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Simone Seagle

Simone Seagle

Independent Web and Educational Software Developer

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Garden Timelapse Movie
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Garden Timelapse Movie

November 9, 2017 Simone Seagle

Well, after six months of (mostly) dutifully taking pictures, my garden timelapse video is complete. Check it out:

I already wrote a post about how I created the video, but here's a slightly edited and improved version with all steps.

  1. Take your pictures, taking care to stand in the same spot at a similar time of day. Upload them to your computer when you're done.

  2. Resize the images to be a reasonable width and height if your camera is very large, otherwise your file size will get out of control, but also be sure to leave a buffer because the images won't all be perfectly aligned.

  3. In batches of about 30 pictures, load your images into Photoshop as a stack. Go to File->Scripts->Load Files into Stack...

  4. Select the files you want (Not too many at a time!) and "Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images." Don't select the "create a smart object" option.

  5. Start a new Photoshop document using the HDTV template listed under the Film/Video tab.

  6. Group your aligned images, reverse the order and reverse the order of the frames - if you don't do this, the frames will run backward in time. Go to Layer->Arrange->Reverse. Duplicate the group into your Video PSD. After that is done, you can get rid of the other document.

  7. Align the new group of images so it takes up most of your frame, then ungroup the images so they're just bare frames.

  8. Repeat steps 4, 6 and 7 for as many images as you have. I did it in batches of about 30, otherwise it seems to take forever and make my computer upset. Every time you add a new batch of frames, make sure they align with the other frames that are there.

  9. When all of your image frames are loaded, you can create a frame animation by finding the Timeline window and then pressing the "Create Timeline Animation" button. (source).

  10. Select all the images, click on the menu icon on the timeline window, and select "Make frames from layers."

  11. Select the all the frames and then play with how long you want your images to appear by changing the frame delay.

  12. Go to File->Export->Render Video, then render it as whatever format you want. I chose mp4. Check out your video! It will be abrupt and won't have any music, but that will be fixed next. My PSD was so big my computer almost died, so after the video was done, I moved on to a new PSD to add music, text, and whatnot.

  13. Create a new HDTV Photoshop document, and then create a video timeline.

  14. Click on the film strip next to Video Group 1 on the left-hand side of the Timeline panel, select "Add media...", and then add your video. Add any images/black backgrounds/etc that you may need to that same group. The square icon next to the scissors will allow you to put cross fades and other simple transitions between the components of your video group.

  15. To add text, make a new text layer and then, in the Layers panel, drag it outside of your video group. You can place it wherever you want and fade it in and out as you can the images.

  16. From there, add your audio track by clicking the menu with the music note and clicking "Add audio..." I picked Iced Spring Theme by Peter Rudenko from opsound.org.

Voila! You're good to go. You just made a timelapse movie with intro and sound and all you needed was a cell phone camera and Photoshop.