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How To Video: Create a time-lapse video

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How To Video: Create a time-lapse video

4:37 /

Time-lapse videos compress imperceptibly slow events into short videos, seeming to speed up time before your eyes. We'll show you how they are made and how to shoot one of your own.

-Now most of us have seen those cool time-lapse video that compress almost imperceptibly slow event from the short videos seemingly speeding up time before you're very eyes. But how where they made and more importantly could you make one on your own? I'm Antuan Goodwin with cnet.com and I'm here to show you how. You need a few things before you get started, a camera that can shoot still photos at time intervals. We're using the GoPro HD Hero photo editing software with a batch edit function. We're using the IrfanView on the PC which can be found over on download.com and some sort of video software to stitch your photos together. In this video, we're gonna be using QuickTime Pro. It's a cross platform software. Step one, you're gonna wanna familiarize yourself which are cameras interval photography mode. Now, for some of you, this will be a simple as selecting a mode on your camera. For others, it may need taking advantage of custom hardware, software, or firmware. The exact process for this step will vary depending on the make and model of your camera. For this video, we're gonna be using the GoPro HD Hero. Now load up an empty SD card, select the time between the shots. Here, we have the choice between 2, 5, 10, and 30 second intervals. Mount your camera, then press the shutter, and go find something to do while the camera snaps away. Now, you could point your camera at anything you'd like, but I'm a car tech editor, so I aim mine out of the windshield of the car on a trip from L.A. to San Francisco. Step 2, once you've got all your photos captured, you'll need to treat them. However, after hours of shooting, we have almost 5,000 5 megapixel shots. Now, that's way too big of a picture for even the nicest HDTV on the market, and way too many photos to be individually resizing. You'll need to find a way to batch process these photos. Now, you could use software like a Adobe Photoshop, but will be using the free IrfanView software on the PC. From the file menu, select batch conversation rename, then navigate to the folder that contains your images and add them all to the batch. Now, you'll need to do 2 things. Under the best conversion setting heading, click the advanced button in the dialog box that appears, check resize, and set a value for the [unk] side of each image. Then, click canvas size and apply a value to be cropped. Now, what you're aiming for is an HD friendly dimension of either 1280 x 720 pixels or 1920 x 1080 pixels. Now, the exact numbers that you're gonna use to get there will vary depending on the image size captured by your camera. So you're gonna need to do a little math here. We're going with a 1280 width and a 240 pixel crop for our 720p video. Now, select the folder for your resized images. Click start batch and you go find something else to do while your photos process. Step 3, once you've got all your images resized up, fire QuickTime Pro. And from the file menu, select open image sequence. Now, navigate to a folder that contains all of your resized images. Select the first one. You'll have to select the frame rate. Here, we chose 24 frame rates per second. Click okay and then go make yourself a cup of coffee while QuickTime stitches the images together into a video. Step 4, when QuickTime Pro is done, you'll have a working preview of your time-lapse video. But you'll still have to export a final file for use on other programs. Go to file, then export to bring up the export menu. Now, under option, select size and make sure your dimensions are set to your liking. Now, in addition to the HD size, there's also presets for mobile devices like the iPhone, so choose the one that works best for you. Now, give your file a name and hit save. You'll probably wanna go grab a movie or something at this point because this is the longest part of the process. It can take anywhere from several minutes to a few hour depending on your computer's processing horsepower. Once everything is done, you'll have a completed time-lapse video that you're gonna share with your friends on a video sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Time-lapse photography is a great way to document natural events like the blooming of a flower, or as we've done here, capture an entire road trip in just a few minutes. Now, these same steps can also be applied to stop motion photography. For those of you who wanna get in touch with your inner Ray Harryhausen. So there you have it, time-lapse photography in just a few easy steps. I'm Antuan Goodwin with cnet.com.

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