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How To Make A Time Lapse Video

Updated on October 25, 2014

How To Shoot A Time Lapse/Fast Forward Video

I really enjoy watching time lapse videos and furthermore, making them. In this article I will show you how to make one and what's needed. Also I will show you some of my own time lapse videos.

Time lapse videos are extremely easy to make. The basic principles are to record the video and put it into a video editor and then to fast forward it, but I'll explain more about it. They don't require too much work! Let's get started.....

On a side not, I also wanted to point out, I don't know how to make a video play in reverse. My video editor doesn't have that function(at least I don't think it does, unless I've over-looked it) I wish it had it! I want to be able to play a video in rewind/reverse. I want to put a video into a video editor and then click a button that will reverse the footage and play it backwards and also be able to output the video like that & save it to a file. If you know of any programs that do that, or the exact terminology for it, please leave me a comment at the end of this page. Thank you!

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What To Make A Time Lapse Video About - You can make Time Lapse Videos about anything, even snowfall....

Time Lapse Videos Are Always Enjoyable!

What's even better, is making your own! They're so easy to make!

All you need is:

A Camera,

Video Editing Software,

& The Subject of Your Fast Forward Project.

The subject of your fast forward/time lapse project could be plant life, animals, weather, sky/clouds, people, the list goes on and on.

The main thing to emphasize about capturing video footage and even pictures for your time lapse project is to keep the camera in a fixed position. If you constantly move the camera it's not going work and you'll have to start over, which means a loss of a lot of valuable time. Chances are if you're doing a photo version of a time lapse, that's going to be a lot harder to keep a camera in one spot all the time. You'd have to find the perfect spot or way to put the camera so that every time you take a picture, it will be in the same spot.

*If for some reason there is a little bit of unevenness when you tie the pictures or video together, then you can use a video editor's fade type transition between the pictures or video that are out of alignment. Works like a charm! A fade is the way to go, none of the other transitions will work. Plus, the fade will make the video look cool like the camera moved all creative like.

It's easier to keep the camera in a fixed position for recording footage, because usually the footage you're attaining is happening continuous without breaks, and that's the goal! So the camera just stays on a flat surface or tripod with stability and just records. If you're going to record out a closed window, shooting through glass, then you need to make sure condensation doesn't form, which happens in the wintertime, foggy windows or actual liquid condensation will ruin the view and you'll have to start over. Those are extremely helpful suggestions to take into account.

I use my webcam, recording on my computer, for my recent time lapse videos, like the videos you'll see later(down bottom). I think they came out awesome! Everybody loves them! Here's the camera I use, to capture video, for my time lapse videos: Logitech Webcam C500

They also sell a newer version of that camera that I still need to buy, it's a C600. There are a lot of webcams on Amazon, just make sure you read the reviews and specs on them so you know which one is right for you.

You need a camera for your Time Lapse Project

You need a camera for your time lapse project. If you don't have one and need a camera, then look no further than these options....

Video Editing Time!

Record all the footage needed, place it in a video editor program and notch the settings for fast forward and export/save the video file.

In my case, as I'm sure with others, you have to output it multiple times after fast forwarding more after each time you have the saved video.

So you output a video to the fast forwarding max then when that finished product is done you put that video in the video editor again and fast forward to the max, and you keep doing that process until it's up to the speed and down in the time, to the spot you like it.

It really doesn't get any easier than that!

The only problem you might have for making a time lapse video is whether or not you have a video editor that allows you to fast forward a video file. I use Arcsoft Showbiz DVD 2 & thankfully it has the ability to do so. I just wish it had the ability to play videos in reverse.

If anyone knows of any video editing programs that allow videos to be played in reverse, and exported that way, please let me know.

The video editor I use, to fast forward my videos, for time lapse videos(as well as my other video editing needs): Arcsoft Showbiz DVD 2

*They no longer sell the version I use, the newest one is Arcsoft Showbiz 5 HD.

I need to get the newer version so I can edit my HD Videos because the older version doesn't have the capabilities, but the newer version does.

Editing Your Video/ Putting It Together/ Speeding It Up

Try out these video editors for your Time Lapse Project....

The Finishing Touch

Now the last item you need is music.

To either make your own music (if you do that sort of thing) or to find royalty free music to buy, or to find people/websites that allow free usage.

Here are a few websites, that i know of, for royalty free music, that can be used without paying, but you have to credit them in your movies or in the subject line of your uploaded movie to a website. Also they do like getting paid. Some of the sites have donation buttons on them so you can pay them through paypal, so it would be nice to pay them something, not to mention some of them do freelance music making for people who need some work done for a project. So if you're in that type of boat, then find their page info and drop them a line for some work you need done.

Lastly, Here are 3 time lapse videos I made.....

Get Started On Your Projects Today!

Do You Post Videos On Youtube?

See results

My Clouds Time Lapse Video

My Snowfall Time Lapse Video

My Road Construction Time Lapse Video

Did You Watch My Time Lapse Videos?

See results

Did You Like My Time Lapse Videos?

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Time Lapse Goodies!

Here are some time lapse video camera ideas to check out. There are ones that are especially made for time lapse photography and videography....

Videography & Photography

Do you want to be a wedding photographer or videographer then you should really acquaint yourself with some know how, from professionals, with these books and dvd's.

Have you ever made a time lapse video?

Have you ever made a video in rewind?

If you have made one, or plan to, please post your link to it here so I can see it.

Let me know you stopped by and if you have any questions don't be afraid to ask.....

Now that you know how easy it is............ Will you be making one?

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    • pvmtoilet profile image

      Zygimantas Drukteinis 3 years ago from Ylakiai

      I have always love time-lapse videos! I hope to make one sooner or later :)

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 4 years ago

      @centralplexus: Thanks Neo! I've been meaning to get one of those cameras! I've been hearing a lot of people say it's an excellent time lapse camera! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I really appreciate the nice comments!

    • centralplexus profile image

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      I have the Brinno TLC200 and making time lapse videos with it is a piece of cake (no editing). Great lens on such an exciting subject- well done!

    • TaraWojt profile image

      Tara Wojtaszek 4 years ago

      I've never tried to make a time-lapse video but I really appreciate the beauty of them. I'll have to try out your tips soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      hahahahahaha @30 seconds Sky Does Minecraft music!!!!!!!!!!!! LOLOLOl

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @bilafond lm: Recording the footage, putting it on your computer & then using a video editor to finish it. Give it a try if you ever get the chance, it's a beautiful project. Watching the moving's of this world, the cause & effect. I might even add that it's therapeutic & rewarding! Knowledge and creation! Thank you for visiting. Best Wishes!

    • bilafond lm profile image

      bilafond lm 5 years ago

      I find it a bit difficult as I am not that technical. may be I will try it.

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: If you ever come across a good idea for a time lapse project give it a try. Either way, Best Wishes! Thanks for checking out the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Probably not, but thanks for trying...

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @ryokomayuka: When you get the equipment and you decide to make one, i wish you the absolute best and much success! Thanks for the praise.

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @gypsyman27 lm: Yeah, time lapse videos are really easy to make. Find something that might be cool to see in fast forward and do it to it! lol Thanks for taking the time to check out my lens, leaving your thoughts & enjoying it. Best Wishes To You!

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @CatJGB: Thanks for checking my lens out & enjoying it. Hopefully you enjoyed watching my time lapse videos. Best Wishes!

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 5 years ago

      I once had a video camera that would do time lapse video by recording a few frames periodically. One interesting project that I did was to record myself sleeping. You'd be amazed at how much someone moves around while sleeping!

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      If I had the equipment to make one I would. It's very interesting. Good job.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 5 years ago

      I will probably give this a try, I appreciate the instruction. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image

      CatJGB 5 years ago

      I've never made one but do enjoy watching them.

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @Lenskeeper: That's awesome & hilarious! I've always wanted to record myself sleeping, but haven't yet. I've seen videos like that before. It's interesting to see the rate of turning and moving. Plus I'm curious if i snore or not lol

      Also, i think I'd need a night vision camera, otherwise i'd have to keep the lights on.