Making a Stop Action Video

Note: After I posted this, I realized that what I'm referring to as a "stop action" video is more correctly called a "time lapse" video. Pardon my lazy usage of terminology; I'm still learning this newfangled moving pictures thang and I'm not yet convinced it's not just a fad.

I tested the stop action feature of my new GoPro HD Hero video camera yesterday evening, and the results, while not exactly mind-blowing, are still encouraging. 

I set up the camera on a tripod using the optional mount, and placed it in front of one of our hummingbird feeders on the back porch. I set the camera to take a still photo every 30 seconds until the battery ran out. That resulted in 380 pictures, or just over 3 hours of filming. (I didn't bother attaching the camera to an outlet for unlimited photos - well, until the SD card was full - but that was an option.)

I then imported the photos into iPhoto '11 on my Mac, then exported them to a new folder on my hard drive. I opened iMovie '11, created a new project, selected all the photos from the directory, and dragged them into the project section of iMovie.

I selected all the photos in iMovie and set the duration for each to .1 seconds using the "Clip Adjustments" menu. I also turned off the Ken Burns effect by selecting "Fixed" in the "Cropping, Ken Burns & Rotation" menu. This combination resulted in a fast-moving, smooth stop action video of 50 seconds in duration.

I exported the movie in .m4v format, uploaded it to Vimeo, and the result is the following video. It's nothing dramatic, but if nothing else, you can get a feel for our weather pattern by watching the clouds appear and dissipate without providing any relief!

With the right subject matter, this could be a really fun process to experiment with.


Those Go Pro cameras are pretty cool.

I like watching the shadows creep in. :)

I agree. The clouds and shadows are fun to watch. Do you have a sundial?

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on July 10, 2011 8:56 AM.

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