Friday, January 8, 2016

Backyard Star Trails and Comet Trail Vertical Video

It's always fun to take a stack of photos for star trails, and with comet mode in StarStaX there are a lot more things you can do with these files than simply make a stack. I might even go back and use some stacks I took before to turn them into comet trail animation videos like the one below. It's very easy, you just click a box to save each iteration of the process and then dump those files into video software to use them as movie frames.

Here are the results of 243 individual frames in the backyard.

turn star trails into video
Stack of 243 individual frames taken with Canon T5i, each at ISO 800, 18mm, f/4, 15 sec
I didn't bother removing any of the airplanes or satellites, and didn't do any color correction. Usually it's nice to tint it a little toward the blue side, increase contrast a bit, and remove all of the airplane light trails before stacking. But I'm not going to get a print of this so it's fine for now.

What I really wanted to show you was the resulting video using comet trails in StarStaX. It slowly fades out the frames after they appear, meaning the airplane trails don't stick around as long. Also the light pollution from the houses go off like flashes instead of sticking around.

On a side note, there aren't a lot of good ways to show vertical videos online. Definitely not on YouTube, so I am trying to embed this Instagram file. It's lower resolution, but it's preferable to having two huge black bars on the side of the video. Not a bad solution for a quick post!

A video posted by Eric Teske (@ericteske) on

Say! That turned out better than I thought! I think Instagram makes a great go-to solution for posting vertical videos on webpages!

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