doing there. So this was pier2. At the moment, it's just the RAW files. But once we start working, it's gonna start generating some new files, some XMP files. So once this is loaded, I can click on Initialize, and that's gonna zero out any changes I might have made. Notice that this little blue diamond shape has appeared, so it's set a key frame at the beginning of our sequence. You can click on play here and bypass the whole QuickTime preview method by simply opening LRTimelapse and seeing your sequence rendered this way. Once these have done, I can go ahead and hit on this one, Key Frame Wizard. And that's gonna add an additional key frame at the end of my sequence. I could choose to add individual key frames, maybe in the middle there somewhere. But as this is a manual sequence, I have really no need because the beginning frame and the ending frames are very similar. So I don't really need to worry too much with a simple manual time-lapse. Once all that's done, I'm gonna save that. And now it's going to write this metadata, this XMP files. So now if I return to my folder, we've got some new stuff going on. And when I jump over to Lightroom, here's that sequence. We got a little arrow there that's telling me the metadata was changed externally. If I unstack that, and hit Ctrl+A, Cmd+A to select the whole sequence, I can right-click and chose Metadata > Read Metadata from Files. And that's gonna update the whole lot. Click on Read, and it's gonna add the information that was created in this other program. So the first thing you should notice is that there's a star appearing here, but not on this one. And it should have also added a star to the final image. See, I've already had a little play with that, and that's what we're gonna do in a second. When you install LRT, it's going to add some features to Lightroom, one of which is to filter down the key frames. So I'm gonna select this, and I'll see only that first and last image. Now, I wanna begin editing the image, so I'm gonna hit on D for develop, and then I'm gonna start playing around with the settings here. So I'm just gonna get some detail back. Pull these around a little bit. I want to prevent the dark areas from being too nasty. One great thing with LRT is it introduces these graduated filters. So typically, you're going to want to darken the sky and get a bit more detail back in that. It's always an idea not to go too far with this, and I can start pulling out and compensating with this, too. Start to get a more interesting dynamic range in my image. So it's basically a juggling act between these settings. There's a ton of different ones here. Maybe a little punch of Clarity just to get a little more definition in the cloud, not too much, mind. And I might go with the blue there, and get a little bit more punch in the sky. And I think I'll go into the mid area and crank up the Exposure a bit there. I gotta drag this over and try to get some of that detail in the tree line back. I don't want to overcook it. And I can compensate for the additional brightness by pulling the exposure back in here, and also tugging these around again. Okay, that's starting to take shape. So we can see before and after. That was before a little murky, and now we've got something a little more interesting. Let's get that more there, and let's pull this up a little bit. There we go. Okay, so I'm liking that. That's looking pretty okay. It's a little overexposed somewhere. Let's just pull these in. Not too much. Okay, that's looking pretty good, I'm happy with that. So what more? Maybe I can punch the Clarity up just a touch. If we zoom in, also I think it's a little soft here, so we can introduce some sharpness. So we go under the Detail tab, and just crank those up a bit. And this, enhance the detail a little bit. Probably about 50-50 is gonna be good there. I can just see before a bit soft, now it's a bit sharp. Okay, and that's looking pretty nice. I might just add a touch of Vibrance. And now I'm set, so I'm gonna hit on G and return to my grid mode. And now I can compare the before and after, so we've got this flat duff-looking image, and this one has a little bit more sparkle. So I'm gonna go to Develop Settings and Copy the settings from this one. Click on Copy, and Paste them onto its brother. Now both of these have the same settings. I'm gonna return to LRTimelapse and it's gonna figure out the transition between this one and this one. So I'm just gonna select them both, right-click, go to Metadata > Save to Files. Ignore the warning and click Continue anyway. It's just gonna take a little moment to do that. Then when I return to LRTimelapse, I click on Reload. And you're gonna see the values here have changed. Once it's read that data, I can move onto the next step, which is basically Auto Transition over here. We can see that some information has changed, so the Exposure value was set to 0. When we initialized it, all these values turned to 0. And now we can see Highlight, Shadows, Whites, all of these different things that I've changed, it's brought over to that. And if we go to the last one, they're pretty consistent. So what I want to do is calculate the difference between these ones, so I click on Auto Transition. And it's going to fix that. Now, one of the downsides to this is you don't get to see any changes happening within this preview window. If I click on play, it's exactly the same as it looked before, and I'm not really seeing any love there. So you have to go a little with your gut instinct here. So if I click on Save now that the auto transition is done, I can return to Lightroom. Go back to the Full Sequence. And we see we've got a little message again, metadata has conflict. And that's okay cuz we need to reload it. So if I Ctrl+A, select everything, right-click and choose Metadata again, Read Metadata from Files. Ignore warnings, click on Read. Now it's going to add those settings to my entire sequence. Now it's gonna take a while before it processes all of these 200 images. And that's not looking bad there. And once it's done those, I can use this arrow preview thing again. See, it's gonna get to the murky ones, and I can sort of see, as long as I begin on some rendered frames, I can see how that's going to look. So that's a very simple approach to fixing a manual time-lapse. Let's take a look at how we might deflicker a time-lapse and do a more advanced approach.

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