Time lapse videos of drawings are popular for a reason. I often watch maker videos myself. It's always fascinating to watch someone using their skills as an artist or craftsman, appreciating their efforts even if you don't have plans to try it yourself. Because creating sometimes takes hours upon hours, time lapse videos condense it down into just minutes, giving us a satisfying glimpse into the creative process without the time investment.
This drawing was done for a previous client who wanted pet portraits of his adult childrens' dogs to give as gifts. As he visited his children's homes, he secretly took photographs of the dogs with his cell phone and then emailed them to me. I imagine he used a ball to get the dog's attention because that look in her eyes is intense! She looks ready to run! We selected the best images based on facial expression, clarity and lighting, and I got started.
For Artists: Filming the Time Lapse Video
This is the second video taken with my new camera setup and the first done as a time lapse video. The normal-speed video of drawing "Winston" was done with a Logitech webcam mounted on a rod above my drawing table, with some higher-quality B-roll shot with Beth's Pixel 3a. Because the webcam only films at 1080p, I invested in a dedicated Pixel 3a for filming in 4K. I doubted Beth would give up her phone for hours so I could film myself drawing.
Technical Difficulties (that you hopefully didn't notice!)
This video did not start out as a time lapse. The video camera software on the Pixel 3a didn't like the focus lock on my drawing, and the resulting footage had a strange warping effect. After some research, I began using the Filmic Pro app, which took care of the issue. Because I didn't want to start the drawing over and refilm, Beth used HitFilm Express to speed up the wobbly footage, effectively making it a time lapse. It mostly hid the undesireable effect, making the footage usable. Whew!
Better Quality Videos on the Horizon
As frustrating as the video-making part was at times on this one, we worked out a lot of the kinks. I now have video software that works, better lighting, and a faster wifi connection for uploading video files to storage. In a future post I'll share the lighting and camera rig I built above my drawing table. If you're doing anything frustrating today, keep thinking outside the box and hang in there!