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A head-and-shoulders illustrated portrait of Ceri Riley. She is smiling with her mouth closed, has light skin, and long light pink hair.

(My Third) First Day by Ceri Riley '16

In which I attempt (and fail) to do a timelapse vlog

First off: I apologize for the shakiness of this video. For some reason, I assumed that holding a camera and walking around campus would give me steady enough footage to not cause motion sickness. Whoops.

The timelapse component of the video kind of failed, too. It turns out that when you try to speed up an already-wobbly video to 800%, it becomes a blurry rollercoaster of MIT scenery that is pretty unpleasant to watch. Even post-processing software couldn’t save me; I spent a couple hours trying to stabilize the video and ended up with weirdly out-of-focus or cropped or tilted clips that were equally disorienting. After the massive struggle of me vs. computer software and poor cinematography skills (and attempting to keep my laptop from exploding overheating while it was processing videos for literally hours), I just ended up taking shorter, normal-speed clips of me walking around and editing them together into a video that sucks less.

It’s definitely not what I expected to produce, but at least I have a basic idea of the things that went wrong to figure out next time. I think I may have jumped too quickly from “I’ll just record an easy vlog of my face talking” to “this is going to be a beautiful artsy timelapse around MIT campus” and flew too close to the sun. Next week, I’ll pick up my metaphorically-melted wings and probably try something simpler. If nothing else, I kind of liked the dialogue I recorded over this video, and gave an overview of the classes I’m taking this semester (7.06, CMS.300, 21W.758, and 21M.733).

On a more postive note, in a mad search for video stabilizing techniques I discovered Microsoft’s Hyperlapse research project which is pretty darn cool. (Also apparently Instagram has an identically-named feature now? That is one form of social media I don’t use, so I guess I missed the memo…)