Time-lapse photography is a technique in which a longer video sequence is compressed in a shorter duration by increasing the number of frames being displayed per second. For example, if you shoot a video with 5 FPS and then increase the playback rate to 90 FPS – the video playback becomes 18 times and time seems to go faster in the video (hence the term time-lapsing). For creating such videos, you have to record the videos at a lower frame rate and then increase the frame rate to a higher value. But this should be done carefully so as not to include any shaking or sudden movements in the time-lapse video.
Microsoft has developed technology to do it effortlessly and has released a an app called Hyperlapse using which you can create time-lapse videos in minutes. Hyperlapse is available both as an app for the mobile devices (Windows Mobile and Android devices) as well as a program for the traditional Windows 8 based computers. The Android version of the app allows you to record time-lapse videos directly using the camera in the device while the PC application lets you convert pre-recorded videos into time-lapse versions.
In the Hyperlapse PC application, you have to choose New Project and then choose one of the video files from your hard disk. The video should not have a higher frame rate for better results. You can choose the start and end time from the selected video if you want to convert only a section of the video.
Clicking on the Next button shall bring you to the settings where you can choose the camera model and related settings (only a few camera models are supported at the moment). You can change the speed up and smoothness controls. You also have to choose the destination video file that will be saved on the hard disk.
In the next step, Microsoft jumps into action and starts processing the video file (or a section of it) to extract the frames and join them together. As expected, it does not extract the audio from the selected source video file.
When the file has been processed, the generated time-lapse video will be saved in the pre-selected destination file. You can view this video in the Microsoft Hyperlapse window or use a default media player to open this generated video file.
Conclusion: Microsoft Hyperlapse is perhaps the easiest way of creating time-lapse videos. Its PC version allows you to convert pre-recorded videos into time-lapse sequences while its mobile app versions lets you record the time-lapse videos directly through the device camera.
You can download Microsoft Hyperlapse from http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hyperlapseapps/.