How to make a Timelapse

What I love making are time-lapses, it’s a nice addition to videos. It’s something different then the normal shots and really intriguing.

It’s easy to make, the only disadvantage is that it takes more space on your hard drive.

What is a timelapse?

Basically you make a video and speed it up a lot. That’s the easy way, the other way is taking a picture with a fixed time interval.

I’m going to explain you what my experiences with timelapses are and what my tips are for a good or better timelapse.

What do you need?

There are only a few simple things you need to make a timelapse work.

  • A device that can film (camera, phone, GoPro, …)
  • Something that can stabilise your footage (tripod, gorillapod, piece of cloths, …)
  • Video editing software (Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, DaVince, IMovie, …)

What is a good timelapse?

There are a few elements that make a timelapse good or better. First of all you have to ask yourself, what to I want to capture?

So to make a timelapse interesting there are few elements that you can put in your picture to do so. If you make your video you want that somethings changes, you want to show others there is something going on. Is this your subject, or is this the environment, that’s up to you. Most common examples are moving clouds, people or animals moving, big objects that move in a certain way, …
What you also can do is make a video from something that moves, like a car, ship, airplane, technically yourself while walking or cycling, …Timelapses from moving parts are my favourite.

Gorilla pod with GoPro

Step by Step

So how do you start?

Shooting

  1. The settings you want to use are shutter speed 1/50, 24-30 FPS (More is possible but unnecessary), depending on the light you can chose your aperture and iso.
  2. First of all to make a good timelape you frame your picture the way you want it. Remember, you want something changing in your video, so where do you focus on?
  3. Stabilise your footage, use your tripod or make something that holds your camera steady.
  4. Press play and wait until you think you have enough information in your video.

Editing (in Adobe Premiere)

  1. Import your footage into you editing software program.
  2. If you made a longer video your device attends to split it up in multiple clips, so order your clips.
  3. The first thing you want to do is nest all the clips together in one sequence, so if we make changes to one clip we change all the clips.
  4. What changes do we want to do, first we want to speed up the whole sequence. We can do this by pressing the shortcut ‘R’, place your cursor on the end of the sequence and drag this part to the point you have the length you like.
    The other way is, go to speed/duration when you right click on your sequence and enter how much faster you want your video to go. There is no right speed, it depends on your footage duration and what you want to show.
  5. You have to nest again because you can’t speed up and stabilise the same clip.
  6. Sometimes your footage is not always totally stabilised because for example there was vibration or there was to much wind and your tripod moved. We can fix these minor vibrations in our footage with an effect. This effect is called Warp Stabilisation. Basically it crops out the wobbly edges and smoothens out the video.
  7. To finish your video you can color correct and put some music underneath.
  8. You export according to the quality you want and in 24-30 FPS.

Some extra tips

  1. You can change order of step 4 and 5 in editing, what is better for the quality for your end product but it takes much more time because your software has to analyse a lot more frames.
  2. Use frame blend when you for example have a lot of people or things moving around, this makes them more faded.

I usually shoot my timelapses on my GoPro 5 Black, it has a wide view and perfect quality.

This is my experience with timelapses, you will see that I use timelapses in most of my videos and maybe sometimes too much because I like it so much. If you have any questions or tips yourself let me know by commenting or by email. I’m still learning myself so it could be that I haven’t the most effective way to accomplish a good timelapse.

Go check out my YouTube for more videos!

Thanks for reading my first tutorial!
Professional me
Gillwel
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3 Comments

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