Timelapse redux

After a comment from Chris encouraging me to see if I could make a true-blue timelapse out of my video footage, this is the result. More about the process below. I’ve also used the song I originally wanted, but wasn’t sure was allowed. The original, fast-motion video is below, along with the explanation for the project as a whole.

Timelapse from Video Process:

First, a note about how to REALLY do this… This was definitely more difficult than I thought it was going to be. If you know you want a timelapse, you should shoot stills from the beginning, and not video! For me the problem was that my camera doesn’t have an intervalometer built in and I don’t have an external one (although before I shot the video of me building the BBQ, I researched and found that someone has converted their graphic calculator into one here. This is something I definitely want to try, but my TI-83 is locked in my desk at school…).
Anyway, when I read the comment from Chris about making a true timelapse from my video files, I knew I would have to pull individual frames out of the video as still photos. I’ve done that before for a a few pictures, but not for this many, and I really didn’t want to do it manually. I did a little Google search and found someone who purported to do what I was trying to do at this link using a program called VLC.
First I had to combine the 5 video clips my camera had taken over the course of the 90 minutes I was filming, so I put them in iMovie, trimmed off the beginning and end a little and exported as a single clip. The tutorial’s version of VLC was a little different than mine–Mac v PC I think–but reading between the lines I went into the VLC preferences and turned on something called the “Scene Filter” and set it to export a frame of my video every 10 frames, as recommended. At first I couldn’t get the photos to show up in the file when I followed the steps, but after a long time fiddling with the settings I tried right-clicking on the video in VLC and selecting “Play” rather than the play button, and that seemed to work. Normal video runs about 30 frames per second, so I was getting 3 pictures a second as I left the clip to play through VLC and went about my afternoon. When I came back, I had around 16,000 pictures in that folder, and they were taking up nearly 2gb of space! I knew that was going to take forever for iMovie to work through, so I changed the VLC settings to capture a photo every 150 frames instead (one every five seconds) and let VLC play through the 90 minute video again, capturing 589 pictures this time.
The VLC tutorial I was following suggested combining those pictures back into video right in VLC, but every time I went to import them, the dialog box would only let me select a single photo at the point the tutorial suggests selecting them all. After awhile I gave up on this and improvised again with iMovie. I dragged the 589 pictures into iMovie, selected them all, set their length to .1 seconds, and turned off the Ken Burns effect (can you say motion sickness…?). After that it was a matter of re-creating and updating the titles and music from the earlier version of the video and re-posting it here.

Original BBQ Speed-Build

Technically not a time-lapse in the Photography sense, just video sped up to 40x it’s usual frame rate. The actual building of the Barbeque took more than an hour, but this is done in less than 2 minutes.

So, Father’s Day 2019 was not typical around our house. My wife gave me the most appropriate Father’s Day present nearly a week early (our new baby boy!) but between personal recovery and infant care, she didn’t have much energy or time to celebrate with gifts or foods that I love. So, I had been talking about a new barbeque for awhile and had looked at the full spectrum of prices and options both locally and online, but became overwhelmed with the choices. Eventually, she told me just to order one I wanted from Amazon, so I got this one. When it arrived, I discovered that “some assembly” was definitely required and I knew I had to create something for a choice assignment, but I decided that just building the BBQ wasn’t what the “makeandshare” assignment was intended to be about so I decided I’d make a video of building it. I really wanted to use music by The Glitch Mob as the soundtrack on my video, because that’s what I listened to while I built the grill, but since I’m posting it online I worry about copyright infringement. Hencely, I visited a few creative commons sites for fair use music and chose Upbeat, by Jon Luc Hefferman from freemusicarchive.org.

4 thoughts on “Timelapse redux”

  1. Challenge for you: can you make your video into an actual time lapse and share how you did it?

    Based on the Four Factors of Fair Use you probably would have been fine using the song you wanted to and the worst outcome, unlikely in any even and certainly if you mention the song positively in the accompanying post and link to the band, would be a “cease and desist” letter…at which point you could decide if you wanted to ignore or not.

    I’m pretty sure I used to have exactly that same grill too; I’m feeling grill nostalgia for Alaskan summer.

    1. OK, this was more challenging that I thought it was going to be, but maybe there is a shorter way that you know… If so, I’d love to hear it. Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the result!

  2. Yes, how did you do it? Pretty cool and I like your choice of music.
    Have you considered sending it in to be an advertisement for the grill company? Grilling is one of those things I luxuriate in not ever doing. It is just “my husband’s job,” and it’s really nice that he is always in charge of it. 🙂 CONGRATS on your new baby! Now, go grill your wife a steak. 🙂

    1. The video I created already was just a stationary camera on a tripod recording for the entirety of the unboxing and building process, then imported into iMovie and set to 20x speed (the fastest iMovie will go). To reach 40x, I had to export that project, then re-import the speedy video and make it 2x as fast. A few transitions and titles, and it was basically ready to go. I thought I had to find music I liked that was not restricted by copyright, so I took awhile searching for that, probably the longest part of the video process except actually building the grill.

      Chris has asked me to create and actual time-lapse from the video file, and after some small research I think I know how to do it, and I’ll post it alongside the first video, so check back in a couple days if you want to see a different style.

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