View Full Version : Timelapse animation using Lightwave 3D and fisheye lens

08-09-2013, 04:14 PM
One of my hobbies is to do timelapse photography, i had the idea of making such a sequence with a very wide angle fisheye lens which would allow me to pan the "camera" inside the large picture and hence simulate camera movement. Not very many software suites allows for animation of image sequences and at the same time do correction for fisheye distortion around the spot where you are actually "looking" (not possible in photoshop, lightroom, premier etc.).

Just wanted to show how easy it was to do in Lightwave 3D! :thumbsup:


08-09-2013, 04:22 PM
That's fantastic! Thanks for the vid :)


08-09-2013, 05:59 PM
Very cool!

08-10-2013, 03:26 AM
That's brilliant! Could you expand on the technique a little more, please :D

08-10-2013, 04:03 AM
Here is the final clip I did, where the night-shots in the end (1:45 into the video) were rendered/projected in Lightwave.


If you "correct" for lens distortion in Photoshop or Lightroom, it straightens the Fisheye with the center of the image as a reference, resulting in stretched corners. (like if you would try to pan inside a spherical map without using Lightwave 3D)

I did a planar projection of the image onto the curved surface of the sphere (hence reversed fisheye), and just set the texture to be an image sequence/movie in the image editor.

Example fisheye image I had:

Image corrected in Lightroom, and cropped so you only see the corner (notice the very significant stretching):

Image instead projected in Lightwave 3D:

08-10-2013, 05:44 AM
Now that is impressive. ( also what is that soundproofed room set up?)

08-10-2013, 09:13 AM

08-10-2013, 10:42 AM

08-10-2013, 02:48 PM
Ingenious :)

08-12-2013, 08:36 PM
Calling Rob, Calling Matt.... come in Rob come in Matt. You know this would make for a great little highlight somewhere. Very simple yet when you look at the rigs that need to be set up to get this effect with "practicel real world" equipment this is the kind of creative set up in lightwave that stirs the fires and gets the creative juices following. - Simple yet brillent.

08-13-2013, 12:23 AM
That is very a very cool idea eV1Te & thank you for breakdown. One question tho, in that second sequence it appears like there's quite a bit of parallax that's not there simply because of the timelapse (stars moving behind the trees quite readily) ... seem like the camera is also on a dolly/slider. From my basic understanding I don't think you could achieve that by simply rotating the camera inside a distorted sphere, which makes me think that it's something extra you set up ? Would love to know.

08-13-2013, 04:00 AM
Thanks for great comments! :thumbsup:

This approach of projecting a super wide angle fisheye would also work as a cheap backdrop for your scene (when you do not have 360 degree env.map). (modern cameras = ~20 Mpixel = you can crop a lot for your 1080p renders)

A great example would be if you are doing arch-viz and you are partially looking out the window in an animation. You could real easy take one picture (or a recording) from the real location where the client is located, to use as a realistic backdrop (and fake the radiosity with another backdrop/gradient that is 360 degrees). This allows you to move the camera quite a lot with just this one shot; that does not need any motion tracking, and also gives you realistic DOF (set the size of the sphere) and Motion Blur when you move camera.

P.S. I have not done anything with the real camera, it is just a static shot, the stars are moving behind the trees because the earth is rotating under them ;)

Waves of light
08-13-2013, 06:42 AM
What an utterly fantastic approach. Thanks for sharing.

08-13-2013, 11:31 AM
Only thing I can't figure out is why you have parralax in the stars with the trees. If the real world camera didn't move any why is that? Excellent work! I love time lapse photography as well. Many great vids on Vimeo too.

08-14-2013, 03:29 PM
How very clever and the finished video is fantastic. Well done and thanks for the knowledge.

08-14-2013, 08:38 PM
I love tricks like these. :)

Only thing I can't figure out is why you have parralax in the stars with the trees. If the real world camera didn't move any why is that? Excellent work! I love time lapse photography as well. Many great vids on Vimeo too.

I wondered about that at first as well, but then I realized that the stars are moving independently of the camera.... or rather the camera is stuck in one spot on a ball that is turning inside an environment.