Beautiful skies over the Nordlandsbanen, when we recorded the journey 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK
Beautiful skies over the Nordlandsbanen, when we recorded the journey 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK

Postet til: Minutt for minutt & NRK

Nordlandsbanen: minute by minute, season by season


The article and all pictures used are licensed under Creative Commons, you can use all of it or parts of it in whatever way you find suitable, as long as you attribute it with the following text and clickable link to this page:

Content licensed under Creative Commons

Source: NRKbeta.no http://nrkbeta.no/2013/01/15/nordlandsbanen-minute-by-minute-season-by-season/

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) has made another spectacular minute by minute documentary, this time recording Norway’s northenmost railway linking Trondheim and Bodø. We’ve recorded it four times — once for every season, giving truly unique footage of this ten hour ride.

You can watch it on the web, but we have also made everything available for you to download in full HD — and licensed it with Creative Commons so that you can edit, remix and share!

This is an example of what you can make with these files:

The Nordland Railway (‘Nordlandsbanen’ in Norwegian) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The railway is 729 kilometers long, and passes thorugh spectacular scenery, varying from the fjord area around Trondheim in the south, through beautiful valleys, over mountains and along fjords before crossing the Arctic Circle at Saltfjellet and descending down to the coastal city of Bodø.

Recordings from both winter, spring, summer and autumn makes for pretty scenes such as this.


Following the success of the world’s longest live documentary, Hurtigruten minute by minute, the Telemak Canal and Bergensbanen minute by minute, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation set out to film the Nordland Railway as well. This time, though, we had to think up a way to show the contrasts one can encounter along the route; the weather, colours and climatic conditions.

The solution was to film the journey once every season, to show the different weather conditions and the great changes in nature’s expression from summer to authumn, and winter to spring.

The Nordlandsbanen passes through spectacular landscape. This is a freeze frame from the television programme.

We have thus recorded the journey four times, with the idea of combining the four seasons in both a regular, 10 hour long, TV documentary, and a version for web where the audience can mix their own version. Let us show you an example of the result:

Recording

The recording was done using a SonyXDcam, placed in the front of the Di. 4 locomotives used on Nordlandsbanen. In addition we used Canon XF 302 for some side view-shots and interviews, in addition to GoPro Hero 2 and a Sony Handycam for some effect shots.

Since NSB Di. 4 is a rather unstable camera platform with a lot of vibrations, we used a special image stabilizing lens from Canon, with the very cryptial name of HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V. For aerial shots, during the summer, we used NRK’s own Cineflex V14.

Thomas Hellum og Jon Ståle Carlsen monterer frontkameraet i førerhytten på Di 4-lokomotivet.
Thomas Hellum og Jon Ståle Carlsen from NRK mounts the forward-facing camera before the recording of winter along the Nordlandsbanen, 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK

Syncing the files

Even though the Norwegian State Railway managed to keep the schedule on each of our recorded trips, the four journeys differed in position at any given time. The train will, for example, not enter a station at the exact same second in both June and March, and cannot keep the exact same speed at all times. In other words, we had to synchronize the video files in order to make the train appear to be at the same place at the same time in every video stream.

The GPS position of the train was logged continuously on each trip, with an interval of 1 Hz. Deciding to use the summer clip as the master, we used Microsoft Excel to interpolate the GPS data to 25 Hz, to match the video frame rate of 25 frames per second. This 25 Hz GPS data was then written to a PostgreSQL database.

We then wrote a script which asked the database to give us the time for when each of the other seasons were at the same position as the Summer recording. This gave us a long list of time codes, near 36 000. Using Adobe After Effects, we were then able to manipulate the speed of the winter, autumn and spring-recordings with the effect «time remap», to match the speed and position of the summer recording.

Screenshot fra After EffectsThis is a screenshot of the autumn recording before we adjust it to match the speed of the summer recording. We see that the time is linear, meaning one frame in = one frame out. There is also only two keyframes: at the start and the end of the video. Adobe After Effects enables us to copy the keyframe data as plain text, and if we do that, this is what we end up with:

Adobe After Effects 8.0 Keyframe Data

Units Per Second 90
Source Width 1920
Source Height 1080
Source Pixel Aspect Ratio 1
Comp Pixel Aspect Ratio 1

Time Remap
Frame seconds
0 0
892026 9911.4

End of Keyframe Data

The data of interest here is the values under «frame» and «seconds». Frame denotes which frame number is the keyframe, and seconds denotes what time in the recorded video that is to be shown at that specific frame.

You might have noticed we use 90 frames per second, as opposed to the original 25 that we recorded. Adobe After Effects does not support time lines over three hours, but does, however, support up to 99,99 frames per second. By speeding up the video, we are able to keep our time line under three hours, and avoid splitting our recording over several time lines.

What we need to do is tell After Effects when to slow down and when to speed up the recording. Using the position data we created earlier, we can generate new keyframes:

Adobe After Effects 8.0 Keyframe Data

Units Per Second 90
Source Width 1920
Source Height 1080
Source Pixel Aspect Ratio 1
Comp Pixel Aspect Ratio 1

Time Remap
Frame seconds
990 0.0
990 1.0
—– —–
3600 82.0
3675 83.0
3761 84.0
3841 85.0
3927 86.0
4010 87.0
4089 88.0
4176 89.0
4251 90.0
4341 91.0
4420 92.0
—– —–
3201886 35380.0
3201886 35381.0

End of Keyframe Data

(Originally this creates over 32000 lines, so we have shortened the list substantially.)

Having pasted the new keyframes, our timeline will look like this:

Nye keyframes er kopiert inn i After EffectsTime still goes on, but in this case it has over over 32 000 keyframes telling After Effects when to stop (horizontal lines) or jump (vertical lines) in time.

Rendering the three, time remapped seasons took over 20 hours each. They were still 90 frames per second, however, but using Apple Cinema Tools we were able to stretch this back to the original 25 frames per second — without another round of rendering.

The result can be seen below: we are able to run the four seasons at the same speed, giving the impression that the train is at the same place at the same time.

Sharing

The TV programme can be seen at our website http://nrk.no/nordlandsbanen, where we’ve also coded a beta version of a video mixer, which enables you to view whatever season you want, or watch two seasons at the same time.

Beautiful skies over the Nordlandsbanen, when we recorded the journey 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK

Just like we shared Bergensbanen, Flåmsbanen, Holmenkollbanen, Telemarkskanalen, and the 134 hour long Hurtigruten minute by minute-programmes, we do of course share the Nordlandsbanen as well. We give you all four seasons, already synchronised, in addition to the GPS data for each trip. The files can be downloaded via BitTorrent:

Nordlandsbanen winter
Nordlandsbanen spring
Nordlandsbanen summer
Nordlandsbanen autumn
GPS-data
… and here you can download the source for our beta video mixer

91 kommentarer

  1. I am an enthusiast of photo and video (including editing) and I always loved to arrange meta-information and creativity. Several years before the age of smartphone, I created a geo-tagging method based on excel and excel macros to embed the GPS position in my photos.

    For this, I can understand the value of your work. And the fun you guys had finding out the ways to overcome the editing and data management issues.

    Thanks for sharing not only the artistic result, but also the work behind it!

    Sergio

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  2. [...] The company states, “The Nordland Railway (‘Nordlandsbanen’ in Norwegian) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The railway is 729 kilometers long, and passes thorugh spectacular scenery, varying from the fjord area around Trondheim in the south, through beautiful valleys, over mountains and along fjords before crossing the Arctic Circle at Saltfjellet and descending down to the coastal city of Bodø.” [...]

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  3. [...] The company states, “The Nordland Railway (‘Nordlandsbanen’ in Norwegian) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The railway is 729 kilometers long, and passes thorugh spectacular scenery, varying from the fjord area around Trondheim in the south, through beautiful valleys, over mountains and along fjords before crossing the Arctic Circle at Saltfjellet and descending down to the coastal city of Bodø.” [...]

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  4. Hello, this is simply great!
    I have read about the documentary on the newspaper, and showed the short video to my son (a 5-years-old train maniac) and now he wants to see the whole footage! Hours and hours! I’ve explained that it would take many hours to see it all, ’till bedtime, so he’s said: «Then mama please wake me up early tomorrow so I can start right away and make it in one day!» :-DD
    Train-maniacs aside, I’ve found the videos enthralling too! Beautiful idea!

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  5. [...] NRK recorded the 10-hour train ride on the Nordland Railway to Nordlandsbanen, from Trondheim across the artic circle, to Bodø; once per season, and mashed all the footage together to simulate a time lapse video. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Cool Findings, Videos and tagged Nordland Railway, NRK. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

    Svar på denne kommentaren

    • Filene vi har lagt ut for nedlasting er råfiler vi har laget for at dere kan remikse dem som dere ønsker, og de er derfor bearbeidet så lite som mulig.

      I programmet som gikk på Nrk2, er all informasjonen på plass, og det er mulig å se igjen når du vil på nrk.no/nordlandsbanen.

      Men om det er noen som har behov for dissse dataene utenom, har vi dem tilgjenglig, og kan selvfølgelig tilgjengligjøre dem om det er ønskelig.

      Svar på denne kommentaren

  6. [...] La compagnie déclare, « Le chemin de fer Nordland (‘Nordlandsbanen» en norvégien) célèbre son 50e anniversaire cette année. Le chemin de fer est de 729 kilomètres de long, et passe au travers de paysages spectaculaires, allant de la région du fjord de Trondheim dans le sud, à travers de belles vallées, sur les montagnes et le long des fjords avant de traverser le cercle polaire à Saltfjellet et descendant jusqu’à la ville côtière de Bodø.  » [...]

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  7. Kaare K. Johnsen

    Jeg har nettopp sett «Arendalsbanen – en reise gjennom 100 år» på NRK1. Der var det mange fine klipp fra opptak med frontkamera og luftfoto, og jeg lurer på om NRK har slike opptak av hele strekningen, og om de i så fall kan bli gjort tilgjengelig for nedlasting? Dere har jo vært så utrolig greie tidligere, så …

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  8. Hi, first of all thanks for creating and publishing these great videos.

    I wonder if you can help me associating the lines from the GPS data files with the videos. That is, I want to know which frame in the synchronized video belongs to which line in the GPS data file. I suppose this information can be retrieved from the frame-to-seconds associations you used for the keyframe synchronization. Maybe you could make those available too?

    Tusen takk!

    Why am I asking?
    I am a researcher at a university and we have lately been using your synchronized videos in our research on life-long autonomy for robots in changing environments. We try to find algorithms that can learn to predict how an environment changes over time (e.g. during the seasons). If you are interested in what we do with your data, you can check out our papers from my website, e.g. this one link to tu-chemnitz.de

    Svar på denne kommentaren

    • Hello Niko, and thank You for Your interest.

      I have made a csv-file of the json used on the site, for the synchronisation.
      It has three columns. seconds since start of file, and the position data, for every ten seconds throughout the journey.

      You can download the file from dropbox: link to dropbox.com

      if You manage to match the position of one of the lines to the original GPS log, You will find the time offset. Remember to use the summer track, since that is that is the master that the other seasons are mapped to.

      Best of luck on Your project.

      Svar på denne kommentaren

Legg igjen en kommentar

Din e-postadresse vil ikke bli publisert. Obligatoriske felt er merket med *

Du kan bruke disse HTML-kodene og -egenskapene: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>