Timelapse DSLR, Ubuntu 10.10 gTimelapse and eeepc how to

I’ve played around with gphoto2 quite a lot and I knew there was a simple way to get my DSLR camera to take a photo every 10 seconds and copy it to anywhere I’d like. When googling how to do this I found a really nice application with a gui call gTimelapse. It amazes me that programmers just decide to write these programs and share them openly on their websites including the source code. gTimelapse is written by Tim Nugent, its a really nice program for doing timelapse, really simple to set up and easy to use. I like the preview and thumbnail preview of all the images it captures as it goes along in real time. Big thanks to Tim for this awesome program.

I thought I’d document the extra packages I needed to install to make it easy for other Ubuntu users to compile the program. Basically download it from the link on the page at Tims site then extract it somewhere and run the following commands.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libgphoto2-2-dev libwxbase2.8-dev libwxgtk2.8-dev gphoto2
$ configure;make;sudo make install
$ gtimelapse

The program will start and the rest is fairly straight forward. You probably want to change the max frames to 0 so that it records till you press stop. The other tip I would suggest that if you stop and start capturing make sure you set a new “Working Directory” in-between otherwise you will just overwrite the images you just captured.

I was pretty lazy and left a comment asking Tim for his mencoder command to put together the images at the end, his response was really quick which was nice.

Hi Chris, I think there should be a script in the src directory with some decent mencoder settings? Ah here we go, will make a 720p HD vid for Vimeo etc:

mencoder mf://*JPG -vc ijpg -mf fps=8 -vf scale=1280:720 -ovc x264 -x264encopts bitrate=5000:keyint=30 -o timelapse_1280x720_x264_8fps_5000.avi

Though I found that too jerky for my needs, Im sure its fine for his party video but I wanted moving clouds in mine so I changed the fps=8 to fps=25 and it was fine.

The other thing was that I shot in jpg normal which is 2144x1424px and I wanted my video to be 720p so I used David’s Batch Processor Gimp plugin to resize, crop and sharpen them a little before using mencoder. That gimp plugin worked really fast, its great.

It seems time consuming to capture the images, when I captured every 5 seconds for 30 minutes then encoded at 25 fps it only gave me around 14 seconds of video. So be prepared to spend a few hours to get a decent video. I think with my eeepc and nikon d90 with battery grip going outdoors I can capture for around 6 or 7 hrs.

When I went out to try this the weather was really crappy but it didnt turn out too bad, you can watch my video below or watch Brisbane Morning Time-lapse Test on youtube.

Choosing Your Webhost

buy-blog-web-hosting
Selecting a Webhost can be a daunting task, particularly if you’ve had no prior experience in the process. With so much competition, fake reviews and scams it’s hard to figure out just who to go with.

Before choosing your host, ask yourself these questions:

1.    What would happen if my site went down?
2.    Would I lose customers as a result?
3.    What would the net cost of losing those customers be in real terms?
4.    Would I be harmed in any other way? i.e. Not being indexed by search engines or losing potential incoming links

It’s worth paying for a quality host

If you’re creating a website with business in mind, then by answering the above questions it’s likely you can see the value in paying for a decent host. However, even if you’re just wanting to host a blog, or a hobby-related site it still may be worth paying for quality to save you time and energy.

Always research your host

Before making a purchase based on gut feeling or whether their site looks nice, it’s always a good idea to do research around the host you’re considering going with. Simply do some searches of “host + complaints”, if it’s a dodgy host this should quickly reveal warning signs to you.

Fake review sites

It’s a better idea to search for “host + complaints” as opposed to “host + review” because many scammy hosts will go so far as to setup a bunch of fake review sites and aggressively SEO them so they rank for the top review search results.

What should I look for in a host?

If you have specific software you wish to use then you should definitely check the requirements and ensure the host can provide those. However if you’re interested in a faily simple page or a blog then generally look for:
•    the ability to create sub domains
•    PHP
•    MYSQL
•    The ability to modify your .HTACCESS
•    Cron Jobs
•    Ruby On Rails

Another factor to consider is hosting with a provider in your own country. This will give you a relevancy boost for local searches.

Hosting multiple sites on different domains

If you’re just want to host a blog you may be better of going for standard web hosting, however if you plan to setup multiple sites it is worth considering going with a host that will let you host sites of different IP addresses. Although considerably more expensive you will have the benefit of being able to link between your sites and have the link equity count towards ranking, an example of such a hosting provider is Pair Hosting.

Yo Frankie! the Open Game

yofrankie_psp
You may remember project Orange’s open movie “Elephants Dream” and project Peach’s open movie “Big Buck Bunny“, they’ve continued with a new open project Apricot. This time it isn’t a movie but a 3D game! These are all projects by the Blender Foundation and the Institute for Open 3D Projects called the Blender Institute.

Elephants Dream:

Elephants Dream is the world’s first open movie, made entirely with open source graphics software such as Blender, and with all production files freely available to use however you please, under a Creative Commons license.

Big Buck Bunny:

As a follow-up to the successful project Orange’s “Elephants Dream”, the Blender Foundation initiated another open movie project. Again a small team (7) of the best 3D artists and developers in the Blender community have been invited to come together to work in Amsterdam from October 2007 until April 2008 on completing a short 3D animation movie. The team members will get a great studio facility and housing in Amsterdam, all travel costs reimbursed, and a fee sufficient to cover all expenses during the period.

The creative concept of “Peach” was completely different as for “Orange”. This time it is “funny and furry”!

Yo Frankie:

After Orange and Peach, Blender Institute continues with a new open project: Apricot. This time it isn’t a movie but a 3D game! Starting february 1st 2008, a small team of again the best 3D artist and developers will develop a game jointly with the on-line community. The main characters in the game are based on the short 3D animation open movie Peach

At the end of July 2008 the production ends and August is used for DVD and documentation making. Releasing the game at end of August.


Apricot Blender Game Engine Work in Progress 28/July from Campbell Barton on Vimeo.

Grab the OGG Theora file (46mb)

Wow how awesome does that look. Recently I’ve been using Blender for doing my video sequencing. Basically putting a collection of video clips in order to some syncronised audio. I wasn’t aware it was so easy to do this with Blender 😀

I’m going to buy the Essential Blender book.

What you do makes me cry at night

Watch this video

Severn Cullis-Suzuki on Wikipedia.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki (born November 30, 1979 in Vancouver, Canada) is an environmental activist, speaker, television host and author. Born to writer Tara Elizabeth Cullis and geneticist and environmental activist David Suzuki, she has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility.

She’s 12 yrs old in the video, I thought her delivery was excellent. Unfortunately in nearly all schools these days computers running proprietary software are used to teach children that sharing is wrong and its ok if your forbidden from learning how things work in that environment because apparently thats the way the world works. Its not something I agree with but its not something I try to change anymore. Sometimes I still hang out with teachers online but its not really the same as working with them.

I met Dean Groom on Secondlife. He makes things happen.

Enter a conversation with Jokaydian Gnu Curry. A week or so later, our OpenSim is operational, all be it in a testing phase. Right now we’re reading as much as we can … and using the SL Client to view OpenSim…Read more

Though perhaps those students can cut even more costs using open source games like nexuiz, tremulous, Flightgear, Scorched 3D, GNU Chess and Frozen Bubble.

Its late, I’m tired, thanks for reading.