To fit a multi-hour recording into a few seconds, you will need a timelapse software. Time-lapse is used for accelerated or slow-motion videos with changes in the frame rate and video playback speed. I reviewed the best free timelapse software available this year that will handle the task without sacrificing the quality, format and size of the output file.
Time-lapse is a method in which a series of shots or keyframes are played back at a higher or lower frequency than was used to capture them. A person growing up from a baby or creating a realistic portrait from a sketch in a few minutes; a momentary change in the weather in the desert; a detailed millisecond explosion of a balloon with water – such visual videos are always popular.
Another way is to record video at normal speed and then change it. If the video is too long, it will create some inconvenience. In this post, I will review the best free software for combining footage recorded from any device including a webcam or mobile phone in a time-lapse video.
Verdict: This timelapse photography software grants the ability to compile and cut raw material in any convenient way. An extensive toolset of Adobe Premiere Pro and the variety of supported formats let users work with almost any filetype from any type of camera and then export the result to any type of media or directly to YouTube.
The way you prepare for each step of the time-lapse creation process matters. You must arrange all digital shots sequentially. When importing them to the software, select the Image Sequence checkbox.
Adobe Premiere Pro automatically generates a video and adds the video file to the graph instead of still images. This top-grade software provides a vast array of editing tools for simulating camera movement, color correction and controlling video playback speed.
Verdict: Final Cut Pro X is undoubtedly the best time lapse software Mac. It is very clear, minimalist and easy to use without limiting the possibilities. The software offers plenty of capabilities for a price: special effects on an unrestricted number of tracks, grouping tools, adding and editing audio, editing with multiple cameras, and intelligent color balancing tools.
It isn’t difficult to control the playback speed of files imported to the project. You need to place pictures or videos on the timeline and pick them. After that, go to the Retime submenu from the Modify drop-down menu and pick one of the parameters: Custom Speed, Blade Speed or Fast.
The specific settings depend on the selected option, so try different values to find the playback speed that is optimal for the current time-lapse video.
Verdict: iMovie doesn’t belong to the most advanced timelapse programs but it is suitable for creating time-lapse home videos. Import the pictures to iMovie, then drag and drop them to the timeline.
When finished, select all pictures on the timeline, go to the Clip Information panel, and set the interval to 0.1 seconds. The time-lapse video will play at a maximum of 10 frames per second.
If the video is too slow, save it as a video file, and then export it as soon as you have collected all the pictures in the video. Then import the video again using iMovie. After that, you can increase the speed of the video clip by selecting it on the timeline. In the Speed pop-up menu, pick Fast or Custom. It is possible to choose the desired speed, for instance, 50% or 100%.
Verdict: This free timelapse software offers a complete solution for frame-by-frame editing, gradation, keyframe generation and rendering. LRTimelapse reduces the editing time of the footage by letting the user process each shot in Lightroom with the help of the full dynamic range and camera resolution.
LRTimelapse will build up and align sequences, which eliminates flickering and uneven exposure changes in the workflow. The software enables users to modify time intervals or adjust the white balance, sort interval sequences based on all raw files.
Besides, users can take advantage of animation, keyframe exposure and the full potential of Lightroom vs Adobe Camera Raw for color gradation and for animated graded, radial and paint filters.
Verdict: Panolapse is the best free timelapse software with numerous capabilities and a certain learning curve. The tool uses three-dimensional perspective correction to create a rotational pan.
The RawBlend function enables users to compile multiple frames by interpolating RAW metadata and balancing exposure, color, contrast, white balance, saturation and other attributes.
Panolapse pleases users with a zoom function and animates zooming in or out of the scene. The software supports the timelapse camera and lets users set the crop factor, lens focal length and lens type (normal, fisheye, stereographic, equidistant, equiangular). It is compatible with all cameras (full-frame, cropped, sensor, point and shoot, GoPro).
Verdict: SkyStudio is capable of working with a webcam or any capture device. Users have an opportunity to record a video directly from the software without uploading images from outside. SkyStudio is the best free timelapse software due to the motion detection feature.
The software may be used to create stop-motion or freeze-frame videos thanks to the new video compiler. After taking a series of shots manually, it is possible to compress them into a video. Besides, SkyStudio boasts a night vision function and reduces the frame rate when shooting at night, enhancing the quality of the material.
Verdict: Chronolapse is the best open source time lapse software to capture still images from a webcam, camera or desktop automatically, then edit and combine them into complex time-lapse videos and share them. After the tool takes screenshots from one or more monitors, it is possible to crop, zoom and create picture-in-picture effects.
The software offers tools for commenting on the video. It lets users add pictures from other sources, such as a smartphone, another computer, or a professional camera, and then combine them into a time-lapse video.
Verdict: Corel VideoStudio Pro is the best free timelapse software for those who are just starting to merge and modify the speed of clips. It boasts top-grade add-ons, such as 4K and 360° video editing. The interface is straightforward and comprises a music library, as well as a number of effects that may be added to the video project.
The process of creating time-lapse videos in Corel VideoStudio Pro is fairly standardized. After placing the footage on the video editor’s timeline, use the Speed/Timelapse or Time Remapping tool to modify the video playback speed. It is possible to use the color correction software capabilities to enhance colors in a time-lapse video.
Verdict: It is a very simple time lapse computer software intended for just one purpose: to simplify the process of creating time-lapse videos. It offers support for major picture file formats, such as JPEG, PNG, BMP, but can only save single-format time-lapse videos.
At the same time, it is a capable picture collector for videos that lets users gather a series of more than 4,000 pictures at once to turn them into a time-lapse video. This enables users to convert pictures of almost any format to AVI video files.
Verdict: GoPro is an excellent way to start editing a live video from a GoPro camera or any other alternative to GoPro even on the go. It can automatically create videos that are synced with music. This timelapse software provides more complex options, such as adding photos or intervals, as well as cool graphs and charts to indicate the speed of shooting with an action camera.
GoPro cameras offer a variety of ways to capture footage that can later be turned into a time-lapse video. The Quik GoPro video editor comprises all the tools the user needs to organize a large number of files and create frame-by-frame videos.
Verdict: Download Framelapse and you will get slow motion with almost no rendering time. Users have great control over settings with this application: the ability to modify camera settings such as white balance, timer, exposure, and enable filters in the time interval.
Users can pick the bitrate and resolution of the application up to 4K. For Android devices, Framelapse is the most user-friendly time lapse app with beautifully designed themes.