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How to Make A Jaw-Dropping Time Lapse Video? [Full Guide]

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Oct 22, 22, updated Dec 06, 22

Are you looking for a handy tutorial that will give you a full-fledged time lapse video? Well, here’s some two cents of what would be the ideal guide that you shall refer to! Learn more about the complete steps involved in making your time lapse video. Find out more here:

Part 1: What is Time Lapse?

1. Technical basics of Time Lapse Photography and Videography

Time-lapse is a specialized type of shot that can be achieved in-camera, through editing, or a combination of both. Time-lapse is a technique where frames are shot much slower than a normal rate (e.g., 24 frames per minute instead of per second).

Professional time-lapses are a series of raw photos even though they are sometimes perceived as videos. In a nutshell, a time-lapse is a short video that processes by revealing the evolution of a series of events, invisible to the eye.

The simplest and most useful formula is time per frame (TPF), multiplied by frames per second (FPS), multiplied by 60 seconds. Using this formula will tell you how long to record to end up with your desired time lapse length or “recording time” (RT). TPF x FPS x 60 = RT

2. What is a Time-lapse video used for?

The use of time-lapse photography and video is an excellent storytelling technique since compelling stories are essential to effective marketing. A time-lapse can also offer excellent insight into the advancement of developmental projects.

Scientific research

  • Time-lapses may be utilized to spread the word about scientific investigations to a wide audience. You can use time-lapse photography to gain money by selling the material of interesting scientific investigations to documentary makers or instructional websites.
  • Scientists can visualize processes that would be challenging or sometimes even impossible to study in real life, thanks to time-lapse photography

Individual enjoyment

Time-lapses are also utilized by filmmakers for scenes requiring extended durations of time with little significant activity occurring during the shot (such as night slowly turning into day).

Commercial use

  • Time-lapse videos are a wonderful instrument for enhancing the perception of your brand because they are. As a result, many consumers find it interesting.
  • Time-lapse videos are the epitome of the old saying that "good things come in small packages" for any brand.

3. How to Make a Time-lapse video?

Start with a stable tripod or surface and adjust the settings on your phone camera or DSLR. Use slow shutter speed, use still mode, and don’t forget to use the timer. Find a stable surface and place your camera this way, you can get your hands on a creative time-lapse video.

Part 2: Record or Shoot Your Time-Lapse Video

1. Select Your Subject

The best way to create a time-lapse video is to pick your subject very carefully. Movement is the most crucial factor to consider while selecting a time-lapse subject. Any movement—whether it be caused by people, animals, vehicles, water, clouds, or anything else—can create an exciting and captivating time-lapse.

  • Some of the iconic ideas of filming a time-lapse include:
  • A stunning glimpse of the day and night cycle of life at sea.
  • Construction of a building from ground till its completion
  • Capturing the traffic movement
  • Ice melting
  • Sun setting
  • A great shot of a galaxy

2. Prepare Right Equipment

Choose your equipment before heading out to capture time lapses. There are several options available for time-lapse cameras and applications, ranging from basic and affordable to sophisticated and pricy.

Camera

You cannot make a time-lapse without owning a camera, whether it is a mobile phone, a compact, or a DSLR. The quality of the final result will be as good as the quality of the equipment you use.

- Smartphone camera apps (iPhone/Android)

All good smartphones now possess a built-in camera with good optical quality, for example: recently Apple Company launched its new iPhone 14 with a magnificent 48-megapixel camera. By using such cameras we have been able to produce really good pictures, although not in negative conditions, such as those with low-light, etc.

For apple: use IguanaLapse or TimeLapse to create your great time-lapses

For Android: use Time-Lapse – Lite

- Point-and-shoot cameras

Even though smartphone cameras have taken over in this digital era, it is still not possible to say that point-and-shoot cameras are not doing their magic. A point-and-shoot camera is really handy.

Some examples of point-and-shoot cameras which are best for creating fun time-lapse videos include Olympus Tough TG-6, Nikon Coolpix W300, Fujifilm XP140, Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90, and many others in the list.

- Action cameras

Action cameras, also known as action cams are compact, rugged, handheld, or mountable digital cameras that are designed to capture what you see when you are immersing in a movement. The action camera is usually mounted to your helmet, chest, handlebars of a bike or motorcycle, or tripod to record life.

The best action cameras for creating time-lapses include GoPro Hero11 Black, Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition, DJI Action 2, DJI Pocket 2, and GoPro Hero9 Black.

- DSLR cameras

This is the best choice in terms of cost/benefit: it produces excellent results and high image quality. The best and top-rated DSLRs for creating terrific time-lapses include Nikon D850, Canon 80D, Canon EOS 90D, Sony A7 III, and others.

Tripod/Gimbal/other stabilizers

Owning a solid and stable tripod is essential for the success of a time-lapse video. A good tripod will support the load without any problems and will keep the arsenal stable for the duration of the shooting session. The best way to use a tripod for filming a time-lapse is to use orient on a tripod that is quite high (at least 170cm).

Some best tripods used to record time-lapses include BONFOTO B671c, Patekfly Flexible Tripod, Sirui Easy Traveler ET-2204, and Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100.

A gimbal is a tool that uses motors and intelligent sensors to support and stabilize a camera. The best gimbal and other stabilizers used to film time-lapses include Moza Air 2, DJI RS 2, Zhiyun Crane-2S, Benro RedDog R1, iKan EC1 Beholder, and Feiyu AK4500.

Intervalometer/other camera shutter triggers

An intervalometer is a small device able to trigger the shutter of your camera every ‘n’ second, ‘n’ times (also infinite). It can be external, or as we saw earlier, integrated into the camera.

Some of the best intervalometer include Nikon Integrated Intervalometer. With a Nikon D3, you can go into Shooting Menu, and then activate” Interval Timer Shooting”.

3. List Pro Tips for Time-lapse Recording

  1. Make sure batteries are fully charged
  2. Set interval to match the movement in the scene
  3. Select music before shooting the time-lapse
  4. Use your backup camera
  5. Shoot in manual mode to avoid flicker
  6. Lock down focus
  7. Shoot in RAW format
  8. Add motion to the time-lapse
  9. Get comfortable, shoot longer
  10. Avoid bumping or moving the tripod
  11. Show shadow movement
  12. Use apps to plan your shots
  13. Shoot lots of images

Part 3: Edit Your Time Lapse Video

1. 3 Best Ways to Create Time Lapse from Photos

① Windows Photos App (Windows)

If you are using Windows, you probably are familiar with the general features of the Photos App. One of its distinguishing features is to import the photos and create a mind-blowing time-lapse out of those photos. To create time-lapse on your Windows Photos App, you must follow some simple steps:

  1. Open the Windows Photos app and import the pictures which you want to transform into a time-lapse.
  2. Go to Menu > Edit > Speed. For proper time-lapse, select a speed between 4x and 12x.
  3. Go to Save movie > save the video on your desktop or other device and you’re done with filming a great time-lapse video.

② QuickTime Player (Mac)

In your Apple devices (iPhones, iPads, and MacBook), you can create time-lapses by converting an image sequence to a movie or time-lapse video in QuickTime Player. For this, follow the simple steps and you will get a great time-lapse at the tip of your fingertips.

  1. Go to QuickTime App on your mac devices and open File > open image sequence.
  2. Select the image sequence folder and choose media.
  3. Adjust the quality of the movie by clicking on the options and choosing the resolution, frame rate, and video format.
  4. Click ‘open’ and time-lapse will be ready for access.

③ Filmora (Windows & Mac)

Through Wondershare Filmora software, it is now possible to drag your favorite image sequence into the timeline and transform it into a cool-looking time-lapse. If you’re looking for easy and efficient software to create attractive time-lapses, Filmora is your best go-to software. Using drag-and-drop, you can create time-lapse effects with Filmora's built-in slow/fast motion effects. Filmora has over 150 free filters available for you if you wish to apply filters to your movie.

Filmora Video Editor creates a masterpiece for your video with the easiest interface for Windows & Mac users. Wondershare created the Filmora family of video editing and production software. Products on Filmora are available for a variety of users, from novice to expert. A timeline, preview window, and effects library are some of Filmora's common features. These may all be accessed and managed using a drag-and-drop interface. Both Windows and macOS machines can use the Filmora software library.

How to Create a Time-lapse using Filmora

To create a time-lapse from photos in Filmora software, follow the mentioned steps:

Step 1: Download and install Wondershare Filmora

Go to google chrome and download the setup for Filmora. Install into your desktop.

Free Download
Free Download

Step 2: Launch Filmora video editor

After downloading and installing, launch the Filmora timeline and import the photos to the media library.

Step 3: Preview and adjust the photos.

Drag the images down to the timeline and move the pointer to reset and order the images according to your required time-lapse video. Don’t forget to resize and match the sizes of all the pictures so make a uniform time-lapse.

Step 4: Adjust the Speed

Select one of the photos in the timeline and right-click. Click on Speed and Duration > Custom Speed panel > Duration > change the duration of the photo to 00:00:00:01 and hit OK.

Step 5: Add effects and audio

Even though this step is optional, still it is recommended that to make your time-lapse more presentable, go to effects and choose your favorite pre-set. Go to Audio menu to choose from the music library or add your own custom audio by importing audio file into the timeline.

Step 6 Render and Export media

Export your file after rendering it in the full screen. Always check if there are any additional changes required before exporting the media file.

Step 7: Save into your desktop

Change the video format and video and audio parameters such as Bit Rate, Encoder, and Resolution of the video.

Other software for creating time-lapse

Besides Filmora, there are some interesting options for the users which involve:

o iMovie

o LRTimelapse

o Lightroom

o Adobe Premiere Pro

o After Effects

o Photoshop

2. 3 Best Ways to Convert Video to Time Lapse

① Filmora(Windows & Mac)

Filmora offers yet another very distinguishing feature through which it can convert video footage into an excellent time-lapse video. This feature of Filmora empowers the users and boosts their content and increases audience engagement as well.

In a few simple steps, you can get a creative time-lapse on your windows and mac devices.

  • Download and install Filmora 11
  • Launch Filmora timeline on your device and import the footage to the media library
  • Drag your video onto the video column in the timeline. Select the loaded video and click the "Play" button. While playing the video, drag the slider bar at the start time and hit the "Split" icon to cut out the part you want to do time-lapse editing.
  • Right-click on the video clip in the timeline to select Speed and Duration. Find the Speed option and drag the slider bar to the right to increase the speed.
  • Click the Play button to preview the result. Filmora now supports up to 100x fast motion and 0.01x slow mo.
  • Export your video

② Lapse It Pro (Android & iPhone)

One of the top apps for time-lapse photography is Lapse It Pro. A collection of further time lapses made by other people is available on Lapse It. You can post your videos and favorite those of others while using this social function, which also lets you watch other people's videos. Through user control, the software makes the smartphone's capacity to record time lapses as effective as possible.

The lapse It pro version is currently not free, although the Lapse its app is free and it is available on both, Android and Apple.

Steps to Use Lapse It Pro:

  • Download the app on your android or apple device
  • Configure the time interval between the shots and set a time or photo-based limit while clicking pictures.
  • Adjust the resolution of your camera before taking pictures.
  • Take a lot of pictures through the app using your device’s inbuilt camera
  • Edit the order of the pictures
  • Stitch the pictures together to form a time-lapse
  • Add filters and adjust color settings
  • Render and preview
  • Export the file to your device

③ Invideo (Online)

InVideo is a do-it-yourself (DIY) video creation platform that enables users to turn their ideas into videos in real time. The platform lets users create, edit, preview, and share videos with team members. It’s a fantastic solution for combining your time-lapse footage into an amazing video project.

InVideo provides three distinct methods for creating videos:

  • Text-to-Video: Upload your footage and let InVideo turn it into a series of scenes that you can customize
  • Blank Templates: Start with a stripped-down template and craft an amazing video from scratch
  • Premade Templates: Pick a template from an extensive library of premade templates

Steps to Use InVideo:

To create a time-lapse through InVideo, follow the mentioned steps:

Step 1. Download and install InVideo

Step 2. Sign up and sign in to your InVideo account

Step 3. Upload your footage to the ‘Add your media files here’ tab.

Step 4. Do not upload footage exceeding 200 MBs.

Step 5. Click ‘Next’ and you will be redirected to the Storyboard.

Step 6. Preview all your scenes in Storyboard mode. Rearrange them, add new ones in between, and delete any that you don’t want to use in your project. You can also duplicate scenes if necessary.

Step 7: You can also add captions to your scenes. To view all the captions you’ve created, go to the Scripts tab. You’ll be able to customize your captions further in the Advanced Editor mode.

Step 8. To add audio files to your video, go to the Music tab.

Step 9. Edit your video by clicking on Advanced Editor.

Step 10. Apply filters and review the timeline, export, save the video and you’re good to go.

3. Which Way is Right for You to Edit a Time-Lapse Video?

There are many ways to edit a time-lapse video, with varying degrees of success. Each application and software has its pros and cons. Although some best and most useful methods to create and edit time-lapse videos have been discussed earlier in this essay it is crucial to highlight that Filmora is regarded as software that possesses almost all the assets that we need while we edit our time-lapse videos.

Through Filmora, you can effortlessly make a pro-level time-lapse video either from still images or existing video. Most of the software would offer only one feature at a time so it is tremendous that Filmora lets you easily access multiple options to create a seamless time-lapse video in a spur of some minutes.

Besides multiple ways to create time-lapse, Filmora also offers basic & advanced editing features for time-lapse production. After creating a time-lapse in Filmora, you can drag through the multiple post-production editing features which include: Split Screen, Keyframing, Motion Tracking, Speed Ramping, Screen Recorder, Instant Mode, Pre-set Templates, and Auto Beat Sync. And many others.

Besides these ways of editing your time-lapses, Filmora also offers no disturbing pop-up ad experience while editing which provides a smooth editing platform for editors.

Part 4: Share & Enjoy the Best Time-Lapse Video

1. Share Your Quality Time-Lapse Video Across Social Platforms

Time-lapse & social media serve as the perfect combination in today’s times when social media publicity has become an incredibly important avenue for businesses. You can share your time lapses on different social media platforms including:

  • YouTube

When people talk about today's most popular social sharing websites, YouTube often gets left out of the conversation in favor of sites like Facebook and Twitter. But don't be fooled: YouTube has a lot going for it.

By uploading your time-lapses on YouTube, you can create a YouTube link and share it with your friends and social circle so they can easily access your content, you can get found in search by uploading your own written transcript about the time-lapse, adding an end screen or cards to promote your time-lapse video, and add creative effects to your time-lapses with YouTube Enhancements.

  • TikTok

TikTok is a social media platform for creating, sharing, and discovering short videos. The app is used by young people as an outlet to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing, and allows users to create videos and share them across a community.

Since the duration of the time-lapse videos is mostly kept short, TikTok is the best app to approach if you want to increase your audience engagement.

  • Instagram

The Meta app, Instagram is the most used app as per 2022 statistics. Through this app, people used to update their day-to-day routine and check-ins by uploading pictures. Now, the platform has added a ‘Reels’ section which plays the short videos to keep the audience hooked to the app, more than ever.

Upload your time-lapses on Instagram as Reels and see your content boost within hours.

2. Promote Your Time-Lapse Video on Popular Websites

Professional video editors and photographers who are looking for a paid platform to promote their business can access the most widely used and reliable websites which include the following:

  • Shutterstock

With this app on your mobile phones and other devices, you can Transform Your Marketing Campaigns, Social Media, Websites, and Designs. Uploading your time-lapse content to earn good money on Shutterstock will work best in your favor.

  • Pond5

Pond5 is the world's largest marketplace for HD & 4K stock video, plus millions of music tracks, SFX, motion graphics, and images. Signing up and posting your time-lapse to promote your digital work can be a good choice if you’re looking for earning money online.

  • Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is a new service that provides designers and businesses with access to millions of high-quality, curated, royalty-free images and videos. This is also a good choice for professional photographers and videographers to post their time-lapses.

  • Getty

Getty is an American visual media company and is a supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video, and music for business. By uploading your time lapses on this platform, you can be provided with exceptional opportunities to engage employees, entertain clients, and promote your brand.

3. Enjoy the Attractive Time-Lapse Video Examples

Over the internet, you will find numerous creatively designed time-lapses but a few of them still top the list. Some of the iconic time-lapses created to date include the following:

  1. Multiverse By Hiroshi Kondo, a mind-bending TimeLapse video of Taiwan
  2. Paris Day & Night by Teeter-Totter-Tam is a 5-minutes TimeLapse journey through one of the prettiest cities in the world, Paris from day to night.
  3. Solar Panel Installation from a Crane - David Dupuy
  4. Death Is the Road to Awe is a sample of TimeLapse video footage from that film shot in the American Southwest.

Part 5: FAQs – Time-Lapse Video Creation

① How to easily make a time-lapse video like a pro?

Most smartphone cameras have their time-lapse feature built in. To shoot your time-lapse video, simply open up the camera on your phone and select the "Time-Lapse" feature.

Place your phone in a secure spot where it won't move around a lot. Then, tap the record button to start recording your time-lapse. When you’re done, tap it again. Your video will play back compressed into a shorter period for a time lapse effect.

PRO TIP: If you're planning to make a landscape video, turn your phone so your time-lapse video is wide instead of tall

② What are the best time lapse editors or software?

The top five Best Free TimeLapse Software include:

  1. Wondershare Filmora- Windows and Mac
  2. Adobe Premiere Pro – Professional software
  3. Final Cut Pro – Mac software for time-lapse videos
  4. iMovie – User-friendly
  5. LRTimelapse – Sophisticated tool for more experienced users

Can I speed up or slow down a time-lapse video using Filmora?

Filmora also allows you to adjust the duration of the video clip to change the video speed. After importing the video clip to the timeline, right-click it and choose Speed and Duration to open the custom speed pop-up. Go to the Duration section and you will see the original duration of the video. Adjusting the duration of the video longer will add a slow-motion effect to the video. Changing the duration of the video to a shorter time will speed up the playback speed of the video. Just directly input the number in the field to speed up/slow down the video.

④ How to make my time-lapse video look better?

  • Using a Slow Shutter

One solution to making your time lapses look more natural is to use a slow shutter so that each frame has a bit of motion.

  • Blend in Video

Capture a time-lapse with fast movement and then mask in video with slow movement, maybe I could have the best of both worlds.

  • Use filters

You can use Filters to spruce up the content with the time-lapse.

  • Add Audio

Audio is an essential part if you want to leverage the content reach of your time-lapse video.

Conclusion

Time lapse videos are among the most powerful marketing tactics available in the mass media age of today. Similar to aerial photography, time-lapse videos can tell an engaging story for a low production cost, and they can be viewed fast by the audience. Filmora has helped the professionals as well as the beginners in the photography and videography to boost their content through online platforms.

This article will guide you through the most useful software and ways to promote your content and boost your audience engagement through creating mind-blowing time-lapses. Software like above mentioned ones take extremely little time and focus to comprehend the tale in a time lapse, which is a huge advantage in today's competitive industry.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Dec 06, 22
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