These guys are some of the hardest working people I have met in the industry.

Disclosure: Stillmotion’s workshop production company Monte Zucker waived my workshop registration fee in exchange for a video on my experience of StillMotion “Know” tour in Denver.

First off I want to say I’ve always been a big fan of Stillmotion. They have shared so much over the years since this whole DSLR craze started to happen and I have learned a ton from them.  I also try to share as much as I can, but my film making knowledge is a fraction of what Patrick and his crew have to offer.  Stillmotion is awesome, you should be following them.  I’ve had them listed on blogroll for years.

Find an upcoming location and date on the tour.

StillMotion in StopMotion

I ran across Petra Cross’s Google+ conference video a while back and always want to try something like this when the opportunity presented itself. So when Stillmotion’s workshop production company contacted me to create a video for them on my experience at one of their workshops, I thought this would be the perfect ‘treatment’ or method to use. I also thought to myself, “Well their name is ‘Stillmotion’…. I might as well create a ‘Stop Motion’ of their workshop.”

I remember listening to a podcast that Patrick Moreau did a while back where he said something like this, “When I enter a room that I am going to film in, I’m thinking of shooting it like no one else has before“. So using stop motion, a fast tempo song with a driving beat with kind of a dance feel, I felt pretty good that I was being unique.

When it came to color grading my images I wanted the clips NOT to match, I wanted it to be a little jarring, perhaps how light changes quickly in a dance club. Banquet rooms are so boring, and I didn’t want to make a boring video. This is a very creative and fun topic, so I went bold in this video, perhaps I went too far, but to me it is better to go too far than make another boring banquet room video.

StillMotion post Processing Section

No Patrick in Denver

First off I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss having Patrick Moreau there at the Denver workshop. Amina, Justin, Roy and Evan did a great job, but I think most of us consider Patrick Moreau the face of Stillmotion, so I personally missed not seeing him there. I talked with their marketing company and it sounded like Patrick is going to joining workshop for about 20 of the cities on the tour.

StillMotion Know Attendee

What I Learned

I learned about composition, stuff that I already knew on a sub conscience level, but didn’t know the ‘why’ in terms of story telling.

I learned more about story telling, but I wished they spent the entire time on this topic.

It was funny, their story telling is so good, when they would play a clip over and over again and change it slightly like taking the natural sounds out of the audio track, I would always get lost in the story and forget what I was supposed to be listening to. Their story telling is that good.

Hard Working

I don’t know that many production companies, but of the ones I do know, I gotta say these guys are some of the hardest working people I have met in this industry.

This tour just got started and is going pretty much around the country until Thanksgiving.

Amina Moreau

Ray Tsang and Evan King in Denver.

‘Know – Field Guide to Film Making’ Book

They also passed out a 300+ page book on film making, I have not had a chance to look at it yet.

Read the Stillmotion's Know Film Makers Guide

With Etiquette CD

We also received a With Etiquette CD with about 15 tracks on it. They didn’t say anything about a license so I assume that we can’t use it for any of our videos. I guess just listen to it as background music.

The Filmmaking Seminar DVD

I guess in a few weeks I will receive a DVD with the stuff they covered in the workshop, not sure exactly what is on it. All I know it doesn’t include the post processing section.

Why is that guy taking sooo many pictures?!

I got to meet a lot of interesting people at the workshop, and some of them already knew my name! I got to explain to them what I was creating. But some people were looking at me funny, like they were saying to themselves, “Why the hell is that guy taking so many pictures in burst mode?”.

AI Servo Is My New Friend

To be honest I hardly ever use ‘AI Servo’ on any of my Canon DSLR’s. But boy it sure came in handy for this event by keep my subjects in focus while they moved or I moved.

Know Tour - Back from lunch

‘Stop Motion’ Is Time Intensive

If you guys are interested in how I made this video, let me know, perhaps I can make a tutorial out of this one.

I took over 3,000 photos at the workshop and used 1,700 of them in this video. I had to shoot JPG so my constant shooting speed would stay well…constant.

This video took a long time to make. It only took me 2 hours to color grade the images and crop them down to 1080 the way I wanted, but it took 6 hours for Lightroom to render the processed images out. After that it took 30 minutes just to import all 3,000 images into Premiere. Once in Premiere there was now way to watch all 3,000 images in real time to see what they looked like without rendering out the workspace, so that took another an hour. Once all that was done it didn’t take but a couple hours to cut the video to the music, but cutting was not easy because I was moving large chucks of images around on the timeline which added a little more mental energy on my part so I didn’t separate the image sequences (grouping them didn’t help). But the waiting was not over, normally rendering out a two minute video might take 5-10 minutes or so, this one took an hour and a half to render.

It was great to meet some of the people that attended the workshop like Brian Scaglia.

Stop Motion or Time Lapse?

I’m not sure which of these two is the correct term for this video. Stop Motion I think applies to making objects move on their own and time lapse shows a passage of time quickly. I have both in this video so I am not sure which is correct.

Royalty free music by

Products Used In This Video – Find Prices

Help me make more of these types of videos by purchasing gear from the links posted on my site. It costs you nothing extra, and helps support me to make more videos.

5D Mark3
5D Mark III


  • Wouldn’t it be better to make proxies of the images before cutting in Premiere? It would definitely save you a lot of time, and then you could just replace the proxies with the images out of Lightroom.
    In any case, I really enjoyed the video. Nice Work!

  • @Dave I would batch resize them to a low resolution/highly compressed files, which shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. That way Premiere would be much more efficient, and you could easily edit in real time. Then after Lightroom finishes processing your actual images, just replace them in premiere and render. Thats the method I use and it works great.

  • @Yotam When I exported from Lightroom I resized them all to 1080 and compressed them at ’80’. I’m not sure if making them really small and heavily compressed would help but I could try it next time.

  • @Dave It works well enough for me, since it reduces the stuf it has to hold in RAM and process in realtime. Of course, this isn’t really the sort of job for Premiere, since the CUDA(A) algorithms are designed for H.264 video, and it can get really slow with JPGs. Something like DragonFrame might work better, depending on the type of movie you are making.

    BTW, how many images did you grade at once? Was it per burst, per location…

  • @Yotam thanks for the info, I might try that next time, if there is a next time because it was a lot of work in post.

    I color corrected one photo from each burst and then sync’ed the rest since I wanted more of a jarring look to it with all the different processing I used.

  • Great job Dave as always. I have a question about exporting to premier; Is there any reason why you don’t use lightroom slideshow tab to export your frames into 24fps video? In my experience it preserves the colors much better and is quite fast.

  • Hey Dave, great video! I would like a tutorial if you have the time. It’ was a cool effect that I’d like to repeat.

    I have an Idea, but I would just like to see the workflow. 🙂

  • Just watched the video for the second time
    with my wife.
    She said the same thing – “feels hard on the eyes”.

    BUT, it’s a VERY clever way to artistically document a day like that while still having the time to learn from the material presented.

    How many sleeps till they come to this neck of the woods?
    November…baby stepping to November : )

    Thank you Dave!

  • yes.. am very interested in to see ur StopMotion Video tuts… i used to try them while ago.. but i cant get a nice result like yours… when we move… inside, outside,walk etc.. there’s some light change,shake, flicker… 100% like to see your STOP MOTION video Tutorials… eagerly waiting for ur STMotion tuts..

  • Hi Dave,

    I think you’ve done a really good job of the stop-motion. Good variety in the sequences, smooth captures, and nice use of focus-change.

    Having been inspired by Petra Cross a couple of months ago, I tried a project like this myself (for the second-part of a short “selfie” video on my 50th birthday). I know how much work this sort of project takes!

    I should mention that I latched on to your term “nifty fifty” and made the 50mm f1.8 the only lens I used for my project, to coincide with the birthday. There were a few nuances of technique that I didn’t realise until after-the-fact, e.g. hold camera as still as you can, as it will still jump around a lot. Parts of mine are (embarassingly) guaranteed to induce motion-sickness. (Google “nifty fifty” + petphi (my username) if interested.)

    I didn’t do any significant color-grading – just a little bit of exposure-adjustment. My processing was probably a little different to yours – I processed each subset of jpgs into an mp4 file in Quicktime prior to dropping them into Premiere. Time consuming, but not too onerous to render. Sounds like your’s was a huge job.

    I also realised one downside: the number of shutter/mirror activations this technique would entail over time. You would be up in the hundreds of thousands in no time at all.

    Keep up the great work Dave – I’ve learnt a lot from your many “learningdslrvideo” productions!

  • amazing stuff DD.. absolutley fantabulous! you have moved into something really big!
    great color and composition and loved the music as well

  • Dave after reading your post i signed up for the Know tour in Atl, wanted to make sure you got credit, how does that work? Can they track what site folks come from when they sign up?

  • WOW Dave, I think that was the best video I’ve seen of yours so far. And I’ve seen them all 😉 I would love to see a tut.

    Unfortunately, I can’t make KNOW when they are in Texas My sister is getting married in Florida on the same day. But I’m definitely getting the DVD of the workshop and the workbook after seeing your video. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Great video. Thanks for all of your others as well. They have really helped me learn how to use my DSLR to shoot video. One question. Did you learn anything at the workshop beyond what you mentioned in your text about story telling? From your description it seems a bit underwhelming. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? I am considering going to one but I am not sure it is worth $250.00. I realize that you did not have to pay, but was it worth the money in your opinion?


  • @Steve I thought it was great, I mostly missed not having Patrick there. I just wished they spent more time on story since that is what I need the most help on, such as how to ask the right questions and in what order to extract a good story out of them in the interview.

  • may be i dnt know the spelling.. lipsing/lipcing… the lips move with acrording the sound.. the picture really move fast… but it match with the audio…

  • Great story, and lovely video.
    I hope you’ve found the silent mode on your 5d3 before entering the building ? 😉

  • Signed up for this, for the price its worth checking out. Many seminars out there costing much more. Should get a few tips out of this.

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