Once upon a time, when cameras and computers merged their powers, a mesmerizing form of visual storytelling was born: the time-lapse video. Like a symphony of images woven together, photographers from every corner of the globe embarked on a quest to capture the passage of time in breathtaking compositions.

In the realm of time-lapses, moments unfolded in a surreal dance of transformation. A vibrant sunset painted the sky with hues that shifted like a kaleidoscope. Mighty skyscrapers rose from the ground, evolving with each passing day. Nature’s delicate blossoms unfurled their petals in a graceful symphony of life.

The artistry behind time-lapses lay in their essence as a collection of carefully crafted frames, meticulously aligned to create a seamless visual journey. Each frame, a snapshot of a fleeting moment, held within it a story waiting to be unveiled. And when these frames came together, a magical dance of progression unfolded, revealing the hidden secrets of time itself.

So, dear reader, immerse yourself in the realm of time-lapses, where the passage of time is distilled into awe-inspiring visions. Join the ranks of photographers who capture the essence of change and breathe life into the fleeting seconds. Through this art form, the world’s wonders are magnified, stories unfold, and the beauty of transformation is forever etched into our hearts.

Key Takeaways

  • Time-lapse videos are compositions created by lining up and speeding up photos, capturing great changes to tell stories or captivate the audience.
  • Creating time-lapse videos is a simple and enjoyable hobby, with basic editing possible directly from some photo apps.
  • For higher-quality time-lapse videos, using tripods and other equipment to maintain a consistent viewing angle is recommended.
  • More photos with a higher frame rate generally result in better time-lapses, with 12 frames being the minimum and 24 frames per second (fps) considered standard.
  • Video editing software programs like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Filmora offer advanced features for creating and perfecting time-lapse videos, while Windows Movie Maker is a free and accessible option.
  • Additional software such as TimeLapseTool, Timelapse Creator, and Timelapse Assembler (Mac) are available for creating time-lapses on computers, while TimeLapse Camera (Android) and Timelapse (iOS) are great options for creating time-lapses on smartphones.
  • Editing time-lapses involves importing photos or videos into a timeline, adjusting the length of each frame, considering image sequence and resolution settings, and adding music or sound effects.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom offer valuable tools for editing and enhancing photos for time-lapses.
  • Watermarking can be applied to time-lapse videos for branding purposes, and copyright-free music should be used to comply with copyright laws.
  • Reviewing the time-lapse project during the editing process and rendering the final video in a suitable format, such as MP4 or MOV, are crucial steps to complete the creation of a time-lapse video.
Timelapse Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Time-Lapse 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.

Video editors

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.Apple updates Final Cut Pro to 10.5 and drops the X - Newsshooter

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). Timelapse Creator - Apps on Google Play

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

Let’s begin.

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. Create a new project in Final Cut Pro - Apple Support (ZA)

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. How to Convert an Image to JPG Format

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. Photoshop Basics: Getting to Know the Photoshop Interface

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.How To Easily Add Watermarks To Your Online Images Before Uploading

Once you are happy and with your multiple images you can move on to the Image sequence.

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.Sequence Jump Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

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. How to See Your Frames Per Second (FPS) in Games | PCMag

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.MP4 file format uses, features, advantages and disadvantages | Science online

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.Make Time-Lapse Video Without Video Editing Software


In the realm of time-lapse videos, creating visual wonders lies within your reach. With nothing more than a collection of photos and a video editing tool, you hold the power to craft captivating narratives. Enhance your creations by infusing them with melodic harmonies and refining your photos with the artistry of Adobe Photoshop or other photo editing applications.

Time-lapses possess a profound ability to showcase the beauty of change and the marvels of development. They unravel the secrets hidden within fleeting moments, allowing us to witness the world transform before our very eyes. From the gentle unfolding of a delicate flower to the relentless march of progress in a bustling city, time-lapses capture the essence of growth and the passage of time.

When delving into the art of time-lapse editing, speed becomes a vital ingredient. The duration of each photo holds the power to shape the rhythm and pace of your video. Carefully orchestrating the flow of frames, you can evoke emotions and tell stories that transcend the confines of ordinary perception.

Yet, amidst the creative process, do not overlook the importance of file creation, saving, and file types. These technical aspects ensure the preservation and accessibility of your visual masterpiece. MP4 files, in their universal embrace, pave the way for seamless sharing and widespread appreciation of your time-lapse creations.