How to remove birds in a timelapse

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Timelapse photography, the ultimate cinematic experience.

Through the looking glass of warped time we get to see the world from a different perspective.

There’s nothing like watching a beautifully smooth high resolution shot of a city skyline with stunning cloud formations and weather system movements.

Until it gets RUINED.

BY BIRDS.

These flappy little bastards ruin the cinematic experience and they need to be removed.

In this video I will show you two ways to do just that.

The first method is the simplest one, but it’s also the worst one, as it leaves artefacts.

It works by duplicating your timelapse shot on top of itself, slipping it one frame forward or backward and changing the blending mode to lighten.

This combines both shots, compares the pixels and only shows the brighter pixels of the two.

The second method is slightly more time consuming but much, much better.

In After Effects, you are going to put your timelapse clip (or your RAW sequence if your machine is fast enough) into a composition and then you are going to double click that layer in the timeline to open it up in the viewer.

In the top toolbar select the clone stamp tool.

Go to a frame with a bird and adjust your brush size to cover the bird.

Make sure your settings are correct (duration one frame, source is one frame before or after current frame)

Click the bird. Remove the bird. Destroy the bird.

Go forward frame by frame and repeat the process.

What you are doing is just like clone stamping in Photoshop, except instead of taking pixels from another location, you are taking the pixels from the same location but from a different time. In this case one frame before or after the bird.

Then export your clip and voila, birdless timelapse shots. How good.

Want to learn more about timelapse? Check out my e-books. Sign up to my newsletter for a nice discount!

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