GoPro Time-Lapse Video: Using a GoPro for Time-Lapse Videos

Have you ever watched sunset from start to finish? Have you ever seen the clouds roll over a mountain for several hours straight? Chances are if you have, it was probably through a time-lapse video. While time-lapse seems like a task left for professional photographers, it's actually something that anyone can do with their GoPro and good photo editing software.

While you know your GoPro is great for taking high-quality videos, perhaps you weren't aware that you can do time-lapse videos with your GoPro as well, even if you don't have the latest camera model. 

What is a GoPro time-lapse?

Time-lapse video is a technique in which the viewer sees a single scene through a passage of time, either by taking a photo at specific intervals or by speeding up a standard video through your video editing software. Imagine a compressed view of what a mountain looked like for an entire day in a span of a few minutes. That is the effect of GoPro time-lapse videos.

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How to create a time-lapse video using a GoPro

There are three ways of creating a time-lapse video using a GoPro -- either by setting your GoPro camera up to record video frames at set time intervals, speeding up a standard video, or using the 4k HD video time-lapse option on your newer-model GoPro. Read on for more information about each of these options.

Setting up your camera to record frames at specific intervals: In order to do this, you need to find your time-lapse settings. The location of these settings depends on the camera model that you are using, and your user's manual should tell you how to access those settings. Compared to the other method, using your settings to set your camera to record at specific intervals is way less storage-intensive, conserves battery life, provides high-resolution frames that can later be easily edited with pan and zoom effects. If using this method, however, you must ensure that you have not set too much time between your intervals, as this will provide too few images and your video can appear jumpy.

Increase the speed on a standard video: This option will produce a smoother video, as you are not manipulating individual frames. However, it will also create massive files, particularly if you are planning to record more than ten minutes of video. This will make the video difficult to upload or edit due to long load times and can also burn through your storage capacity on your device.

Use the 4k HD video time-lapse option: This is available on your newer model GoPro, which will produce an incredibly high-quality video that automatically creates a compressed MP4 file, which is far smaller than other 4k video files, and handy for editing and sharing your GoPro time-lapse.

If you're planning to set your GoPro's time-lapse settings, the following are commonly used intervals for popular subjects:

  • .5-second intervals for driving time-lapse or any type of sporting event.
  • 2-second intervals for fast-moving clouds, crowds of people, or rush hour traffic.
  • 5-second intervals for clouds moving normally, as well as for sunrises or sunsets.
  • 10-second intervals for slow-moving clouds, sunrises or sunsets, or waves on a beach.
  • 30-second intervals to track the path of the sun during the day, moving shadows, or the stars and moon.

VideoStudio Pro Can Help

With powerful tools, resources, and customer support, Corel's VideoStudio can help you create and edit your GoPro time-lapse video simply and effectively, creating a scene that you will be proud to show to friends and family. 

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Download a free 30 day trial now!