Time Lapse Photography is a useful tool for science, art, security and surveillance, or just plain fun. This article shows how to acquire and assemble a series of images into an animated gif or video. Free software and an inexpensive web cam are needed.
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- Web cam
- Software (free, open source)
- Take a series of images with time lapses in between. You can use a simple program, like VideoCapture, or you can do it manually.
- They should be named something like _0001.jpg, _0002.jpg, _0003.jpg...
- Use Virtual Dub to make an .avi movie:
- open Virtual dub
- open _0001.jpg. Virtual dub will automatically load the entire sequence of images if they are named correctly.
- select Video/compression/ and choose your desired codec (DivX MPEG-4, for example)
- select File/Save as AVI, enter file name
- Use Gimp to make an animated gif (requires the Gimp Animation Plug-in):
- open Gimp
- open _0001.jpg
- select Video/Frames to Image/ and select OK in the next dialog box. As with Virtual Dub, all images in the sequence are loaded automatically by GAP (Gimp Animation Package)
- select File/Save As, YourAnimationName.gif
- You can do this manually in Gimp, without the GAP plug-in, by placing each frame into a different layer of a gif image.
Tips & Suggestions
- Other free software for time lapse movies:
- ffmpeg (free, open source). Video editing software, more powerful than VirtualDub.
- Simple Webcam Capture (free) snaps images at intervals.
- Dorgem (free, open source) automatic capture, uploading and avi creation.
- Microsoft Gif Animator (free)
- Microsoft Timershot Powertoy (free, automatic webcam snapshots at adjustable intervals).
- Virtual Dub and ffmpeg can also add a sound track to your movie
- See also:Wikipedia time lapse page
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