Timelapse videos can be used for a variety of reasons, limited only by your imagination and patience. The basic idea is to capture something that lasts a long time (a minute, an hour, a day, etc.) and play it back in mere seconds.
Just as there are endless reasons to capture a timelapse, there are equal endless ways to go about doing it!
TYPES OF CAMERAS
Video Camera: With this type of camera, you can film everything in real time and speed up the footage in editing. Keep in mind that this will be a large file and has the potential to fill up a card quickly. This option is best if you’re covering a fairly short amount of time or need fluid motion throughout the video.
Still Camera: With a still camera, you can set the camera to take a photo in specific intervals (from as fast as every second to as long as every minute, depending on the camera). This saves considerable space compared to video but has a more choppy feel versus straight video footage.
Action Camera (GoPro, etc.): An action camera is usually our go-to at NCTV since you can do both video or still. The biggest advantage of this option is the ability to stick the camera anywhere you want. We often secure it to our curtain track to take a timelapse of the studio or suction cup it to our front window for a full-office or outside timelapse. It is very lightweight and small so it can fit places other cameras cannot.
In addition, there are a variety of factors you want to keep in mind before setting up your shot because once you set it up, it shouldn’t be changed throughout the duration of the shoot.
KEEP IN MIND
Framing of the shot: Once you start filming or taking photos, you won’t be able to move the camera at all. Take some time to think about what will be in the shot and if the object moves, where it's moving to.
Available light: Is the light in your shot going to change? If so, make sure you either have the camera set to adjust or not to, depending on the purpose of the shot.
Camera movement: Pick a spot for your camera that is out of the way enough that it won’t get bumped or moved accidentally. Nothing ruins hours of work like a quick unintentional move!
Access to power/battery: If you’re covering a long time-span, make sure you have your camera connected to power or that the battery can hold out. Having to change your battery mid way through the shoot will mess up the frame and ruin the shot.
Timelapse videos are a lot of fun and we encourage you to get out there and try it for yourself!