Make time lapse videos easily

Stop motion and time lapse techniques are used to make many interesting videos in YouTube, for example many cool LEGO videos. I was thinking how hard it would be to make such your own video?

Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object that appears to move on its own.

Time lapse videos are great, but they can be hard to make. Not only are they time consuming. I first thought of using big digital camera and processing in the line of similar process described at How to Make Time-Lapse Video – Ultimate Guide. But then after some searching I found an easier way to do time lapse video: Use my Samsung S4 mini Android smart phone. Framelapse is a quality timelapse camera App for Android that allows easily make time lapse videos. Here is are two videos that introduce to Framelapse:

Framelapse is available in two versions: Framelapse is a free basic app that is very useful as it is – I used it in my tests. With it you get moderate controls, such as frame interval, video duration and options for zoom and autofocus. Your Framelapse videos are saved in mp4 format with plenty of sharing options. Framelapse Pro (costs around three dollars) promises to come with comes exposure lock, Wizard Mode to set the frame interval automatically, and other helpful features.

Framelapse is easy to use, just find an amazing sight and simply hit the record button. With default options you get time lapse video (one picture taken per second and played back at 30 frames per second).

For more  instructions how to make your own time lapse video, check FRAMELAPSE Review | How To Make TimeLaps Videos With Your Android Phone for instructions.

One important tip: To shoot any reasonable quality time lapse videos, you need to keep the lighting constant and keep your camera steadily at the same location – otherwise the results look really bad. To keep the camera stable, I used a camera tripod and attached my smart phone to it with smart phone holder.

Here is a short test video I made with Framelapse and uploaded to YouTube (picture taken at 1 second interval and played at 30 fps):

 Another App for time lapse photography I downloaded was EasyLapse – Time Lapse Camera. It promises to be able to do same things and more (freely), but the annoying thing is that is has some in app advertisements. The plus side for EasyLapse is that in addition to time lapse videos it can also be used for stop motion video generation (just manually take very picture and play back the results at rate you want). So if you are interested in stop motion, check also EasyLapse.

What if you are using Apple device instead of Android? For iOS devices Lifehacker recommends Hyperlapse. According to Instagram Releases Hyperlapse, Creates Dead-Simple Time Lapse Videos article Hyperlapse by Instagram should be an easy to use and feature rich app for time lapse video shooting. Hyperlapse promises to shoot polished time lapse videos even without tripods as the footage is stabilized to smooth using using Instagram’s in-house stabilization.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hacklet 86 – Time-lapse Projects

    “If I could save time in a bottle…” it’s not just an old song, it’s a passion for many photography hackers. Time-lapse photography is a way to show the movement of time through still images. These images are animated into what essentially is a video recorded at a super low frame rate. We’re talking one frame per minute or slower in some cases! The camera doesn’t have to be still for all this, but any motion must be carefully controlled. This has led hackers, makers, and engineers to create a myriad of time-lapse rigs. This week’s Hacklet is all about some of the best time lapse projects on!


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