Boston Layer-Lapse is the First Timelapse Sequence of Its Kind

It’s been a long time since a truly revolutionary innovation has made its way into the world of timelapse, but now, with this new video from photographer Julian Tryba, something new and truly stunning may have just been born. Calling his video a “layer-lapse” of Boston, Tryba has possibly provided us with one of the biggest leaps in the history of timelapse:

Layer-lapse moves beyond the linear time of traditional timelapse and modifies not just a single timeline in a sequence, but various times in different parts of the sequence. Where traditional timelapse speeds up time from just one perspective and one time frame, layer-lapse allows for any number of “times” to be in motion in a single scene. That’s why many of the objects in each sequence are running at different speeds and times than others. As Tryba explains it:

“Traditional timelapses 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.”

How is this done? Each image is not only layered into a timelapse sequence, each layer is animated separately. The buildings, vehicles, trees, etc. all have their own unique time sequence layered into the scene.  Consequently, they’re not limited by the time sequence of any other part of the image.

Boston Layer-lapse

The video, sponsored by Kessler University, was created with over 100 hours of shooting and somewhere around 350 hours of editing. Over 150,000 photos were taken and the average number of layers for each clip was 35! (Whew!) The majority of the project was shot with a Canon 6D and the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II lens. (A Canon 24-105 f4 lens was also used a couple of times.) Other equipment included a Shuttle Pod Mini and a 3-Axis CineDrive as his motion control system. Editing programs used include SpectraLayers Pro 2, Lightroom, After Effects, Photoshop, Excel, LRTimelapse, and Premier Pro.

What’s even more incredible than all the time and care that went into this revolutionary piece of art is that everything Tryba knows about photography, editing, and animation he taught himself in his free time over the past two years. Amazing!

Layer-lapse of Boston

Shot from the Layer-Lapse

Layer-lapse is not just a leap in timelapse technique, it’s a leap in the creative thought surrounding how we look at the world and how many dimensions we can hold in our minds at once. Julian Tryba has found a way to take the 4th dimension a little less literally. After all, we’re only limited by what we can imagine.

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4 responses to “Boston Layer-Lapse is the First Timelapse Sequence of Its Kind”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Not a fan. I think it looks disjointed and creative just for creativity’s sake.

  2. Carlos Banal says:

    This is NOT “a truly revolutionary innovation has made its way into the world of timelapse”.
    It’s actually called compositing. Where different shots are layered and put together, using After Effects or similar tool. So he made a lots of time lapse shots, and put them together in an interesting way. Not exactly what I would call “one of the biggest leaps in the history of timelapse”

    Tryba certainly did a lot of work on this, very skilful and time-consuming, but I share similar misgivings as Rebecca (see above). What’s the point? It doesn’t add up to a meaningful experience for the viewer. Not this one anyway. More like a sugar overdose, sorry to say.


  3. Joseph Leahy says:

    I am blown away by it. I would love to download it for my grandchild age 3 who lives in Boston.

  4. Elon says:

    Agree 100% with both comments above!

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