How Timelapse Works

If you’ve looked around our website or YouTube page, you’ve probably seen some of our time lapse videos. You may have even wondered “How did they do that?” We’ll, I’m going to tell you.

You probably already know that video is not a whole lot more than a series of pictures that go by really fast to create the illusion of movement. We call these pictures “frames” and one second of video usually contains either 24 or 30 frames.

In order to make the subject of a video appear to go faster, all you really need to do is remove some of the frames.

For example, if you have 10 seconds of video at 30 frames per second, you have 300 frames making up the video. If we go through and remove every other picture and squeeze the pictures we’ve kept back together, there is now only 5 seconds of video. You still see the action from start to finish, it just appears to move twice as fast.

For our time lapse videos we use special cameras that we set to take a series of pictures at a given interval. For example, when we do a driving time lapse, we set the cameras to take two snapshots per second. When we put it into our editing software that expects 30 frames per second, the video appears to move very fast because of how few frames there are.

So, for example, a 30 second video shot at 30 frames per second would have 900 frames. But, since our cameras only have 2 frames per second, the total number of frames in our timelapse video is only 60 which is only 2 seconds of video. So you are seeing 30 seconds of driving in 2 seconds.

So now that you understand timelapse, you may want to use it in a video. It’s a great way to show a project from start to finish or make long processes look quick and fun. You can also make timelapse more interesting by mixing it with regular footage, which will allow you to slow down the action to get a closer look and then speed it back up again.

We hope this was helpful and feel free to check out some of our other videos. If you have any questions, give us a call at 314-843-3663 that’s 314-VIDEO ME.