Top Nav

Ultimate Guide To Making Your Own Time Lapse Media

Time lapse videos are incredible. They combine photography, cinematography and video editing into one new great art form that really shines with its unique approach. Although they may seem really difficult to do, they are now fairly simple to create. Let’s get started.

Things You Will Need to Create Time lapse:

  • Device capable of capturing a timelapse (Smartphone or DSLR)
  • A modern PC or Mac with decent specs
  • Adobe Creative Suite or any other editing software you prefer


  1. Video sped up to twice the original speed (or more)
  2. Photos stitched into a video

Method 1 – Video sped up – Use a DSLR or other camera

The easiest way to create a time lapse is to put your smartphone or camera on a tripod and record a video, which you will afterwards speed up on your computer.

camera nikon canon tripod timelapse prepare shoot video

If you have a DSLR or any other kind of still-image camera that can also record video, you most likely already have a tripod. If you don’t, you can always improvise by putting the camera on a flat and stable surface.

phone tripod ebay amazon buy setup bracket video record timelapse HD

For smartphones, you can get small tripod brackets bundled with mini tripods at a very low price. You can also attach the bracket to professional tripod, if you happen to have one.

camera record button video HD timelapse

Once you’re all set with your composition and recording settings, simply press record and leave the camera for a few minutes! (Note – DSLR cameras usually have a time limit of up to 20 minutes per video)

When you’re done with the video, just upload it to your PC and use video editing software of your choice to speed it up. For the purpose of this tutorial I’ll show you how to do it in Adobe Premiere Pro, since it’s one of the most widely used programs.

premiere pro timelapse sequence settings 720p 1080p 4K quality set framerate timelapse video edit capture

Start off by launching Premiere and creating a new project with your desired dimensions. I’ll make a 720p timelapse this time.

speed duration premiere pro time lapse timelapse video method adobe hd 720p 1080p 4K

Now import your clip and drag it onto the timeline and speed it up with Right Click > Speed/Duration.

premiere pro clip speed duration dialog timelapse video hd 1080p 720p 4K video edit premiere time lapse

From the “Clip Speed/Duraton” dialog, either input the playback speed in percentage (for instance – 2 minutes played at 200% is 1 minute) or input the desired clip length to have the percentage automatically calculated for you.

preview project final look premiere pro cs5 cs6 cc speed duration time lapse timelapse video method hd 720p 1080p 4K

You can then preview the result by going over to where your sequence program is located and pressing the play button. Note that on slower computers you may experience frame drops, since the sped-up playback is quite hard to process in real time.

premiere pro export dialog HD 720p 1080p 4K timelapse time lapse HD youtube share video

If you’re happy with the final result, you can export your masterpiece by going to File > Export > Media. From the dialog you can choose many different formats and presents. My favorite is exporting an H.264 MP4 file with one of the HD presets.

Method 2.1 – Photo stitching – Option 1 use Lapse it Pro for Android or iOS

For those of you who don’t have access to DSLR cameras with intervalometers, there’s Lapse It – a great application for making timelapses on your mobile phone, available for iOS and for Android. To access the full version, capable of recording high quality timelapses, you’ll have to set yourself back with $2 bucks, but you can still check out the free version if you’re not 100% sure if this is for you.

lapse it pro android ios smartphone time lapse timelapse app download photography

First off, start the app and go to Settings to configure everything capture and export related.

lapse it pro capture settings focus iso exposure compatibility hd timelapse time lapse 1080p 720p 4K

Go to the Capture option to have a look at your composition and to check out a few additional settings, such as Exposure, ISO, Flash, Focus and even a dedicated compatibility mode for older devices.

lapse it pro features after export functions music trim export format hd time lapse timelapse hd 720p 1080p 4K smartphone

After finishing your time lapse you can apply various effects, trim to determine which frames get used in the video and even add music to it. Once you’re done you can click the render button to export your masterpiece in a format of your choice.

Here’s what my quick time lapse looks like after a bit of extra tweaks in Adobe Premiere Pro:

Related Article:  Instagram Quietly Updates Terms of Service and Privacy Policy - Selling Your Photos Without Compensation

More Reading:


One Response to Ultimate Guide To Making Your Own Time Lapse Media

  1. Elben August 26, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Nice post. GroovyPublishing looks like the brand of the camera 🙂

Leave a Reply