Filmmaker Julian Tryba has created a time-lapse that is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before—and that’s saying something when you’re talking about one of the most popular (and creative) genres of photography out there. His so-called NYC Layer-Lapse ditches the traditional time-lapse model of watching the world go by, and instead uses post-processing to inject a little bit of night into his daytime shots and day into his nighttime shots.
An effect Tryba says is inspired by Einstein’s theory of relativity, it’s quite difficult to explain what’s going on in words. Here’s how Tryba himself puts it in the video’s description:
Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein’s relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.
In perfect time with the music, parts of the frame—usually individual buildings or groups of buildings in the iconic NYC skyline—shift from night to day or visa versa. In this frame, for example, the One World Trade Center is shown at nighttime, while the rest of the skyline is lit up by the same daylight:
As impressive as the final product, however, is the way in which Tryba made it happen. This was not a 100% manual process. That, he admits, would have taken far too long; he needed to find a way to automate his workflow, and so he put his engineering background to work:
In early 2016 I started learning scripting in after effects, and began writing code to create different layer-lapse ‘looks’. To create a → continue…