Evolution Commercial Timelapse

fbj-village-people I am wearing a hard hat and a fluorescent orange vest. Have I either travelled back in time to a 90s trance party or was my attempt to resurrect the village people successful?

The answer is I am simply wearing the appropriate costume for capturing time lapse of a 30 meter catamaran. I worked for my good friend True North Mark capturing timelapse for his boat building company Evolution Commercial. Evolution was doing a 3 week re-fit on a large catamaran and wanted to showcase how Evolution makes the impossible possible by elegantly moving a large catamaran to their yard. This is the resulting movie, 3 weeks work in a few minutes:

Evolution Commercial from Flemming Bo Jensen on Vimeo.

Behind the scenes

Most of the timelapse, save one scene, was captured by yours truly. The video was edited by Michael Fletcher. Part of the movie is captured on a Nikon D300 using the built-in intervalometer (nice feature on the Nikons!), the rest is captured on a Canon 5D Mk II using the extertnal Canon intervalometer. I managed clean flicker free timelapse images using a “detach lens” trick I learned from Michael Fletcher (thanks for the help mate). Flicker is created from the aperture not being 100% perfect every time the lens is closed down meaning very slight differences in exposure. This becomes flicker when a string of single images are shown rapidly as in a time lapse. To permanently lock aperture, you hold down the DOF preview button, this closes the aperture in the lens to the aperture you have set on the camera. You then detach the lens about half a millimeter until the aperture reading on the camera reads 00. The lens has in effect become a manual lens. You have to be very precise, detach the lens too much and you will get an error when trying to shoot.

A snapshot of the setup with Nikon D300 and Canon 5D Mk II:

evo-cam setup

Timelapse-ing leaves you with plenty of waiting time so I brought a book, and also had fun creating a bit of art out of the work. Here’s a very smogranch inspired catamaran image as I was studying smogranch magazine while shooting. EDIT: It is of course most and foremost a Charlene Winfred inspired image, from her Tugboat Dreaming image! I was even thinking of that image as I captured this:

evo - Cat - Smogranch style copy

It was a fun shoot and impressive to see Evolution Commercial at work; I am very happy with the resulting footage.


PS. Mental note: when timelapse-ing for 8 hours in under the Australian sun, bring a book (I did) and sunscreen (I forgot = baked).

27 Comments on “Evolution Commercial Timelapse”

  1. Looks like it's been great fun.

    Love the way the ship moves to and from the harbour. One can appreciate that there's more to timelapse shooting than just setting up the camera and grabbing a book.

    Looking forward to the extended story upon you return for your "summer break" :o)

    1. Hey homie, yeah it was good fun. Lots of waiting though, so one needs music and books or my good friend Markus to talk my ear off 😀 I shall show you the extended director's cut version this coming Summer. Can you order some Spring for me please so I can come see you guys, miss you all.

  2. Very nicely done there little buddy…thanks heaps for backing me on for these shoots as I was otherwise engaged!

    The end result came out a treat and our customers and transport guys have been very chuffed with the result.

    1. no wukkers Markie, always ready to help out! Glad it turned out so well. If we do it again some day, we should mount a camera timelapsing on top of the boat – that would be a cool angle!

  3. I love that propeller image muchly. Got anymore?

    (It is also just a teeny bit gratifying to be tied to Dan Milnor for the inspiration component. Teeny bit 🙂 )

    I'm intrigued by the "detach lens" method. Does the aperture actually vary if you shoot manual?

    1. Yes I have a few more propeller images, remind me to dig them out next time you drop by

      Dan Milnor was more for the processing – when I saw that scene unfolding I immediately thought "Tugboat Dreaming" and fired away 🙂

      Well the aperture does not vary but it's mechanical and not 100% perfect so of course f/8 is going to vary maybe by 0.1% every time creating a 0.1% difference in exposure between images. This in unnoticeable in stills, but becomes extremely noticeable flicker when 25 images per second are strung together in a timelapse.

      1. Ahhh! I wouldn't have guessed, although now that you mention it, it makes sense, given we use camera controls to change aperture settings rather than the lens ring now.

        I will remind you. Propeller images rock!

  4. Hey Flemming,

    I love your time lapse film it is just AWESOME. I would love to know how you guys do that it is just amazing. Just another thing to learn hey.

    1. Hi Andrea. Thanks very much, glad you like it. Capturing and putting together the timelapse is fairly simple, just a few steps to remember basically. Shooting something interesting is more the challenge 🙂

      As for your avatar – go to http://gravatar.com and register (I think you can log in with your wordpress account) and you'll have a global avatar on all WordPress sites 🙂

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