Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Annoucing the Long-Term Time-lapse Project

There's an awesome video I posted about a little while ago, where it focuses on a house, with a devolving tree in the front yard. It moves so fast that you can see the environment change, the tree growing (in that case, 'un-growing' as it was moving backwards).

I've wanted to do the exact thing. But I had no idea how to do that kind of video, make that kind of effect. At first I thought of cell-animation, where I draw a scene and scan it and repeat it hundreds of times, making changes each time to make it look like it was progressing. That seemed way implausible, though, as I'd have to draw the same thing hundreds of times and would generate a lot of useless materials and use a lot of space (tonnes of paper drawings littered everywhere, computer space taken up with drawings, etc.).

So I've come up with the solution: Traffic cameras.

There are many traffic cameras everywhere throughout Ottawa at particular intersections. They are available to be viewed online ( at your convenience. They update every six seconds. My idea is to take an image (you can right-click and save the picture) and put it as a frame in Adobe Premier Elements. I take two images per day, everyday, indefinitely.

It sounds like a long-term project, requiring my continued interest and time-management (I'd have to set particular times of the day to take my two shots, one in the morning and one in the afternoon preferably), and I will have to remember to take each image at the right times.

So I will hopefully get on with this and not forget and keep it going as long as possible. As long as the traffic cameras are available and watching the same scene (they sometimes change directions and look the other way) this will be possible. So, I now have to pick an intersection and stick with it. The best one would be one that changes fairly noticeably. And one that's familiar to me.

In the end I've picked Meadowlands/Merivale and Woodroffe/Baseline. Merivale because it's familiar and Woodroffe because of the construction of the new Algonquin building nearby and the changes it makes.

 Woodroffe and Baseline.

Meadowlands and Merivale.

Sorry for the darn layout, I hate how the new process makes the photos align in one specific space, I can't put them next to each other. No doubt everything's mucked up.

Anyway that's my plan. I hope it works.

-Justin C.

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