Whatever the subject, whether you’re watching clouds roll across the horizon or a skyscraper rising out of the ground, time-lapse videos have a magical and hypnotic quality to them.
There was probably a time not long ago when you needed a fancy camera and lots of expensive editing equipment to create them. Not anymore. The video above was shot with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.
Using apps from the Windows Phone Store such as Timelapse Pro and with a little bit of know-how you can also create similar videos using your Lumia smartphone.
For the best time-lapse results you need to keep your Lumia completely still and pointed at the same view/subject for hours at a time. If you’re feeling very confident or ambitious you may even consider a project that lasts a day or more.
With this in mind, you should use a tripod and, if possible, keep your Lumia plugged into a mains power supply or external battery pack. Also, you won’t be able to make or receive any calls while you’re capturing the time-lapse images – it might be a good precaution to put your Lumia in airplane mode.
Choosing a good vantage point to shoot from is half the battle. You need a view with a static background and, over a period of time, movement in the foreground. It should be somewhere where you know your Lumia is going to be safe and secure.
- Press the Search button on your Nokia Lumia and then tap Vision
- Scan the QR code
- Tap on the link when it appears on the screen
- Install the application from the Windows Phone Store
With all your equipment all set up, you’ll now be ready to start recording!
Timelapse Pro is free to download and use but requires an in-app purchase of £2.29 if you want to export your finished videos and share them.
There are basic camera modes, such as resolution, white balance and scene selection.
Most importantly, you have to set the interval rate, which sets how often the app captures an image. These are the images that are stitched together at the end to create your time-lapse video.
The interval rate depends on how long you intend to record for but between five to 10 seconds is a good starting point.
With your settings in place, just tap the screen to start recording. To preserve battery life the viewfinder preview will switch itself off after a short time. Don’t be alarmed when this happens – the app is still capturing the images.
Leave your Lumia to do its business and go have a nap, take a walk or watch the Godfather trilogy while you wait for the time to lapse.
When it’s time to stop, just tap anywhere on the display and then press the hardware back button to return to the main screen. Here, you should see your time-lapse video, which you can select and watch back on your Lumia.
While you’re watching it, you can also change the playback frame rate (FPS). If you select the fastest, 30 FPS, your video look like it’s ‘moving’ faster.
Timelapse Pro has a couple of great editing features too. You can rotate the images or choose to ‘record more’ which adds a batch of new images onto the end of your existing time-lapse video.
‘Record more’ is particularly useful because it means you don’t have to continuously record for one really long period and you could also move your set up to capture a slightly different view.
You can watch your videos within the Timelapse Pro app but as mentioned earlier, if you want to share them you’ll first have to purchase the uploading function, and then download the video file from Timelapse Pro’s dedicated server.
Good luck and for some inspiration, here’s another example of a time-lapse video recorded on a Nokia Lumia smartphone: