Time-Lapse Video: The Complete Guide on How to Make a Time-Lapse Video

Video is such a wonderful medium to convey meaning through. Many people have been truly inspired by something that they first saw in a video format. It is moving, and it is inspiring to many people no matter their station in life. It seems as if videos are something that can help us all transcend ourselves and enjoy an emotion or a moment all at once. Given all of that, we want to talk about a powerful way to shoot a video known as a time-lapse video. You have likely already seen plenty of time-lapse videos in your time, but we want to take a deep dive on them to provide you with even more important information about what these videos are and why they are so important.

What is a time-lapse video?

Have you ever wanted to condense time? It is not physically possible in our world to alter how time moves, but we can change what it looks like when it shows up on camera. When this is done, it is known as a time-lapse video.

What a time-lapse video does is take a long span of time and condense it down into a much shorter span of time that is visible on a video. In other words, someone can take a static video of anything that happens over a period of time and show all of the action in just a few moments (or less). This means that we all get to enjoy the slow process of change speed up to a point where we are better able to see it playing out right before our eyes. Given how precious our time is, it is nice to see videos like this that speed up the rate of change automatically for us.

Benefits and uses of time-lapse videos

Time scales are incredibly important when discussing anything related to human beings. We are all only on the planet for a finite amount of time, and it is not possible for us to spend all of our time watching certain changes take place when those changes take a long time to happen. The most important benefit of a time-lapse video is that it allows us to see the change without absorbing too much of our time.

People use time-lapse videos for all kinds of reasons. Some of the following are great examples of ways that time-lapse videos have been used in the past:

To show a changing city

There is something staggeringly beautiful about watching a city change and grow. A time-lapse video can show how a particular area built up over time into the place that it is today. That kind of video would show changes over a very long time scale. However, there are also videos that show a changing city from day to night. Even though a video like this just covers a period of a few hours, it is still incredible to see that amount of change in such a short video.

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To show changes over a person's life

Many people take great joy in putting together a video of themselves and the changes that they go through over the years. This can manifest in the amazing story of a father who took a photo of his daughter every day from birth to age 20 as an act of love, or even just when someone puts together a lot of video and photos of themselves as they advance through life and on to the career that they may have. Whatever the case may be, these types of videos are incredible and really stick with a person.

To take out "boring" parts of a video

Sometimes a time-lapse video is used simply to remove the less interesting parts of a video. The people who view these videos are on a journey, and they may not want to spend all of their time watching portions of the video that do not bring them as much value. This is commonly used when someone is making a recipe video, for example. They don't need to show the 35 minutes that they were baking something in the oven. Instead, they use a time-lapse video to condense the true time it took to prepare their dish.

Time-lapse cameras

Let us talk about time-lapse cameras for a moment. If you were to reach into your pocket right now and pull out your smartphone, you may be surprised to learn that even your smartphone has a time-lapse capable camera on it. The cameras on these modern smartphones are very powerful, and they include the technology necessary to capture an amazing time-lapse video.

That said, professional photographers know that they want to capture much higher-quality video than what their smartphone is able to produce for them. They need high-tech equipment that they can put anywhere and capture the images that they require for their time-lapse productions. This is why they will pay up to get more capable time-lapse cameras for their work. They want to make sure they are using a camera that has truly been developed to handle the specific conditions that they need to put it under in order to get the results that they require.

There are plenty of these cameras on the market as camera makers are well aware of the fact that professionals want to shoot time-lapse videos and need the equipment to do so. If you are interested in taking your time-lapse video-making skills to the next level, then it may make sense for you to check out what some of these cameras can do.

Different methods for creating time-lapse videos

Directly from your phone/camera

You may choose to capture a time-lapse video directly from your phone or camera if you simply put the time-lapse setting on and start shooting some footage. This can help you capture what you are attempting to capture at the moment, but you also need to realize that you may not get exactly the shots that you want. You will simply have the raw footage of what you have filmed, but the quality of the time-lapse is simply going to be whatever happened to show up on the camera at that time. You are welcome to take a chance on things like that, but you may not be thrilled with the results.

During the editing process

A more productive method of capturing the time-lapse video that you really want is to use the editing process as your springboard to create the types of videos that you really want to see when it is all said and done. The editing process is very powerful because it allows you to fine-tune your work into something that you can be truly proud of and want to show off to other people. You are in full control over which parts you would like to speed up or slow down. You may also choose any type of effects you might want to add to the videos as well. In short, there are many tweaks that you can make in the editing process that may help you produce a more powerful and useful video overall.

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When you may want to slow down a time-lapse video

There is a delicate balance to be struck when creating a time-lapse video. You need the video to move along fast enough so that viewers are able to see all that you are attempting to show them without burning up too much time. However, you also need it to slow down in spots so viewers don't miss key details. Finding the exact balance that you require to get this handled perfectly is the challenge that you must face as a filmmaker.

What you can do to start is break down your video into segments. The exact timestamp where you segment the video may have to do with a duration of time or simply because something interesting happens in the video. Once you have segmented out your video, you can start to see where you might want to speed it up or slow it down. You want to speed it up the most through periods of time when nothing much of interest is happening in the video. However, you will want to slow it down when something of interest takes place on the screen. Therefore, it is up to you to take the time necessary to go through your videos and find when those specific markers are, and make sure you adjust the speed of the video accordingly.

If at any time something dramatic happens on your time-lapse video, you should slow it down so that viewers may take in the moment. In fact, the process of slowing down the video may draw your audience in even more as they realize that something important is happening that they ought to pay attention to. You can use this trick effectively to help make sure the highlights of the video are never missed.

What to look for in time-lapse video editing software

Editing software is a lifeline to those struggling to figure out how they will craft their video in exactly the right way. They have the raw material of the video itself, but they haven't taken the time to put it all together in a way that will be visually pleasing for their audience. Until they reach that point, their video is nothing more than a collection of moving images.

A few of the features that you don't want to miss out on when selecting your time-lapse video editing software include:

  • High-quality video resolution
  • A suite of professional editing tools
  • User-friendly instructions
  • Easy exportability

These are things that editors expect at this point. They want to work with a product that allows them to put their creativity into their videos, but they also want that product to be easy to use and something that they can navigate even if it is their first time using it. One product that meets all of those goals every time is VideoStudio. The power that you get with this is undeniable, and the fact that it was created with the user in mind is evident from the first moment you sit down to try it out.

VideoStudio features a number of user-friendly tools that make it simple to navigate around and alter your time-lapse video until you make it into the masterpiece that you know it can be.


People are uploading thousands of videos onto the Internet every minute. You can join the crowd that is pushing out their favorite materials by also creating something that people want to take a look at. If you put your skills to the test with VideoStudio, you are bound to get the kind of results that will help you create something special that the world has never seen before. If that sounds ideal to you, then you need to check them out right now.

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