Saturday, March 8, 2014

Time Lapse TerraPlan

Construction has just begun on the house.  Right now, it's actually deconstruction (demolition), but soon, hopefully we can see some progress.  To document the result, we decided to make a 'time lapse' video, and after some investigation, stumbled upon this nifty camera:  Brinno.

Before we set it up, I did a few experiments to understand the different settings, and get an idea of how it works.  Here's one of me beating the crap out of my friend at chess (sorry, I know it's rude to gloat).

The Brinno camera is pretty cool, it has an easy interface, and lots of settings.  Basically, you just tell it the interval that you want it to snap pictures, and it does the rest, resulting in a nice AVI file with your resulting movie.  You can set the resolution of the movie, and also the frames per second.

There were only two problems with the camera for us, first, the camera has a light sensor to adjust the shutter speed, but it only takes one reading when you start the film.  This is a problem if you are going to be taking pictures outdoors over a long period because the light conditions are likely to change.  In our case, we will be taking pictures once every 4 hours, which means that one picture will be early morning, one afternoon, and one late afternoon (as well as some at night which I plan to edit out latter).  Because there will be different light conditions some of the frames will be over or underexposed.  The second issue is one that Brinno has recently fixed.  They added a setting that allows you to limit the operation to certain times of day which would have been very useful for us because we could set it to avoid the nighttime shots.  It's not really a problem because I can edit out the night shots, but I wish I had know that they distributed the fix via a firmware update... I just discovered now.

I bought the optional waterproof box for the camera and a wall mount.  We decided that the best place to view the progress of construction would be from the high back wall.  No problem for me, nothing quite as fun as working with power tools on a thin ledge high above the ground!

Having the camera on a high ledge also makes it hard to see, and difficult to get at adding a little protection.