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Old Dec 09, 2012, 05:05 PM
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How To Make Time Lapse Video - Time-Lapse Photo Method

The #16 now has two functions that can be used to make time lapse videos, namely Time-Lapse Photos and Video Frame Rate. But how is it done? Here's the easiest way I've found when using the Time-lapse Photo method with free editing tools (Windows PCs).

Time-Lapse Photo Method:
  1. Toggle on this mode with your choice of time delay between captured images using the GUI. See the attached pin #1 and note tool tip giving info about the function and it's limitations, especially with the two short delay time (0.25 and 0.50 sec.).

  2. Turn on the camera and then press the power button briefly to toggle to the Photo Mode (confirmed by RED LED turning on).

  3. When ready to begin, press the shutter button very briefly to begin the image captures (confirmed with a blink of the YELLOW LED each time the camera captures an image).

    NOTE: Time lapse recording will continue until your power source is depleted or turned off, or until the memory card fills up. Each image will be approximately 300KB in size (+/- 25KB). You can use that to estimate how long your camera will record until the card fills up. E.g., starting with an empty 4GB card and Time-lapse set for 1 sec. delay:

    4 GB / 300KB = 13,333 images on a full card.
    13,333 images / 60 images/min. = 222 min. (3.7 hrs). of recording until the card fills.

  4. Now convert all your (thousands?) of images into an AVI movie simply and easily using the nifty "Photolapse" utility. Download it from the author's site here[/URL]. There are various settings that are identified on the down load screen, but here's what I do to create a video quickly and easily:
    • Connect camera as USB drive and navigate to the image folder
      (see attached Pic #2)
    • Click check box if you want to check images for errors (much slower, but prevents a crash if corrupt image is found). Then click on the "Load files from current folder" button to import the images.
    • Before joining the images into a movie, you can lower the frame rate of your video from the maximum of 30 fps, but I leave the default max. of 30 fps. Also, you can create a video that will play in reverse by clicking that option box!
    • When ready, click the "Create Movie" button. You will first be prompted to give it a name and folder location. Then you will be prompted for a video codec for the compression. The codecs that you have available on your PC will be listed. Pick one.
      Note: For Windows users I highly recommend x.264vfw[/URL] for the best combination of high quality and small file size. I suggest you DO NOT choose the "Full frame (uncompressed)" option... the file size will be HUGE and may tax your computer memory.

  5. That's it... you're done. It can take a couple of minutes for the program to finish joining thousands of images into a video. Of course, you can use other editing tools to do this as well, but I find this free dedicated program to be the simplest and easiest to use with Windows PCs.
NOTE: The delay between images and the frame rate you use when you create a movie will dictate the amount of time-lapse speed-up you will get. The following shows the speed up when a 30 fps movie frame rate is used:
Time delay ..... Speed-up
0.25s .............. 7.5x
0.5s ................ 15x
1s ................... 30x
2s .................. 60x
5s .................. 150x
10s ................. 300x
30s ................. 900x
60s ................ 1800x

Keeping the video frame rate at 30 fps keeps things simpler. You can then use this table to pick the delay that gives the amount of speed-up you want, e.g.
  • You want to show the construction of a scratch-built plane with a 1 minute video that covers the 29 hours of actual building time for completion. The speed up required would be:
    29 hours x 60 min./hr. = 1740x to play back in one minute
    Use the 60s delay setting to give playback time of 58 min. (close enough!)

  • Or, you want to show a 20 min. FPV flight video in just one minute. That is a 20x speed up, so you would have to pick the 1s delay for a 40 sec. playback time, or the .5s delay for an 80 sec. playback time.
Shorter duration events need less than about 30 minutes recording time don't need so much speed-up, so this method may not be the best for those. But that's where the Video Frame Rate Method can be useful.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Dec 10, 2012 at 06:30 AM. Reason: corrected title
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