‘Layer-Lapse’ Combines Different Times into Each Shot


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October 27, 2014

by Michael Zhang, PetaPixel



Recently, we featured the work of a photographer who layered different times of day into single photos. Photographer Julian Tryba‘s recent project is similar, except it’s a timelapse.

Tryba has created what he says is the world’s first “layer-lapse” video, or a time-lapse video that shows different times of the day in different parts of each frame. The video is called “Boston Layer-Lapse“.

Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein’s relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.

The project took 100 hours to shoot 150,000 photos weighing 6 terabytes and 350 hours to edit through 800 drafts and iterations. Each of the clips has an average of 35 different layers toggling in and out.

New time-lapse technique bends the spacetime fabric

Photographer Julian Tryba created this crazy time-lapse of Boston which, actually, is not a time-lapse but a layer-lapse: The objects in each sequence—buildings, vehicles, the sky—run at different speeds and times than others. That’s because he has layered them, animating each layer separately.

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Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 12.57.19 PM

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Equipment used include a Canon 6D, 7D, 16-35mm, 24-205mm, and Tokina 11-16mm.

Tryba works full time as an engineer at GE Aviation and shoots time-lapses in his spare time. He came up with the idea for this layer-lapse project after learning coming across Fong Qi Wei’s “Time in Motion” project here on PetaPixel, which uses a similar layering idea in animated GIFs.

You can find a behind-the-scenes look at how this project was shot over on Kessler, which sponsored Tryba after coming across this video.

Update: This video of Chicago by photographer Geoff Tompkinson was released a year earlier than the video above. Although a bit different, it may actually be the first layer-lapse:



About Jeff Riegel, Editor

Jeff is currently a Senior Producer/Editor for a government contractor in Northern Virginia where he assisted in the creation of their media department from the ground up. Prior to that, he was a Senior Video Production Specialist and Team Lead for the Department of Defense with more than ten years of consistent production, editing, video and audio recording experience. Jeff specializes in identifying, developing and supporting new trends in visual media technology and other solutions. Outside of the workplace, Jeff created a long-form documentary about the rise of a local boxer, Tori Nelson, to 13-time world champion status across 4 weight classes. It aired nationally via the Sports Channel For Women and screened at The Alexandria Film Festival and Texas Black Film Festival. Jeff is co-producing "The Lost Clipper," a 17 year documentary about the first hijacking in U.S. history and the search for those 15 lost souls taken in 1938. Filming takes him to Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Canada, and locations across the U.S. He enjoys creating a media-marketing social networking campaign for entities such as CapitalTristate Electrical Distributors and "The Lost Clipper" and personalities such as world boxing champion Tori Nelson, Netflix's "Narcos" personalities Steve Murphy and Javier Pena, and renowned landscape photographer Frank Lee Ruggles. Solving complex technical problems by utilizing a myriad of advanced audio-video hardware and software applications along with initiative and ingenuity, Jeff is eager to attack any project head-on. Jeff's Motto: think beyond convention...and consider it done!

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