How to Produce Time-lapse video?


I’m in the middle of taking many thousands of time-lapse images of coriander sprouting. I’m wondering if anyone knows of software that would make it easy to render a video?

1/4-20 to Go-Pro Adapter

Back in the day, I used VirtualDub. Kinda complicated, but once you got it going, it was great just drop new projects into your script. Looks like the project has died, but it’ll still work.

Now, I’d probably comb Github for something that looks cool.


Define easy… ffmpeg is simple enough if you have an image sequence you want as a movie.

ffmpeg -i image-%03d.png

As far as specifics/settings/etc though; the flags get messy quickly :stuck_out_tongue:


I second @mike! ffmpeg has been the tool for me. plus, it also would allow you to easily add music if you wanted to.


Also, in reality; the PITA flags usually take one painful session, once you have it done, you save that as a script and use every time.


Can I haz script plz?


I have use “photolapse 3” under windows to make my time lapse videos.

However I grab the images to a Linux box off my webcams, resize the image and write it using time/date as the file name.
I ftp the files to my windows PC and use photolapse to create the avi file.

A couple of my latest:
A images grabbed every 20 seconds, remove most of the night shots if any, and 25 frames per second making the video



what parameters do you want?


I’ve used ffmpeg before to do it, but you really need to tune all the little settings, which can be a pain, like mike said. I would HIGHLY suggest not trying to optimize the video output from commandline, it’s a giant pain. Just output in an uncompressed format then use something like handbrake to convert it for distribution.

As for flags, check out this site:

If you’re having trouble, post problems here!


If you want to use ffmpeg I documented some of it here:


When I grab my images I re-size them with the convert command and also date-stamp the output filename.
I also use “convert” to stamp the time/date on my second camera’s image as it doesn’t do this via the camera like the Ubiquiti camera does.

part of my script is:


while true

now=$(/bin/date ‘+%Y%m%d%H%M%S’)
/usr/bin/wget -q -O “$ubnt_dir/ubnt.jpg” -t 1 $URI_UBNT
convert -geometry 1024x “$ubnt_dir/ubnt.jpg” “$ubnt_dir/${now}.jpg”

/bin/sleep “$delay”


Can I just say that it’s so cool how many people have done something like this at VHS. I’ll start trying some of the above very shortly and post my results.


Those videos are amazing.

How did you plan the timing of that. I’d imagine the ice could start flowing rather suddenly. Everything up to that has to be a little hard to predict…


Awesome explanation!


For ice off I check the cameras and when the ice starts to look grey it’s time.
I also base it on ice coming off lakes close by, for example Tunkwa Lake north west of Logan Lake comes off a little earlier. I am usually early by 2 days but figure it’s better early than late.
This year it wasn’t that dramatic, just a slow melt for 2 days. Some years when the wind is up it comes off in 1/2 a day.

I am also trying a full year from the Ubiquiti camera. I have a cron job on my webcam server that pulls an image very 5 minutes, re-sizes it and writes the file with date/time.


A raspberry pi could do all of that if you had enough power and camouflage.


It also does:
UniFi for WiFi
NVR for surveillance cameras
weather station
remote desktop via ssh and vnc
pulls data from my lake temp sensor
grabs an image every 5 minutes for my year long time lapse project

It’s a core2duo running Ubuntu


You can also use GoPro Studio, it’s free, not the craziest toolset, but a very quick and easy tool to create timelapses. Throw your pictures in, set the ratio, speed, export.


Thank you all for the recommendations.

Just to let people know, I’m quickly approaching 30,000 images which is probably a good time to stop.

Here’s a couple images along the way:


OMG, I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 3 weeks!!!