CITRIS High-Definition Time-Lapse Project
Dan Garcia and Jeremy R Huddleston
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)
The CITRIS high-definition time-lapse project is an attempt to capture the multi-year construction of the new CITRIS building at extremely high resolution. A 6-Megapixel Nikon D70s digital SLR camera is used to generate raw frames during construction hours at ~15 seconds/frame. These are run through processing to generate the current web view (ala a slow-motion webcam) as well as several time-lapse movies. We will eventually post-process them into an archival HDTV 1080p movie summarizing the construction.
This project is distinct from other time-lapse construction efforts across the country (notably MIT's "Project Timelapse"  which captured the construction of their Stata Center) in that these efforts use cheap 320x240 webcams to capture the content. Our frames are taken at 3008x2000, which has enough resolution to allow us to "zoom" in to any 1920x1080 region with absolutely no loss, or shrink it down to a crisp 1920x1080 frame for our final movie.
There are ~2,500 images per day, each of which is scaled down, cropped, and emblazened with a date and time icon signature based on when the photo was taken. This is done in Adobe After Effects, which saves the movie as archival 30 fps MPEG-4 Best-quality movies (~200 MB). The movies are then exported as Internet-streamable MPEG-4 Medium-quality movies using Apple's Quicktime player and uploaded.
We recently moved the camera from Soda Hall to Cory Hall and back again to get a better view of the site [2,3]. Many thanks to Brian Harvey and Bob Meyer who allowed us the use of their offices during the many months of operation.
Figure 1: A graphic depicting the difference between the resolution of our time-lapse project (3008x2000) and most time-lapse construction projects (320x240)
Figure 2: The first high-resolution construction image we captured on 2004-11-15. Note Davis Hall North had already been razed
Figure 3: A recent captured image on 2008-09-19
- "Project Time-lapse," MIT's Stata Center's time-lapse project, http://monitor.lcs.mit.edu.
- CITRIS Headquarters Construction Site--WebCams and Pictorial Record, http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~sequin/BUILDINGS/DHN_Replace/Photos.
- Professor Ken Goldberg's CITRIS construction collaborative webcam, http://observe.berkeley.edu.
- Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), http://citris.berkeley.edu.
- Playing with Time, http://www.playingwithtime.org.