I must admit, I’ve come down with a very serious case of writer’s block. I don’t think it’s contagious, but I’ve taken the precaution of wearing a face mask, and you may want to wash your hands after you finish reading this.
I decided that the best way to rid myself of this plague is to force myself to write something. Writing something is usually not a difficult task, though it seems that lately I’m all ideas. I come up with a great idea, I gradually forget it, then I record pieces and fragments. I currently have about 15 unfinished drafts in my “new posts” folder. I just can’t seem to get past the first paragraph in any of them. I’ve tried caffeine, loud music, cats, and spinning in my chair, but none of it seems to be working.
I went back and read some of my old posts. All I accomplished with that was the discouragement of myself and the editing of some of the less-well-written posts.
I tried blogging in a college setting, but I got distracted by my surroundings and instead wrote a rather depressing note.
I tried to do a photo blog, but my camera doesn’t seem to work on its “take all the pictures on its own” mode.
I’ve been working on a special blog post, but it needs to be perfect, and perfection is proving very difficult to obtain.
I thought about writing some fiction, but I discovered that my idea’s already been taken and run with for quite a distance. I do hate beating dead horses; they’re so stinky.
So, in the end, I decided to scribble a bit about my lack of motivation to write. My lack of motivation stirred an even stronger motivation to shed my lackadaisical spirit and move on to a greater state of non-writing-impairedness. (I’m having fun making up words.)
So, I’m not sure if I’ve cured the block or merely dissuaded it from affect for a while. This seems to have worked well, as this post was written fairly quickly and with relative ease. Perhaps the writer’s block is gone. Perhaps I can once again use my keyboard for more than just logging in. Perhaps my sandwich is ready, but that doesn’t have much to do with this post…
Once again, I am straying from my normal mode of posting randomness to bring you a tutorial-type post. In this post, I am going to lay out my method of using a webcam, a laptop, free software, and Sony Vegas 9 (or freeware programs) to make a time lapse video.
First of all, I have a fairly good webcam, a Microsoft Studio, that is capable of shooting 1080p video and taking 8mp still shots, so the results of your time lapse will vary with the quality of camera. Various free programs exist that allow you to make time lapse videos, but most of them are either buggy or limited in function; I couldn’t use Tilaphos to shoot in HD, and Booru is pretty buggy.
The solution to my problem lay in a very simple method of image capture. The laptop is not able to be used for other functions while it is capturing the image, but that was no big deal to me. My solution is to use a software auto-clicker to press the photo button at a certain interval.
- Download the auto-clicker here. (This is safe software that I’ve had no trouble with; no installation is required.) Unzip the .zip file and save the folder to a location that is easy for you to find.
- Open your webcam software and browse to a screen that shows a capture image button. For those of us with Microsoft webcams, this is a little image of a camera.
- Once you have opened the software and have your webcam pointed at your subject, open the auto-clicker. Set the point at which you want the mouse to click by clicking “Locate” and then clicking on the image capture button.
- Set the time interval (how often the software will capture an image) in the “Click Interval” section. The units are milliseconds, so if you want to take a picture every 5 seconds, set the first number to 5000. Ignore the second number, and leave the “To” box unchecked.
- Make sure that “Left Button” is selected, and set the number of clicks if you wish. (If you set the interval at 5000 ms, and you want to record for an hour, set the value to 720. Click the Start button and let take pictures for as long as you want.
- To turn your images into a time lapse in Sony Vegas, open the program, go to Options > Preferences > Editing, and set the “New image still length” to .050. When you insert the images into your timeline, the images will be the right length to play back at 30fps. Tweak your output settings to whatever you want; I set mine at 8mbps 1080 30fps in .wmv format.
- Alternate: If you do not have Sony Vegas, here is a tutorial detailing how to make a time lapse with various free programs. I recommend using Virtual Dub.
Here’s the result!
Have fun! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.