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1 Minute Tutorial: Creating a Time-Lapse Video Using QuckTime Pro

Hello to all of the visitors from the forums of DP School, FotoStart, CreativeCOW, and FOK!


A quick demonstration of turning a time series of images into a time-lapse video using QuickTime Pro on either Windows or Mac.


1. Take the pictures. Some cameras you can configure to automatically take a number pictures over a given time frame, or you can expose them manually.


2. Get them into an image format that QuickTime understands. PNG is preferred because it is lossless (preserves every pixel) vs. JPEG, where you lose quality every time you save.


3. Follow the above video, using the "Open Image Sequence…" menu item.


4. Export using the best settings for Flickr, YouTube, or your preferred video service. Generally this means H.264, as this is a format that Flash can use natively.


5. … ?


6. Profit!


Note: The initial movie created from your images will not play smoothly. PNG and normal (non-moving) JPEG video is simply too large for most computers to process at reasonable frame-rates. This is normal, and gets ironed out when you export the video with a real video codec.


Extra Special Note: Attempting to animate a full 10 or 12 MP image is fundamentally silly on any computer. You'll note that in this video I scale down the player to half-size, and it was only 720p. Export your shots at a reasonable size. (I usually use 1080p, as it fits my display perfectly.)

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Taken on May 18, 2008