Time lapse videos of construction projects are quite fascinating yet very little is known about the entire process. It is not just about coming on site and capturing the frames. There’s a lot more preparation that goes into bringing forth an amazing 60 seconds or so video of architectural work that took months or even years to achieve.

As Australia’s leading construction time lapse photography company, often we come across many building contractors, home owners, property developers and civil engineers who would like to bring us on board and have the building or renovation of their structures, homes and complexes time lapsed. This is in order to enjoy the many benefits of construction time lapse photography.

Unfortunately, this call sometimes happens a little late after the action has already began. For this reason, we’ve put together a summary of the different stages of the process of construction time lapse photography to not only help you understand the entire process but also answer questions you might have. Here are the sequence of activities to expect.

  1. Reviewing the job

The first stage which does not include photography work but is perhaps the most important is reviewing the work at hand. At this stage as a client you already have identified a site and the project you intend to undertake but no actual work has began yet. This is the right time to find a construction time lapse specialist.

Why? To discuss the project and even conduct a site survey in order to evaluate the scope of work at hand and create a suitable proposal for you. Here, the firm will discuss your project type, scheduled duration and your expectations. A site visit will also be conducted to determine the coverage, personnel requirement, number of cameras needed and the perfect spot to locate them.

After all this, the photography firm will come up with a proposal which includes the deliverables and total cost. Rarely will a firm ask for full payment upfront but most do a down payment.

  1. Getting cameras rolling

The second stage is camera mounting and shooting. The camera location is mostly identified at the first stage. Normally, it is some place that is secure, safe for crew and accessible to a reliable power source such as solar, electricity or AC. There is also the camera settings which is another vital aspect of time lapse photography. The experts will manipulate settings such as exposure and frame rate appropriately.

Once fixed a few feet up, the camera(s) can start rolling. It is important to capture the very beginning prior to any construction to the very end after commissioning or occupancy. This way, the transformation will be more realistic and whole. Even the most initial milestones like ground breaking and pouring of foundation will be captured too and not just the exciting parts such as steel assembly.

The specialists will monitor the shoot through out the duration and make necessary adjustments when needed, for example changing camera angles, replacing SD card, switching one off or even moving it to the interior as per the agreement until the very last frame.

  1. Post production editing

While the images are periodically uploaded and readily accessible to you for posting on your website or social media pages, the final video is not until the project is completed and the last image clicks. Even after, there is still the post production stage. This is where editing, the final stage, takes place.

Why edit? Aren’t all the snapshots useful? Well, not at all. There is footage such as during the night, on weekends when there is no ongoing activity or even during very bad weather when clarity is compromised. All these parts need to be removed for the perfect final footage.

In addition, the various frames from the main and supplementary camera must be put together seamlessly. If motion controls and some drone aerial shots were incorporated as part of the proposal, these too need to be blended into the film to form one cohesive, exhilarating construction time lapse video.

Some music to invoke a certain mood as well as sounds, narration, graphics and other special effects are often infused at this stage. This is if you would like something dramatic for your audience. Otherwise, a simple documentation will do if the video is for archival purposes.

It is evident that the creation of a professional construction time lapse video takes more than just capturing photos. It requires lots of pre and post construction preparation before getting the final output.

Ideally, you should start involving a construction time lapse photographer early enough even before the initial stages of your project for proper planning and to get the best outcome. They can also answer any questions you may have in advance and even project the cost involved or work around your budget. It’s never too early to get started. Contact us today!