FLOW is a continuation of my experiments with long exposure time lapse, that started with Chronosphere I. It's definitely not what most people expect when hearing the term time lapse.
The short, 26-second film is built entirely out of one single time lapse shot. My goal was not only to push various techniques further, but also to figure out a post processing workflow that does justice to the high quality and resolution of the time lapse footage you can get out of a DSLR.
The basic idea was to play with reflecting surfaces in combination with the long exposure time lapse technique. To take the concept a step further, I came up with a way to reveal the changing light patterns on an object, without showing the static object itself. I call it LightFlow, since it reveals the shape of the object by the way the light flows around it.
With DSLR time lapse footage, you get very high resolution RAW footage, similar to what you would normally get out of a RED Epic for example. The quality you can get out of this footage, as well as the color grading possibilities are way beyond the ordinary video footage that a DSLR produces. Unfortunately it also has it's challenges, shall we say. To get the maximum out of the RAW images, a lot of the creative color grading was done at the beginning of the process, before converting them to ProRes 422 HQ for editing. This RAW color grading took place in Aperture, which is normally used for processing still images, but since a time lapse sequence is nothing but a collection of RAW stills it makes perfect sense. I created a basic look, using a representative image from somewhere in the middle of the sequence, and copied the adjustments to all the other images. FLOW was edited in 4K resolution. You can download the original 4K version here.
To make things a bit more exciting I created some extra visuals from the main shot, based around the idea of the flowing motion of the light, creating different shapes and textures. These visuals were created by some extra layering, color correction, and effects in Final Cut Pro X. The look is of these shots is somewhat inspired by the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" title sequence: dark, oozing textures accentuated by stark highlights. This created some very interesting abstract images, some of which are only visible for a single frame in the final production. I have captured the frame grabs below so you can get a closer look at them.
The sound design started of in Garageband, which I often use to sketch out some musical ideas, using some free software plugins to create all sorts of interesting sounds and textures. After I creating the rhythmical part that is used under the main shot, I added some additional sound effects that tie everything together into a continuous experience.