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Elevated view of the Farnworth Tunnel boring works near Bolton

News A One-Stop Guide to Time-Lapse Videos

3 February 2014 Daniel Curtis
The iconic Corkscrew roller coaster before its demolition at Alton Towers.

Time-lapse videos are an absolutely incredible way to capture a project that happens over the course of weeks or months. These videos illustrate the sheer magnitude of projects, highlight change and make it possible to review the scope of a project in just a few minutes.

This kind of videography is widely used in all kinds of industries, from construction to modelling and from entertainment to business. The magic that is time-lapse videos is produced with high-tech equipment and skilled artists, and the effect is astounding.

How Time-Lapse Videos Work

Time-lapse videos are created with film that has been taken at several frames per second. This footage captures movements as they occur, and can be compiled into a short video that represents a long period of time.

A commonly used example of this kind of technology is video of seeds growing and blossoming into plants. The photographer sets up a camera and equipment in a secure place to capture the plant’s growth. When the video is played back and compiled, the plants seem to grow in a matter of seconds.

When to Use Time-Lapse Videos

Time-lapse videos are especially conducive to events that take place over long periods of time. The key benefit of these pieces is that they allow an audience to watch something that would normally take hours, or days, in just a few minutes.

Construction and Demolition Projects

Imagine being able to see a six-month construction project being built, from the ground up, in just a few minutes. With time-lapse videography, this is possible. One of the most mesmerising things to watch is walls and entire structures going up in no time, and videos that highlight this can be used for promotional and research purposes.

Enson Works – Normacot from Hideaway Media on Vimeo.

Demolition projects are also interesting to watch in high speed. With a video of a bridge being torn down or a building imploding, you can see the effect the project has on the surrounding area and even study exactly how the structure collapsed.

Civil Engineering Jobs

Bridge and road construction, utility installation and transportation projects are also ideal for time-lapse videos. The construction of these massive structures is amazing to begin with, and when seen in a fast-paced, artistically created video, their true beauty is easy to see.

Model Building

Model building, whether it involves creating to-scale models of buildings or small representations of aeroplanes, is another industry that benefits from time-lapse videography. Videos in this field highlight the extremely detailed nature of these projects and can be a fun way to show off the construction of a prized piece.

Entertainment Productions

Concerts, plays, ballets, band performances and other forms of entertainment can be compiled into a minutes-long video to provide a small taste of the event or to show off just what went into the performance. These videos can capture the role of event staff, scenery designers and actors to illustrate the scope of a production.

Here’s the time-lapse video we created for the Royal Albert Hall, which required a year of filming!

Royal Albert Hall – An incredible year in the life from Hideaway Media on Vimeo.

Natural Processes and Phenomena

Nature is breathtaking, and when you can witness normally slow phenomena in a few minutes, it becomes even more amazing. Things like plant growth, changes to bodies of water, constellation movements, forest changes and other natural processes are perfect subjects for time-lapse videos.

Time-lapse videos can be used for virtually any process or event that takes place over a long period of time, and these are just a few examples of circumstances that lend themselves to this technology.

The Time-Lapse Video Process

To create a time-lapse video, a technician will use cutting edge technology, including high definition cameras. These cameras provide high megapixel images, so the end product will be clear, detailed and crisp. The beauty of today’s technology is that it makes capturing video in any location and condition possible.

The technician will set up the camera and equipment so that it is stable and ready to capture images over a set period of time. The camera cannot be moved during the filming process, as this will alter the image and could ruin the time-lapse effect.

When all the images have been captured, the artist compiles them into a video. Sometimes all the footage is used, and sometimes only parts of it are included in the final video to illustrate a process.

But, time-lapse videos aren’t just boring compilations of processes sped up, they are pieces of art. Some videos include special effects, like fading transitions, and artful compilations.

The producer can combine the images with music that complements the images, sets a mood and completes the video. When the video and music is perfectly timed and work together, the end result is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Using Time-Lapse Videos

Time-lapse videos can be used for entertainment, promotional purposes and to conduct research, among other purposes. There’s no question that these videos are fascinating and fun to watch, and when shared on social media they are a great way to get people talking about your business.

You can use time-lapse videos as part of your marketing strategy to promote your business. The videos can be posted on your website, played at events, shown on monitors at your business and used with so many other marketing tactics.

These high-speed videos can also give you a glimpse of what has happened at a construction site, civil engineering project or any other situation. You can use the videos to watch how a project impacts the surrounding area, see the construction process as it unfolds and even finds ways to be more effective.

With time-lapse videos, you can unleash the power of images combined with speed and sound to entertain your audience, promote your business or even do research. These videos are an excellent way to capture any long-term project for record-keeping, making memories and sharing progress. Today’s video technology, when combined with artistic elements, can create fascinating images that can accomplish things no other technology can.

To find out more about time-lapse photography and how Time-Lapse Systems can create a time-lapse video to suit your needs, please give us a call 0333 016 5253!

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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.