After seeing @adders on micro.blog posting some timelapse I though I might have another go. My first thought was to just use the feature built into phone. I then though to repurpose a raspberry pi. This lead to the discovery that two of my PIs were at school leaving only one at home with a camera. This we zero had dome sterling service taking over 1 million pictures of the sky and stitching them into 122918 gifs and posting them to tumblr. I decommissioned that when tumblr started mistaking these for unsuitable photos.

My first idea were just write a simple bash script that would take a pic and copy it to my mac. I’ve done that before, just need to timestamp the image names. Then I found RPi-Cam-Web-Interface. This is really cool. It turns your pi into a camera and a webserver where you can control the camera and download the photos.

I am fairly used to setting up a headless pi and getting on my WiFi now. So the next step was just to follow all the instructions from the RPi-Cam-Web-Interface page. The usual fairly incomprehensible stuff in the terminal ensued. All worked fine though.

I then downloaded the folder full of images onto my mack and stitched them together with ffmpeg.

ffmpeg is a really complex beast, I think this worked ok:

make a list of the files with

for f in *.jpg; do echo "file '$f'" >> mylist.txt; done

then stitch them together:

ffmpeg -r 10 -f concat -i mylist.txt -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p out.mp4

I messed about quite a bit, resizing the images before starting made for a smaller move and finally I

ffmpeg -i out.mp -vf scale=720:-2 outscaled.mp4

To make an even smaller version.

I am now on the look out for more interesting weather or a good sunset.

iTimeLapse

There are a horde of time lapse apps on the Apple iOS app store now. A while back I tested iMotion – Stop motion animation for iPhone and I’ve downloaded a few more.

Yesterday I noticed iTimeLapse had an update, listed in the fixes was – General crashy-ness fixed which sounded good and I decided to give it another try.

I set up my phone on the windowsill pointing at the trees and sky across the road. There is a choice of resolutions I choose 1280×960. I set the app to take a picture every 30 seconds and set it going. It seemed to be taking picture faster than that so I stopped, reset and started a few times (I even forced quit the app). Eventually I just let it do its own thing. After an hour or so it had taken 1333 images (Which the app tells me takes up 1339 mb on my phone) so I do not think that the Snap Interval is accurate/working! However the resulting video worked out fine.

On stopping the app you then have to render the video, my first attempt at one of the higher resolution settings failed, producing a block video, I tried again at a more sensible 640x 480 and this worked. The video was then watchable on my iPhone.

There are several export options, I tried the Vimeo option, which took a while but worked well and the Local WiFi Sharing.

I am a fan of a few other apps which have Local WiFi Sharing. Most apps that do this have a screen which shows an address to be typed into a browser, usually an IP address, although some support using bonjour in Safari. iTimeLapse does something different it show a link to TapShare.org with a 3 figure number. You visit TapShare on your desktop, type in the 3 figure number and that opens the local iP. TapShare is a service which offers this small utility to generate a 24 hour shortcode which can redirect to your local IP via an API which iOS developers can use. Being nosy I checked Safari and bonjour works too:

Leading to a webpage to download video:

iTimeLapse Safari

This video was 46MB in size and didn’t make it through my mail system to posterous, a quick export fromQuicktime, iphone setting, shrunk it to 9MB which upload fairly quickly: Evening Sky

Here is the Vimeo version:

I am sure this could be a useful app to use in the classroom for easily generating time lapse movies & animations.

I’ve illustrated this post with some screenshots, glued together in an animated gif, to save some screen space, please let me know if you think it is useful or annoying.