Time lapses are beautiful compositions of all your images into a video. Photographers across the globe have been creating amazing time-lapse videos since the cameras and computers collided. You create these videos by capturing multiple frames and aligning them in sequence.
Traditionally, they show long periods in where your subject changes, such as a sunset or renovations. This can done be through still images or if you’re rushed for time speeding up a long video.
In simple terms, a time-lapse is photos lined together sped up. A time-lapse is supposed to show great change and uses captured photos to tell a story or captivate the audience.
Creating time-lapse videos can be a fantastic hobby. It is also very simple and if you don’t worry about the quality of the video editing can be done directly from some photos app.
If you are more tech-savvy photography and have access to tripods and other equipment use it. It is vital to note that you should have one viewing angle. Your camera should not move. You want the subject of your timelapse to be the focus and changing the camera angle or motion will disrupt the timelapse.
More photos with a higher frame rate will create better time-lapses. The captured images or images you use will change the quality of your time-lapse. The bare minimum is generally 12 frames, however, 24 is a standard minimum frame rate. With more photos the better quality you’ll have.
Time-lapse videos can also be created through video editing. You can speed the video up and accompany it with music. This time-lapse photography is simpler and easier to create in just a few clicks.
There are many video editing software apps available. There are high-end video editors such as adobe premiere pro, Filmora, Apple Final cut Pro, or low-end ones such as windows movie maker most are available on the Microsoft store. High-end video editor programs will come with more features and different methods ability to make and perfect your videos.
The difference can be extreme and creating time-lapse through adobe premiere, will also come with the benefits of its sister apps such as adobe photoshop and adobe lightroom.
These add higher quality tools to make better photos and videos. Window movie maker is a free app but lacks speed in rendering videos. Adobe Premiere, Premiere Pro, and photoshop cc will come at a price. In addition to these prices, some apps are only available on mac(such as Final cut pro).
Free Timelapse Software
Whilst the best software video editor programs like adobe premiere Pro, Final cut Pro, Filmora still remain the best. Free software is available for your creative enjoyment. Most notable is window’s movie maker, available to any Windows user.
Other freeware available on computers useful for time-lapses is TimeLapsetool(Windows), Timelapse Creator(windows), and Timelapse Assembler(Mac only).
If you wish to do create a time-lapse on the go or using your smartphone TimeLapse Camera(Android) and Timelapse(IOS) are great options.
How to Edit Time lapses/ Create timelapse from photos
First, you will want to open your editor and create a new project and then add a suitable file name. This should be in the upper left of your menu.
You also want to ensure that the file type of your photos is optimal. JPEG format is ideal for videos. you can format any photo file by right-clicking over the filename and then saving it as a JPEG image.
As far as the quality of images is concerned it would be better to upload image files to the cloud or directly to your computer or mac. This is because apps are likely to compress the file size of your image and decrease its image quality.
Adobe Photoshop is your greatest friend. Apart from editing your image’s bare visuals, you can also change resolution settings to match your desire. A recommended resolution for any HD video is 1080p which is 1920×1080. This format can be changed within your image sizing settings.
If you have adobe lightroom, you can also edit the photo to fit the style of time-lapses better. This will be done by selecting MOTION in the dropdown menu.
In almost all video editors the first thing you will notice is your timeline. This is where all your media such as pictures, music, and any video files you have will be.
To begin the process you must select your first image or video and import it to your timeline. This can be done through a photos app straight from your camera roll or more meticulously from your photos folder and then imported to your video editor.
Watermarking is a small image or logo to show that this time-lapse was made and produced by you. Here you can also add any watermarks if you have any, this edit can be made a few settings below under watermarking. They can be edited to make them more transparent as to not distract viewers.
Once you are happy and with your multiple images you can move on to the Image sequence.
Not all cameras and images are created equal. However, with adobe photoshop/photoshop cc you can blur those lines. You can change the white balance, add filters, and with presents in adobe photoshop format your photos look perfect.
When you are satisfied with the appearance of all the images you can move on… The secret ingredient, getting your entire sequence in order. This critical step is sometimes overlooked until you’re done rendering and will have to go back to fix it.
Once you have your sequence set up it’s time to edit the length of your photo in the video. A standard time across most video editors puts imported photos at 1-2secs. This is way too long for a time-lapse. The aim should be to have a time-lapse with as many photos as possible so that you can have each photo in one frame. The standard is 12 fps(frames per second) but the most visually appealing is 24 fps. Any more than 32 fps can be confusing.
That means you want about 24 photos a sec. However, this can be adjusted depending on how much happened between frames.
An example is if you took a timelapse of water falling it would be ideal to have a high shutter speed(a setting that takes many photos in short succession) camera and high fps.
A different example would be if you took a time-lapse of cleaning your room something this gradual doesn’t need many photos in short succession for your time-lapse to look great.
Now you have all your photos set up.
Atmosphere through music
Whilst not a critical part of photography a piece of music can be key to creating the perfect ambiance you want. Images speak 1000 words and but a truly great time-lapse sequence will have emotional depth in its sound.
Whatever music you decide to use you can then overlay it onto your timeline. This is very simple, go to import, find your music file. From here you need to simply drag it over your timeline. This will sync your music to your other media.
If you took a video and do not want the video’s sound to be overlapping or interfere with the music you can adjust the volume settings of each. There should be a handy volume mixer on the lefthand side of the screen. If not you should be able to right-click and find a ‘sound mixer’ setting which should enable this tool.
The sound mixer will give you the ability to lower volumes of different inputted media, such as your video and music. You can then adjust these to match your preference.
For time-lapses as an example, many choose to have music be the only sound apart from possibly a brief intro.
If you wish to publish your timelapse it is important to remember copyright laws when you add music. However, many sites offer free copyright music across all genres. To find these free sounds simply search on your browser for “copyright-free sounds”
Reviewing your creation
Practice makes progress, it’s always great to review any completed projects.
All video editors will have a play button either regularly displayed in the menu or ribbon. This is one of your greatest features as it will show you what your time-lapse looks and sounds like.
Now you’re headed towards your final video.
Rendering/Finishing Your Time-lapse
You have edited, adjusted, and reviewed your product of wonder. Now to complete the process you need to render your video. You can do this via the export or render dialogue video box.
There can be many options for how to export your video, such as 1080p web-rips, IMAX 4k, YouTube recommended, etc. These options cater towards where and how you publish your time-lapse. For simplicity and beginners, it’s recommended to find an MP4 or MOV format. MP4 is the most universal video format supported on almost all platforms and devices. MOV is specifically designed for Apple’s QuickTime Player but is a very versatile format.
Upon selecting the format to render your project, you can select where you wish to save it on your computer/hard drive. Here onwards it’s a waiting game, rendering a video can take a while. Especially if you have made many edits and added a wide variety of media and captured images.
It doesn’t take much to create a timelapse video, only photos, and a video editor. For better videos, you can add music and edit your photos through adobe photoshop or any photo app. Timelapses are beautiful compositions that show changes and development. Speed is important when editing the duration of photos. File creation, saving, and file types are vital. MP4 files are the most universal video file.