Whether it’s a recording of something extraordinary or utterly mundane, time-lapse videos are always stunning. Watching the staccato movement and seeing several hours of compressed footage in seconds or minutes makes for compelling viewing.
Making a time-lapse video usually takes a long time. You need a suitable camera, room for shooting, a reliable stand or tripod and good weather if you are out and about. Time-lapse videos can take some time to work properly and this may take several attempts.
Time-Lapse Post Production vs. True Time-Lapse
Basically you have two choices when it comes to recording a time-lapse video.
Spend time preparing, and then record a time-lapse video as events unfold.
Convert standard video to time-lapse movie.
But are there any differences in quality? It depends on what you are using as a camera.
With a dedicated time-lapse camera (or one with a time-lapse mode) and the right lighting Time Lapse Photography Companies, the results should be good. Just make sure the delay between shots is suitable for the subject!
Meanwhile, mobile devices used for time-lapse recording (or movie recording for time-lapse conversion) may produce slightly lower results. This could be due to a slightly unstable tripod or simply the weight of the device. Meanwhile, problems with autofocus can affect the quality of the video.
To convert the footage you recorded into a time-lapse video, you have two main options: desktop and mobile.
Not just time-lapse: Hyperlapse too!
It’s not just time-lapse videos that you can produce this way. Hyperlapse, a similar technique involving small camera movements, is another option.
If you’re converting a video that already features camera shake, the results will be more Hyperlapse than time-lapse. In short, you have two output options, both with amazing results.
Just make sure that any video you’ve assigned as Hyperlapse doesn’t have too much camera shake. Any movement should be extremely slow and smooth enough to be unnoticeable in the finished video.
Convert time-lapse videos to desktop
Many desktop video editing suites have built-in tools that make converting a standard clip into a time-lapse movie very simple.
But if you are looking for free software to create time-lapse videos, there is no better option than VLC.
This versatile media player (check out the best VLC features) is one of those cross-platform apps everyone should use. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.
Download: VLC Media Player (Free)
Note that if you are doing this on Windows 10; make sure you start VLC Media Player with elevated privileges. Just right-click the app icon and select Run as administrator and accept the User Access Control notification.
Then, open Tools> Preferences and, at the bottom of the screen, find the Show Settings radio buttons. Select All (# 1 in the image below), then in the new view that appears, look for Videos. You can use the search box above if you can’t find it.
Expand Filters and select FPS Converter. In the right pane, enter the new frame rate. At 30 or more frames per second in your original video, 10 FPS is a good option. Too high and the time-lapse video will look too smooth; too low and will seem jerky. Experiment for the best results.
Click the arrow next to the Convert / save button and choose Convert. In
the Settings panel click the wrench icon, then Video Codec> Filters and check the FPS conversion video filter.
Turn a mobile video into a time-lapse movie
There are so many time-lapse apps available for iOS and Android. What if you want to make a time-lapse movie from some footage you’ve already recorded with a standard camera mode? The answer, of course, is a dedicated app, designed to convert footage to time-lapse.
Create a Hyperlapse on Android
Probably the best mobile Hyperlapse app is Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile, which can record Hyperlapse and convert existing videos.
Download: Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile (Free)
At launch, you will see two options in this landscape only app. Choose Import Existing Video and search for a suitable video on your phone.
Tap the menu in the upper right corner to view the settings, where you will have the option to export 1080p video and export to SD memory. These options are both disabled by default. Note that it is not possible to import video clips with a resolution higher than 1080p, so 2K and 4K videos are not available.
At the top of the screen, you will see information about the length and speed of the video. At the bottom, meanwhile, look for the handles. These can be dragged to reduce the length of the video. Dragging these handles shortens the duration of the video
When you are satisfied, click the check button and wait for the video to be imported. This may take some time depending on the length of the video. I’ve saved the results as a GIF to give you an idea of what it might look like.
How to create a Hyperlapse on iOS
On iPhone, you can use Time-Lapse photo mode in the camera app to create a Hyperlapse. This video tutorial demonstrates how simple it is:
Making a time-lapse without any configuration is easy!
It might be the lazy alternative to creating a real time-lapse, but if you want to take a time-lapse video as an afterthought, using either of these methods is the answer. You can always go back to the location and shoot the same scenes with a dedicated app or camera, but converting the standard video to a time-lapse is faster.
And with the tools we mentioned above, you can do it in minutes. So why not share your work online? After all, time-lapse videos are one of the most popular types of YouTube videos.