Day to Night Timelapse Settings

edited October 2014 in CineMoco
Here are some example settings to get started with:

* Reset the controller to default settings (last option in the CON menu)
* Set the Record style to Timelapse in the GEN menu
* Make sure you camera lens is set to manual focus so no shots are missed
* Go to the CAM menu and fire a test shot to test your camera connection
* Go to the home screen and scroll to your desired end point, then hit Set End Point
* Scroll to your desired start point, then hit Set Start Point
* Now go to the home screen and set the following values:
* Record time: 06:00:00 (for a 6 hour timelapse)
* Exposure: 35.0s (this setting needs to be longer than your camera exposure setting so the camera does not move while a photo is being fired during a S-M-S move)
* PlayB Time: 0:20s (desired timelapse video playback time)
* PlayB FPS: 24fps (frames per second you want your final video to play at)
* Move Type: S-M-S (shoot-move-shoot move, you can also choose continuous)
* You have options for your camera exposure setting. The easiest is to use you camera's meter by using aperture priority or shutter priority mode. Another option is to set your camera to bulb mode and ramp the exposure with the controller. In this case go to the CAM menu, turn Bulb Ramp on, and set your desired first exposure and last exposure. The controller will linearly ramp the exposure between the two settings for the duration of the shot.
* Press play and the shot will begin!


  • Aha! Just saw this and learned how the Bulb Ramp mode works! Thank you!
  • Justin,

    In this setup, you would have to experiment and establish the day exposure time and the night exposure time for the bulb ramps settings, yes? So in effect the day before you would need to establish the two exposure settings. Are there any ballpark settings that have been established for this? Just curious. thanks!!!

  • You can bulb ramp by metering the first shot and predicting the second. So, if you meter a 1/2s first shot, and you're losing light, you want the last shot to be > 1/2s. How much greater depends on the situation and takes some experience to get just right. For a sunset shot, you could try 1/2s to 5s over several hours.
  • Hi Gilly,

    well, day-to-night (or night-to-day) is the most complicated way to do a timelapse, if it should be look great.
    The way Justin discribes it here workes, but I prefer to set the exposure manually.
    The sky does not turn darker linear. First it is bright day, than it starts to get darker slowly, than it speeds up, than a longer period in blue hour which slowly gets dark night. It is more like an s-curve.

    If you never have done a day-to-night timelapse you should know, that you will have to change the camera-settings every some minutes over a time of about 1-2 hours. (The axis360 will do this for you, as Justin describes)
    For example: The last I did started when the sun was only about half an hour before setting behind the mountains and ended when it was dark.
    First I set: ISO 100, f.7.1, 1/400
    I reset it 37 times ending by ISO 2500, f.2.8, 8 sec.
    Intervall: Every 10 seconds

    In post-production I have had to get rid of these 37 jumps to get a good look. (And I didnt do a good job in thes case!)

    And to your question about "experimenting the day before":
    The settings for dark night are always the same (with same camera and lens). So if you have found your settings you can use them always. (For a sill-picture or a 'only in night timelapse' I use 25 or 30 secs, for day-to-night I use 10 to 16 seconds. Intervall always some seconds longer. 11 mm lens, ISO 1600 to 2500)
    The settings for the moment when you start your timelapse are easy to find out: the same way you would do when doing a normal timelapse.
    So all you have to know is how long it will take form startpoint to dark night.

    Settings for dark night:
    You will never expose so long that that the stars will turn into stripes instead of beeing points.
    This depends on you lens, focus-lenghts and crop-factor of your cam. With 10mm you can exposure 20-30 secs., with 20mm only 10-15 secs.

    This is the day-to-night I reset 37 times. It is not that good and I stopped it early because of to many cars.
    Also I didnt spend much time in correcting the images, but you can see what it could look like

    Hope this heped you in some ways.

  • I find the easiest way to do day-night time lapse with the similar way Adamus described, with exception that I connect my tablet (Nexus 7) via USB OTG cable and then control the exposure/iso/aperture of the camera while I am shooting (I also check the photos on the tablet and their histograms). It easier to change settings without accidentally shaking or moving the slider with the camera. Then I use LRTtimelapse to get rid of the exposure jumps.
    I hope this helps.
    You can use also your mobile phone to do this, the only requirement is that it supports OTG cable.
  • Adamus, great day to night lapse... very well done. I like to shoot the linear bulb ramp and then modify in post to fit the S curve more properly with LRtimelapse.

    And tzlahtic, the Android control option sounds cool. I'm going to have to give that a try. And, as I mentioned above, I second LRtimelapse... wonderful software.

    Thanks for posting the helpful info guys!
  • Hi,

    What are the controller & camera setting to save power If I want to shoot 12h or 24h continuously. Can I shoot with a fully charge controller or do I need have external power bank?
    Note: I change the exposure through qdslrdashboard

  • Hi highrise,

    I don't think that a normal camera will work for 24h. A normal canon-dslr battery is out of power after 3 to 5 hours.
    The controller might work, just use the sleep-mode.

    I would advise to build a external power, which can provide power for the camera as well as for the controller, as well as for the tab/fon with qdslr.
    I have done and it workes fine.
  • Hi Adamus,

    Thanks for the reply. If you don't mind can you share the details about your batt pack ?
  • edited January 2015

    I'will try my best, but I dont know most of the words I would need to describe in good technical english:

    I got:
    A huge 'cineBloq' (Lithium Iron Phophate Battery - 12.8V - 100Wh - 1100V). five cables, voltage transformer, a cheap power-supply-unit (mains adapter) for my camera, plugs/jacks.

    Just solder it together in the right way and there is power enough to get everything to run for hours.

    I build this mainly for long vacations were I need to recharge a lot of batterys at public places. It's more easy to handle one instead of five. It was a fast solution, just build some days before the last vacation.

    Here is a picture were you can see the axis360 on a heavy cine-tripod (strong enough to take the axis without tilting or falling) and on the ground the cineBloq with the cables.

  • Hi, Adamus and Cinetics crew, I´m trying to do a HDR timelapse setting start and end points with keyframes on both extremes of the slider rails. Record time 1hour, playback time 1 minute, move type s-m-s, playfps 25, ramp 5%. I´ve been testing several times, with different exposure times, but the slider never gets to the end point position. I couldn´t find explained in any of the tutorials nor the pdf´s, what´s the relation between record time and total distance between start and end point. I´ve assumed the controller will do the maths so to a greater total distance, it will move more dinstance on every interval, but that seems not to be the case. Could you give me some clues on this? Thank you very much.
  • Hi @GuillermoKloetzer it sounds like your issue is too short of an interval between shots.

    You need time to fire, exposure and write all of the HDR photos and move the motors. So try increasing your record time and/or decreasing your playback time. If you get the interval up to around 15 seconds, I bet the timing works out.

    I hope this is helpful!

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