About this project
We're fully funded! Thank you everyone for making this possible! If you missed the campaign, you can still preorder here while we're preparing to get the VIEW shipped. Regular updates will continue to be posted through Kickstarter, so check back often. Thanks! -Elijah
Introducing the Timelapse+ VIEW intervalometer
Building on the experience and success of the original Timelapse+ Intervalometer, the new VIEW intervalometer redefines the category offering a whole new set of features.
"The VIEW is the easiest to setup yet most powerful exposure ramping device I've tested to date, final renders were incredibly smooth, this makes a traditionally tricky shot almost too easy" - Jay Burlage, CEO, Dynamic Perception
"The Timelapse+ VIEW removes all of the complexities of capturing advanced time lapses and makes capturing a "holy grail" time lapse as easy as capturing a standard time lapse. Say goodbye to wasted nights of trial and error." - Ron Risman, TimelapseWorkshops.com
Preview your time-lapse - even before it's done!
Have you ever been tired of waiting for a time-lapse to complete and packed up early only to discover after hours of processing that it was just becoming good when you stopped? With the VIEW intervalometer you can see what you're getting, while it's still going. This means you can end it with confidence knowing you have the results you wanted, or find renewed patience after seeing things are just getting started.
Intelligent Automatic Ramping
The VIEW intervalometer can automatically ramp the exposure by analyzing the exposure value of each image and feeding it through a sophisticated algorithm to deliver perfect results for sunset, sunrise, milky-way or all of the above and more!
The VIEW is able to ramp the exposure using manual mode including the full range of shutter speeds. This works around the bulb mode limitations in Nikon cameras and still enables flawlessly smooth ramps by writing exposure correction data for Lightroom via XMP files. If preferred, however, the VIEW is also capable of traditional bulb ramping (auto, keyframe, or manual).
Technical Notes on the Ramping Algorithm:
- It's analyzing the thumbnail from each image to determine whether it's under or over exposed, relative to the starting image and then feeds that info to the ramping algorithm
- The ramping algorithm then filters (removes any outliers) and integrates the exposure readings and passes it to a tuned PID function for tracking
- The PID tuning is split into two parts -- one set of tuning parameters for rising light levels, and a separate set for falling light levels. This allows the system to "lag" a little bit for sunset so that it feels like it's getting darker, and also lets it aggressively "over-respond" to sunrise preventing it from blowing out.
- Additionally, after the PID step, an offset is applied based on the overall exposure value, compensating by -1 stops (configurable) during the night and 0 stops during the day (and interpolating in between). This helps night feel like night.
- All of the parameters above will be user accessible, but the defaults should always work so unless a person is curious to experiment, it should not be necessary to adjust anything. Right now there's a total of 16 parameters it uses for tuning, but I'm going to try to abstract that to a "more responsive/less responsive" slider setting. Still, the current defaults are working wonderfully.
Simple Setup - from the device or your phone
The powerful processing capabilities allow the VIEW to intelligently find optimal settings, resulting in fewer required settings. This means it takes less time to setup and there's less to go wrong.
The VIEW is designed for use in the field, with quick and easy setup whether it's cold and you're wearing mittens or inside your car using your phone.
And in addition to the user interface, the camera interface and physical setup is also simplified as much as possible. It has an integrated hotshoe mount that can read the flash sync, eliminating the need to carry and extra cable for that. It also has a full-size USB host port for connecting the camera, so for most applications only a single USB cable is needed.
The long-lasting built-in battery also simplifies setup (and eliminates the concern of a cable disconnecting). And if it needs more power during a time-lapse, you can always plug in external power via a micro-USB connection.
VIEW.TL: your remote portal to your camera
With the optional web service, you can use your phone to fully control setup and manage your camera and time-lapse remotely. This includes liveview, focus control and motion setup, as well as previewing the time-lapse and downloading images. It requires the VIEW to be connected to a WiFi hotspot (future support for a USB cell modem is planned) and a subscription to yourname.view.tl (one year free for backers, $60/year after that).
This is perfect for long-term setups -- you could monitor and reconfigure everything from anywhere in the world!
- Preview your time-lapse at 24/30fps on the VIEW device or from your phone, even while the time-lapse is still recording!
- Use the VIEW's wifi hotspot feature to setup and preview your time-lapse and even stream live view and adjust focus from your phone
- Connect the VIEW to the internet via wifi and have full control from anywhere in the world! Perfect for long-term setups -- check, reconfigure, download images, and even setup motion from anywhere you are. This is an optional service provided via view.tl -- one year free included for backers, $60/year (planned) after that.
- Automatic day-to-night and night-to-day or even 24 hour with no setup needed -- just press start! The holy grail of time-lapse is simpler than ever before.
- Keyframe Focus Ramping with Nikon and Canon, with an interactive liveview setup
- Built for the field -- withstands temperature extremes, 15+ hour battery life, designed to be used with gloves as well as touch-free gesture control so you can access it while a time-lapse is running without worrying about moving the camera
- Auxiliary port for syncronizing shoot-move-shoot capabilites with most motion systems (best with just a fixed interval)
- Full integration with Dynamic Perception's NMX controller for keyframed multi-axis setups that are synchronized with focus & interval, even variable intervals
- Canon DSLRs
- Nikon DSLRs
- Sony Alpha Mirrorless
More will likely be added in the future, but at a minimum the above will all be fully supported at the time of shipment.
- Power consumption < 1W (0.5W idle, 0.65 running with wifi, 0.9W playing video)
- Operating Temperature Range: -25° to 40°C (in theory it should be able to run down to -40°C but it hasn't been tested yet)
- Internal Lithium-Ion 4400mAh battery (15+ hours run time, can be charged while running)
- Allwinner A13 SoC; 32-bit ARM CPU clocked at 720Mhz (scaled on demand between 120Mhz and 720Mhz)
- 512MB DDR3 Memory (industrial temperature range)
- Atmel ATTINY AVR MCU on board for realtime processing and as a watchdog system
- Intelligent Power Management System
- Real-time clock
- Internal 16GB micro-SD for OS (Samsung Evo)
- SD card slot for saving images or XMP files.
- USB 2.0 High-speed Port
- Wifi a/b/g/n, can operate as client or access point
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 160x128 6-bit color OLED screen
- 9-axis Compass/Gyro/Accelerometer
- Wide-range Light Sensor
- Gesture and Proximity Sensor
- Internal Audio Speaker
- Optically Isolated Shutter and Auxiliary Ports + hotshoe contacts
The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to generate enough preorders to cover the initial costs of development, testing, certification and production. This part of everything was much more expensive than I expected with my first project, so I've set the goal accordingly so that I can ensure delivery of a high-quality product.
Features Already Complete & Working
- Exposure Ramping
- Liveview Setup / Focus
- Canon DSLR support
- Nikon DSLR support
- Full control remotely over the internet
Planned by the time it ships
- Interface Refinement
- Sony Alpha Support
- Focus Ramping
- Bulb Ramping
- ND filter support
- Motion (NMX) Integration (connect via bluetooth or USB)
- Long-term time-lapse / scheduling options (e.g., weekdays 9am-5pm)
- HDR Photography / HDR Time-lapse
Planned for Future
- Lots of things...I'm very excited about the potential for this platform -- prepare to be surprised!
Standing on the shoulders of giants
This is an amazing time to be alive. Cutting-edge technology is within reach for creative individuals like me, but nothing is done alone. I'm building on top of an incredible platform of open-source libraries and tools provided by a generous community. The VIEW runs Linux and uses libgphoto2, an open-source library with a wide range of supported cameras and features. The hardware is based in part on the excellent work of Olimex, as well as work by Sparkfun and Adafruit.
I'm very thankful for everyone who has helped bring me this far -- being able to afford to spend the last four years learning about time-lapse and innovating has been incredible. Thank you to all those who believed in me for the first campaign before I even knew how far this could go. And thanks to everyone who has purchased and used the Timelapse+ along the way.
And finally, but not least, a big thank you to my wonderful wife Jackie for her support through all of this!
Risks and challenges
This is my second project, so I'm much more aware of what to expect. I'm just thankful it all worked out last time given what I knew then!
This time I'm much more prepared and already have a nearly complete hardware design and basic software functionality working (which i personally have been using and testing for some time now). I have spoken with multiple manufacturers and vendors and have quotes, so I have a confident estimate on production costs and lead times.
Key upcoming challenges:
Finalizing the Hardware design (in progress right now): Hardware needs to be perfect -- there's no "downloading" an upgrade later. There are a couple minor details I still need to improve in the hardware (moving placement of a couple components and debugging communication with a 9-axis sensor) and I expect these to be resolved in the next prototype revision. However, if the next revision isn't perfect, shipping could be delayed by up to a month while it goes through another revision.
Case Design: The case is not yet designed. It will be injection molded. I will likely outsource part of this process to speed things up and ensure high quality and manufacturability (my strength is in the electronics more than the enclosure). I don't expect any surprises here, but it's still a little bit of an unknown (although I went through it before with the previous project and plan to use the same vendors). This process is expensive, so it will begin immediately after the kickstarter campaign once I have the funds.
Sourcing & Lead times: As of right now all the components are readily available and so I don't expect any delays in this area, though things can always change. I've limited the first batch to a maximum of 2500 to help alleviate any potential procurement delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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