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Different video concepts have been used over time by videographers to achieve awesome video clips. One such idea is time-lapse, which is sometimes mistaken for Hyperlapse  and a similar animated video concept known as stop motion. What differentiates these video concepts though? This article will explain these video concepts in a “timelapse vs hyperlapse,” and “timelapse vs stop motion” format to distinguish between them and know when to use them when making videos.

Timelapse vs Hyperlapse

Before delving into the differences and similarities between the timelapse and hyperlapse video concept, it is pertinent to explain what each video concept entails. 


Timelapse is a video concept whereby the videographer takes several pictures in specified time intervals while the camera is fixed. These series of images are then stringed together to form a fast-paced video. The resultant video is a smooth video clip of hastened reality. Since the camera is fixed, it is only logical to use a tripod for steady shots.

To explain timelapse a bit more technically, timelapse can be described as viewing images in more frames per second(1) than it was initially shot in. For example, the average movie is shot and viewed at 24fps (not more than 30fps). However, the timelapse video concept is usually shot in a lower frame per second count; say 1fps, and viewed in a higher fps count; say 40fps. This increase in the fps for viewing creates a fast-paced video. 

There is a variation of the timelapse in which the camera moves a bit (a little pan, tilt, or slide). This variation is known as the motion control timelapse. In addition, there are scenarios where videographers want to add some movement to the camera and the corresponding video clip but are limited by the earthquake effect. 

The earthquake effect is the slight shake that happens when you start or stop a pan or tilt. The earthquake effect is more apparent with a sped-up video of strung-up individual shots. Luckily, some machines can help achieve these slight movements without the earthquake effect. These machines move the camera so slowly and smoothly that shakes can’t be noticed in the final video clip. 

The timelapse video concept is usually used to monitor the subject’s otherwise slow transition (slow to the human eye at least). A good example is tracking the sun from sunrise to sunset. With the basics of the timelapse video concept explained, it’s time to check out the hyperlapse video concept and what it entails.  


The hyperlapse video concept is a variation of the time-lapse concept with some fundamental changes. The general idea for a hyperlapse is that the camera moves while recording a video or taking shots. The shots or videos taken for hyperlapse can be done with handheld cameras or gimbals instead of tripods because the videographer will move a lot.

People go about the hyperlapse video concept in two ways. The first way is to take a shot while moving over short specific distances while a significant distance is covered. The series of photos are then strung together to give a fast-motion video. The resulting video will be a sped-up video with an ever-changing point of view.

The other way to achieve a hyperlapse is to record videos while the camera moves over large distances and then increase the speed in post-production. The problem with the second method is that some frames will be lost while speeding up the video and video editing algorithms have limited speeds.

A beautiful variation of the hyperlapse video concept is the walking hyperlapse. The walking hyperlapse can be created with a subject moving much slower than the surrounding environment. Thus, the walking hyperlapse video shows the subject moving at average speed while everything moves faster. 

Now that these two video concepts have been explained, it is easier to get the similarities and the differences between each idea. 

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The timelapse, hyperlapse, and stop motion concepts can be used together in a single video. It all depends on how creative the videographer is.

Similarities and Differences Between the Timelapse and Hyperlapse Concepts

  • Camera Mobility

The first difference with the “timelapse vs hyperlapse” video concepts is the mobility of the camera. While the camera is stationary primarily with timelapse, it is mobile when it comes to hyperlapse. 

Because of the camera’s mobility difference, there are two points of view from the two concepts. The timelapse gives viewers a single point of view, while hyperlapse gives viewers an ever-changing point of view.

  • Time

When creating a timelapse video, the time interval between shots can be as much as ten frames per second or as low as one frame per day or year. Generally, the time between consecutive picture frames depends on the subject being tracked and how much detail the videographer wants in the ensuing video clip.

While the hyperlapse video concept is related to the timelapse, more frames per second are needed for a hyperlapse because of the camera’s movement. 

  • Shutter Speed 

The shutter speed(2) is one of the more intricate technicalities when creating a timelapse or hyperlapse video concept. The blur effects associated with timelapse and hyperlapse are basically camera lenses exposed to light for extended periods because of the slower than average shutter speed. The blurs are created when the shutter closes without the lens fully discerning the lights it has been exposed to.

Timelapse Vs Stop Motion

To better understand the “timelapse vs stop motion” comparison, stop motion has to be defined. 

Stop motion 

Stop motion also works on the basic principle of the timelapse video concept, but in this case, the object is moved manually over minute distances. So, in a way, stop motion is mid-way between the hyperlapse video technique and timelapse video concept. 

The difference between the camera and object movement differentiates between the hyperlapse video technique and the stop motion video technique. With the hyperlapse video concept, the camera is the object in motion, while with stop motion, the object being photographed is apparently in motion. 

The stop motion concept is sometimes known as stop motion animation because an individual has to move still objects manually over short distances while taking shots of each movement; in essence, the still objects have been animated. 

Four common types of stop motion are claymation (for puppets), model animation, pixilation (stop motion with live subjects), and cutout animation (stop motion for flat objects). Two variations of the stop motion are Go-motion and Stereoscopic stop motion. The former variation involves using a computer to achieve the tiny movements of the subjects being shot.

Since the stop motion technique has been explained, it’s okay to make the “timelapse vs stop motion” comparisons.

Similarities and Differences Between Stop Motion and Timelapse Video Concepts

  • Time

Both video techniques produce a video that has hastened a relatively long transition. Timelapse can be very time-consuming, and making the smallest stop motion video takes hours to complete because of the little distance the objects can move at a time. 

  • Expertise Level

Another similarity with both techniques is that both video concepts take a little experience to achieve in the simplest form. Amateur videographers and animators can start their careers with either a stop motion video or timelapse video and progress from there. 

  • Subject Progression

The most apparent difference between these two video concepts is the movement of the subject. While timelapse videos generally rely on the natural progression of a phenomenon, stop motion needs the subjects to be moved intentionally with a computer or by a human.

Application of Timelapse, Hyperlapse, and Stop Motion Video Concepts 

Knowing how to apply these similar yet different video concepts in filmmaking is the crux of the “timelapse vs hyperlapse,” and “timelapse vs stop motion”  juxtaposition. Fortunately, for an absolute beginner, few questions can help determine when to apply each concept. 

  1. Will the Camera Position be Fixed? A fixed camera position is only applicable to the time-lapse concept and sometimes can be used for stop motion. On the other hand, a moving camera is perfect for a hyperlapse idea.
  2. How About Subject Position(s)? Stop motion only deals with subjects that are still and but can be moved artificially between shots to create motion. At the same time, timelapse and hyperlapse video concepts do not tamper with the subject.

The answer to these questions will put an individual interested in these video concepts on the right path.

F. A. Q

Yes, you can. It’s called pixelation, and it is the use of live subjects to create a stop motion.

The answer is yes. It takes a little more technicality in using your camera, but you can create the blur effect for your timelapse, hyperlapse, and stop motion video concepts.


Timelapse vs hyperlapse” and “timelapse vs stop motion” are necessary comparisons that are aimed at demystifying the concepts, reducing the confusion of one video technique for the other, and knowing the right idea to use in the scenario. Fortunately, this is just the first step as individuals can manipulate these video concepts to produce the best videos around.

Which of these video concepts is your favorite? What video concept will you like to try out first? You can share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Doug B. (2017 Mar). Frame rate: a beginner’s guide. Retrieved from
  2. Nasim M. (2021 April). Introduction to shutter speed in photography. Retrieved from