What do you need to create a time-lapse video?
Creating a time-lapse video can be time-consuming, but the end product is always stunning, and watching them can be so intriguing. How to make a good time-lapse video is no rocket science.
You can create a time-lapse video using any technique, either by speeding up standard video footage or piecing together still photos.
Whatsoever technique you choose to employ to make your time-lapse video, here are some of the things you need to have:
For your time-lapse video to be intriguing, you need to select the subject of your time-lapse carefully. For example, maybe you are interested in watching how the day turns to night, how the clouds cross the sky, the process of snow melting, the construction of an edifice, or anything at all; the movement should be your priority.
A time-lapse video in which nothing changes is uninteresting to watch. Hence, the most crucial feature to consider when choosing your subject is movement. Your subject’s actions or the environment around your subject make for an engaging and dynamic time-lapse video.
Your success in creating an excellent time-lapse video depends mainly on the camera you choose to use. It is the only piece of equipment you must have to make a time-lapse video. You can have the right concept, but with the wrong camera, you will end up wasting your time.
Technically, you can use any digital camera, android phone, or iPhone to make a time-lapse video. However, some specialized cameras designed to shoot a time-lapse video exist in the market.
We recommend high-resolution cameras that can be used wirelessly, or you compare cameras and use the best fit for your specific goals in creating a time-lapse video.
Tripods and power source
Capturing a time-lapse video is really time-consuming, depending on the subject of your video. Your time-lapse subject may require you to record for hours or even days. Hence, you will need a tripod to mount your camera and a quality battery pack.
We recommend using a solar-powered pack, especially if you intend to work outdoors, as the internal camera battery may not last for long. You should also beware of low storage capacity.
Time-lapse editing apps
In cases where you do not have the budget to use dedicated time-lapse equipment, you could shoot a standard video with your phone or any digital camera and later use time-lapse editing apps to create your own time-lapse video.
Time-lapse editing apps are a great and easy way to create a time-lapse video, especially when using still photos.
Time-lapse video gives you an insightful perspective of things around us that are rarely seen. It also reveals the beauty of things that move slowly.
How to make a time-lapse video
Time-lapse video can be used for many things, one of which is storytelling (1). A month-long process can be shown in minutes. Making them could be time-consuming, but with the right equipment, it will be worth your time. Now that you know what is needed to shoot a time-lapse video let’s get into the how.
Here we go:
1. How to make a time-lapse video from Photos
Time-lapse photography consists of sequential photographs taken at intervals (2). If you have a thing for quality and professionalism, we recommend you use a DSLR camera to create a time-lapse video from photos. It will help you make a professional time-lapse video with more excellent resolution.
Here are some steps to follow to create a classic time-lapse video with your DSLR:
Step one – Set up your tripod or stable surface
To avoid a mediocre video, you need a stable surface or a good tripod to mount your camera. This ensures you capture high-quality photos without any shakiness.
Step two – Select still photo mode on your DSLR
After mounting your camera, you need to make sure you are on manual exposure. This will prevent it from automatically changing frames while capturing your photos.
Step three – Lower your shutter speed and use a timer.
The goal here is to capture images with the slowest shutter possible in your camera. This will give you the smoothest shot with the right amount of movement needed to make your time-lapse video captivating.
Using an interval mode if it is available on your camera will make your work easier.
Step four – Import and assemble the photos
Once you are done capturing the needed individual stills, you will have to import them into your editing software, where you will condense them all together to make a time-lapse video from photos.
You can also make use of your mobile phones to create a time-lapse video from photos. All you have to do is just take multiple great shots with your phone, import them into the appropriate app for editing, and stitch them all together.
2. How to make time-lapse from videos
You can also create a time-lapse video using video files shot directly from your DSLR camera or mobile devices. Shooting a video and speeding it up is less tasking and requires less planning compared to using a collection of still photos.
The steps required to shoot a time-lapse video using a DSLR camera are similar to the steps of shooting still photos. However, you only have to select video mode on your DSLR, slow the shutter speed, record your video, after which you edit.
But, if you prefer shooting the time-lapse video on your mobile device – fear not! Most smartphone cameras possess a built-in time-lapse feature that you can use to shoot your time-lapse video. They are also great in reducing budget and minimizing shooting equipment.
Here is how you can create a time-lapse video using your phone:
- Select the time-lapse feature on the camera of your phone.
- Place your phone on a stable surface and secure a spot where it won’t move a lot. Preferably a tripod
- Tap the record button to record your time-lapse video
- Once you are done recording, tap the same button again. The video will then be automatically compressed and appear on your camera roll.
Some mobile apps for making time-lapse video include; Lapse It, Lapse It Pro, Framelapse, and Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile, amongst others.
Most android phones have their time-lapse feature built-in. You just need to select the time-lapse setting on your android and record either your video or photo. However, Microsoft Hyperlapse is a simple android app to help you make a time-lapse video.
The frame rate of a video is 30 frames per second. Therefore, a still image will make up 1/30th of the video frame. Hence, decide the length of your desired time-lapse video in seconds, and multiply it by 30 to get the exact number of the still image you need to make a good time-lapse video from photos.
Although it is advisable to understand frame rates if you desire to start making your own professional time-lapse videos, it is easy and fun to create using this guide.
Time-lapse video enables us to appreciate the beauty of things that move slowly, things that have always been there but we fail to see ordinarily. Time-lapse videos are also a fun and captivating way to create engaging content, especially on social media.
With this guide, you can create your own time-lapse video in just a few minutes. We would love to hear how you made your time-lapse video in the comment section.
- Kyser Lough. (April 2013). Using time-lapse photography as a storytelling device. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308020930_Using_time_lapse_photography_as_a_storytelling_device
- Lindsay Persohn. (2015). Exploring Time-lapse Photography as a means for Qualitative Data Collection. Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1508&context=tal_facpub