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kottke.org posts about time lapse

Time lapse of two hydroelectric dams being torn down

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 20, 2016

Two hydroelectric dams on the Elwha River in Washington were removed in order to restore the river’s ecosystem — in particular, the salmon habitat. It was the largest dam removal in the US history and, as the video explains, has been successful so far in attracting fish back to its waters. But for our purposes here today, the first 30 seconds shows how the dams were unbuilt and the rivers reshaped.

See also this time lapse of another Washington dam being disabled and its reservoir drained:

Epic time lapse videos of Mercury’s transit of the Sun

posted by Jason Kottke   May 10, 2016

About 13 times per century, the planets align in the heavens and the Earth can watch Mercury crossing the face of the Sun. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory was watching too and captured time lapse videos from several angles using various instruments measuring magnetism, visible light, and UV. The cosmic ballet goes on.

See also more from the SDO: a gorgeous time lapse of the Sun, a three-year video portrait of the Sun, and Thermonuclear Art.

Time lapse video of a year’s worth of sunrises

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2016

A man in Germany rigged a camera to take a photo 10 minutes after sunrise every day for an entire year. Phil Plait explains the Sun’s motion:

The video starts at the vernal equinox in 2015, on March 21, and runs through to March 20, 2016. The Sun rises due east, then moves left (north) every morning at a rapid rate. You can then see it slow, stop at the June solstice, and then reverse direction, moving south (right). It slows and stops again at the December solstice (note the snow on the rooftops!), then reverses, moving north again. The weather gets pretty bad, but you can still see enough to get a sense that the Sun moves most rapidly at the equinoxes and most slowly at the solstices, just as I said.

What the NYC subway train saw

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 19, 2016

YouTube user DJ Hammers has been uploading videos of start-to-finish trips on NYC subway lines from the perspective of the operator at the front of the train. The realtime videos are interesting to watch, but the 10x time lapses are probably a better use of your attention. Here’s the time lapse of the Queens-bound 7 train (realtime version):

See also Slow TV.

Go go gadget cruise ship

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 12, 2015

In 2007, a cruise ship called the Balmoral was brought into the dry docks to be extended. Like, they cut the ship in half and added an entire new section to it, like putting an extra slice of bologna on a sandwich. I totally didn’t know this was a thing you could do to a boat. (via @MachinePix)

Update: Ships can be cut apart and widened as well. (via @timotimo)

A time lapse of changing USA boundaries, 1629-2000

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 04, 2015

This is an animated map of the lower 48 United States showing every boundary change (country, colony, state, and county) from 1629 to 2000. (via @ptak)

Time lapse video of a scale model of the solar system

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 17, 2015

A pair of filmmakers, Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, built a scale model of the solar system in the Nevada desert and made a time lapse of the result. For orbits, they drove their car in circles around “the Sun”. The Earth they used was the size of a marble, which made Neptune’s orbit seven miles across. (via the kid should see this)

Time lapse video of a caterpillar turning into a monarch butterfly

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 27, 2015

(via the kid should see this)

1WTC elevators show NYC time lapse

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 10, 2015

The walls of the elevator to the observatory at the top of 1 World Trade Center are covered with screens and when you ride it to the top, you see a time lapse of NYC’s development, from 1500 to the present.

The observatory is open daily from 9am to 8pm.

The birth of bees

posted by Jason Kottke   May 20, 2015

A time lapse of the first three weeks of a bee’s life, from egg to adult, in only 60 seconds.

Some explanation of what’s going on can be found in this video. (via colossal)

Reef life

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2015

A beautiful time lapse of colorful sea creatures going about their days.

Seagull contrails

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 12, 2015

Using a tiny bit of post-processing, the flight paths of seagulls become visible in this video:

See also the bird contrail videos by Dennis Hlynsky.

Infrared Planet Earth

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 30, 2015

This is an ultra-HD time lapse of planet Earth in infrared. Infrared light is absorbed by clouds and water vapor, so the result is a sphere of roiling storms and trade winds.

Here’s a video with both hemispheres at once and another offering a closer view. If you’ve got a 4K display, this will look pretty incredible on it. James Tyrwhitt-Drake has done a bunch of other HD videos of the Earth and Sun, including Planet Earth in 4K and the Sun in 4K.

The Invasion of America

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 09, 2015

From eHistory, a time lapse view from 1776 to the present day of how the US government systematically took land from Native Americans through treaties and executive orders that were rarely honored for long.

There’s a companion piece at Aeon by Claudio Saunt as well as an interactive version of the map featured in the video.

The final assault on indigenous land tenure, lasting roughly from the mid-19th century to 1890, was rapid and murderous. (In the 20th century, the fight moved from the battlefield to the courts, where it continues to this day.) After John Sutter discovered gold in California’s Central Valley in 1848, colonists launched slaving expeditions against native peoples in the region. ‘That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between races, until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected,’ the state’s first governor instructed the legislature in 1851.

In the Great Plains, the US Army conducted a war of attrition, with success measured in the quantity of tipis burned, food supplies destroyed, and horse herds slaughtered. The result was a series of massacres: the Bear River Massacre in southern Idaho (1863), the Sand Creek Massacre in eastern Colorado (1864), the Washita Massacre in western Oklahoma (1868), and a host of others. In Florida in the 1850s, US troops waded through the Everglades in pursuit of the last holdouts among the Seminole peoples, who had once controlled much of the Florida peninsula. In short, in the mid-19th century, Americans were still fighting to reduce if not to eliminate the continent’s original residents.

FYI, it’s always a good rule of thumb to not read comments on YouTube, but in this case you really really shouldn’t read the comments on this video unless you want a bunch of reasons why it was ok for Europeans to drive Native Americans to the brink of total genocide.

Clever end credits for The Boxtrolls shows how stop motion works

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 29, 2014

The end credits for The Boxtrolls, a stop motion animation film by Laika, is a clever time lapse sequence showing the work that goes into moving the characters. You can tell how long it takes by how often the animator’s outfit changes.

Christopher Jobson of Colossal writes:

I first saw Boxtrolls in the theater last September with my son, and this single scene caused a more vocal response from the audience than any other moment in the entire movie. People were literally gasping, myself included.

The Boxtrolls is already available for purchase on Amazon…might have to watch this with the kids soon.

More Stormscapes

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 11, 2014

This time lapse video of storm clouds by Nicolaus Wegner is flat-out incredible, by far the best of its kind.

Crank up the sound for this one. Previously: Stormscapes 1. (via bad astronomy)

Gorgeous time lapse of the Sun

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 10, 2014

This is a time lapse of the surface of the Sun, constructed of more than 17,000 images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory from Oct 14 to Oct 30, 2014. The bright area that starts on the far right is sunspot AR 12192, the largest observed sunspot since 1990.

The sunspot is about 80,000 miles across (as wide as 10 Earths) and it’s visible from Earth with the naked eye. Best viewed as large as possible…I bet this looks amazing on the new retina iMac. (via @pageman)

Amish barn-raising time lapse

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 05, 2014

Watch as a group of Amish men raise almost an entire barn in a day.

(via colossal)

The hyperlapse algorithm

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 11, 2014

Microsoft has developed software to transform shaky time lapse videos into impressively smooth hyperlapse movies. Take a look at a couple of examples.

Read more about the project on the Microsoft Research site.

Enter Pyongyang

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 09, 2014

Many videos and photo projects promise a glimpse of life inside North Korea “as you’ve never seen it”, but I believe this video by JT Singh and Rob Whitworth actually delivers the goods. It’s one of those 3-minute time lapse portraits of a city that are in vogue, with the North Korean capital Pyongyang as its subject.

Time lapse videos are interesting because they show movement over long periods of time. The Western conception of North Korea is of a place frozen in time, so the time lapse view is highly instructive. (thx, jeff)

Update: Sam Potts, who travelled to Pyongyang and North Korea in 2012 and took these photos, finds this “deeply fake as filmmaking”. From his Twitter acct:

Re the time lapse of Pyongyang video, it feels deeply fake as filmmaking, to me. Thus I mistrust it as a document of what real PY is like. You don’t see any of the details to that reveal, even in PY, how very poor a country it is. Some of those buses didn’t have tail lights. They had blocks of wood painted red to look like tail lights. And the library computers are incredibly poor quality.

Gizmodo’s Alissa Walker also noted the propaganda-ish nature of the video. At the very least, the video is a dual reminder of the limitations of time lapse video in showing the whole story and of how manipulative attractively packaged media can be.

Worn away

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2014

Oh, this is wonderful: Laurin Döpfner took an industrial sander to objects like logs, electronics, a camera, and a walnut, shaved off 0.5 mm at a time, and made a time lapse video of the results.

This is like a full-color MRI process. Could watch it all day. (via colossal)

Thunderstorm supercells

posted by Jason Kottke   May 30, 2014

From Stephen Locke, a time lapse video of thunderstorm supercells forming near Climax, Kansas.

Jiminy, that’s breathtaking. I didn’t know there was so much rotation involved in thunderstorms…the entire cloud structure is rotating. (via bad astronomy)

Slow life

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 28, 2014

Well, I don’t even have the words to describe what this is; you just have to watch it. Preferably in fullscreen at full resolution. Takes about 30 seconds to get going but once it does………dang. Breathtaking is not a word I throw around after every TED Talk or Milky Way time lapse, but I will throw it here.

More on the hows and whys the video was made on Vimeo and the director’s site.

Stormscapes

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 12, 2014

Nicolaus Wegner shot some gorgeous footage of thunderstorms and cloud formations in South Dakota and Wyoming during the summer of 2013.

(via devour)

Bird contrails

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 21, 2014

Artist Dennis Hlynsky films birds in flight and then uses After Effects to make their flight paths visible, like the contrails of high-flying jets.

That’s only one of several videos…there are more at The Colossal and on Vimeo. Nice example of time merge media. (via colossal)

World War II in 7 minutes

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 07, 2013

A 7-minute time lapse video of the European front line changes during World War II, from the invasion of Poland to (spoilers!) the surrender of Germany.

Surprising to me how much of the war involves no shifting front lines…the map view really emphasizes this in a way that other WWII narratives do not. (via open culture)

Portrait of the child as an old person

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 10, 2013

Anthony Cerniello took photos of similar-looking family members at a reunion, from the youngest to the oldest, and edited them together in a video to create a nearly seamless portrait of a person aging in only a few minutes.

The effect is as if you sat a child down in front of a camera and filmed them continuously for 65 years and then compressed that down into a 5-minute time lapse. Colossal has an explanation:

Last Thanksgiving, Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. Then began the process of scanning each photo with a drum scanner at the U.N. in New York, at which point he carefully edited the photos to select the family members that had the most similar bone structure. Next he brought on animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle who worked in After Effects and 3D Studio Max to morph and animate the still photos to make them lifelike as possible. Finally, Nuke (a kind of 3D visual effects software) artist George Cuddy was brought on to smooth out some small details like the eyes and hair.

Fantastic.

Time lapse of old photo restoration

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 25, 2013

Nice peek into the process of Photoshopping an old photo to make it look new again:

(via @DavidGrann)

Riding an icebreaker

posted by Jason Kottke   May 08, 2013

Marine scientist Cassandra Brooks narrates a time lapse video of her two-month journey on an Antarctic icebreaker. High points: the ice ramming at 2:35 and the fishing penguins at the end.

Brooks blogged her journey for National Geographic. If you want to fall down the rabbit hole of how icebreakers are designed and how they differ from usual ships, Wikipedia is a good place to start.

For a ship to be considered an icebreaker, it requires three traits most normal ships lack: a strengthened hull, an ice-clearing shape, and the power to push through sea ice.

Video portrait of the Sun

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 26, 2013

In complete defiance of its parents, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has stared directly at the Sun for the past three years. Here’s a video of those three years made from still images taken by the SDO.

During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time. The image is, however, remarkably consistent and stable despite the fact that SDO orbits the Earth at 6,876 miles per hour and the Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 miles per hour.

The video notes say the animation uses two images per day…it would be nice to see the same animation with a higher frame rate. (via ★interesting)