I’ve always enjoyed creating timelapse movies and with newer digital cameras it’s easier than ever. I bought Rosie a GoPro Hero2 camera at christmas and this has a dedicated interval shooting mode that works very well. My D300 also has an interval mode, but is limited to 999 frames – a limitation that the GoPro doesn’t have. In fact the biggest limitation of the GoPro appears to be the battery! As an experiment this afternoon I stuck the camera to the outside of one of our windows (the suction attachment works as well as reports say) and set it off on 5 second intervals. A little over 3 hours later the battery finally gave up after 2,297 frames had been captured. At around 5.1M an image, that’s a whopping 11.44G of images to process!
First step is to reduce the image sizes. Maybe I should actually shoot at a reduced size in the first, but in this instance it was at full quality. Having copied them all to the hard drive, it was time for a bulk resize
for i in $(ls *.JPG); do convert -resize x1080 $i re_$i; done
After a suitable period of whirring I ended up with an additional 2,297 images sized at 1440×1080 (the originals were 3840×2880). It’s the first time I’ve done it with the GoPro so in future I may well adjust the sizes.
Next step is to actually try and create a movie form them. For this I’ve been using avidemux. It’s not 100% apparent when you first start using it how to do this, but a bit of digging and it turns out all you do is open the first file in the sequence and it imports the rest! Simple and straightforward. Again, more whirring and waiting and the preview appeared. The reduced image size meant the worked well and the movie was working well.
Avidemux is a great tool, but doesn’t allow for adding titles and an audio track (as far as I can tell) so the resulting movie needs to be edited in a different editor. I’ve yet to find an editor I really like for this, but have been using OpenShot and Pitivi.
This afternoon was just an experiment and much of the resulting footage isn’t worth uploading, but I have uploaded a small piece at the larger resolution and xvid video encoding, which is on flickr.
I’m still finding my way on the processing of timelapses, so comments, suggestions & help always appreciated 🙂
The output generated a file of 1.7G. Hmm, this seemed a bit large and after reviewing the video options I saw it was set to ‘Copy’. Changing this to
MPEG-4 ASP (xvid) reduced the file size dramatically (to 35M!!).