The Dark Knight (My Computer)

Hey Everyone!

So I think its about time to give out the details on the computer setup I have going on.. Before I left home I had a desktop (currently for sale if your interested) named The Beast with an I7 processor, 16 gigs ram that runs off ssd’s and has 6 tb of internal memory. When I found out that I was going to be going on a very long roadtrip and living in a VW Westfalia for Roadtrippers my first thought was SWEET! Then reality kind of hit and the first big decision had to be made. How am I going to keep up on the computing side of things. I definitely needed a laptop so I started to do some research and I ended up getting an Origin PC EON17-S Pro. The most exciting thing about going with this laptop is that I was able to customize exactly what all went into it! So anyways for those who are totally nerdy over this kind of thing (like me) you will enjoy this if your not… well you can skip this one! haha

It’s name is “The Dark Knight”

The base computer comes with a 17.3 inch 1080p screen, 3 usb 3.0 ports, 1 ESATA port and 1 usb 2.0 port. (I’m only listing the things I found very important, You can see all the info here)
Then comes the fun customization time :)

  •  Intel Core i7 4900MQ Quad-Core 2.80GHz (3.60GHz TurboBoost), 8MB Cache
  • Single 3GB NVIDIA GTX 770M (OriginPC Overclocked)
  • 32GB DDR3 1333MHz (4 X 8GB) RAM
  • 60GB mSATA OS Drive
  • 480GB ORIGIN PC Approved Solid State Drive
  • 750GB SATA 3.0Gb/s, 7200RPM, 16MB Cache
  • It also has a bunch of other stuff(webcam,superspeed USB3.0, WIFI, Soundblaster, and all that fun stuff)

My next thought was how do I handle all of the data that I go through.. and my solution was to get a Hard Drive Array which I have 4 x 3TB drives in running RAID.

I am planning sometime to write up a blog (or make a video?) with my full workflow but I want to explain how I use this laptop for my workflow.

  1. Shoot all the footage I can in a week at each destination! (Yellowstone has been around 600 gb’s in 10 days)
  2. Offload the footage (after each card fills up or when i’m done shooting) to the 750 gb internal hard drive
  3. Editing the RAW photos and render out a CineForm file to the internal SSD out of After Effects
  4. Delete the RAW Files from the Internal HD if the video clip looks good enough
  5. Edit all of the CineForm files into a video with Premiere (project files on SSD)
  6. When Video is Complete delete everything from the project off of the SSD
    ** Before I delete anything I always back everything up to my Hard Drive Array
    ** I always have everything saved in at least 2 different places

I didn’t want to do a full blog post on my computer until I had used it enough to really recomment it and I can honestly say that it is a tank! It blows my old desktop out of the water and blows through renders like nobody’s business. My favourite thing it does better than my desktop is bring up picture previews in Adobe Bridge (this way I can look at a timelapse by pressing down the right arrow) and within 30 seconds I can be previewing 400+ photo timelapses!

P.S. If you are wondering why its name is the Dark Knight…. This is why


It’s got that sleek Batman look… ( I love the Batman movies)

Anyways if you have any questions about my computer workflow just let me know and I am hoping to do a more detailed post on my timelapse workflow!

  1. Maury Wale says:


    Mighty impressive process Joel!! Obviously much more to what you do than meets the eye in the finished product.

  2. Thierry Dupont says:


    Hi Joel,
    first of all i've just discovered your blog and videos today and must admit i spent quite a good part of the day going through eveything. Your work and above all your passion for photography and timelapse are very inspiring for newbies like me. Thanks for all the time you put into your blog and all the useful info you're so good to share with us.
    I'm actually in the middle of trying to define a post workflow that will work best for me and what i want to achieve, and then this little sentence struck me: "…and render out a CineForm file to the internal SSD…".
    Why cineform? What's so special about it that this is the codec you've chosen?
    Is that a Premiere thing perhaps ? (As i'm a FCP user myself).
    You elaborating this a little would be great, thanks!
    greetings from Belgium.

    1. author says:


      Hey! Thanks!

      I personally use Cineform because of the file size, compression and speed at which it works with premiere pro. I can scrub through without rendering and a typical timelapse is only around 3 gigs when its all said and done. I used to use Quicktime Animation but the file size was too large. CineForm is just a little bit bigger and more info than ProRes 422, So that would be a good option for you if your using a MAC, if not CineForm is awesome!

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