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Thread: Fast Motion/Time Lapse Video

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Chicago IL

    Default Fast Motion/Time Lapse Video

    Hey all,

    I'm a new member here, hoping to gather some advice and tips on an issue I have. I've been editing footage for over ten years but I recently filmed most of my entire drive from Chicago to Phoenix with a dashboard mounted Flip Ultra. However, now i have hours and hours of footage that i'd like to compile and make a short video of the entire drive. Problem is I cant seem to find any editing software or tips on how to speed it up to shorten the amount of time it takes to watch quite dramatically and still have it be fluid/not choppy.

    So i put this out to the hobbyists and pros at this forum, hopefully someone has some suggestions.


  2. #2


    It would help to know what software you've used, the techniques you've tried, your hardware specs and your output format. T might also be useful to upload sample inputs and outputs.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Chicago IL


    hey there,

    so far i've tried using a couple different editing programs like corel x4, live movie maker, and quicktime pro. All of them can only speed up the footage so fast without it loosing frames or looking choppy, etc.

    What i'm hoping for may not be possible. I was really just hoping to speed up the footage a large amount without having it skip between frames.

    My hardware setup isnt great for editing, laptop running a core 2 duo processor on windows vista, 3gb ram.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Are you saying the flip-camera was on continuously - surely not? If you have taken stills we need to know.
    Not sure about above, so don't know about the Choppy comment you made.

    Many here use Vegas and Vegas Studio is almost up with "pro" software at bargain prices.....but whilst it has many capabilities it will take a while to learn and you do need a powerful PC (this is true for most Editing processes). Quad core, plenty of RAM, separate Graphics card like 1G and SATA drives - - - no USB externals.b However, this is cart in front of horse - your Question was about "how" - but you need to make the situation much clearer... well, for me anyway.

    I use v10, but Sony Vegas Studio 11 is the latest version and I'd suggest you get the "Production Suite" (under USD50?), if only for the included SoundForge audio program that you may find you need (To replace the in-car audio!) to make up Foley (that's "atmosphere", so no-one notices). Architect is a semi-separate program to make BlueRay or DVD's to play on regular TV players.

    I think you should start with a 5min short trip, say down to a Fresh and Easy, + the parking should be easy too.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 11-17-2011 at 08:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Chicago IL


    Hey there,

    For the most part it was on continuously. I stopped recording after dark, but it has a 2hr life so i would simply pull over every two hours and flip batteries and upload the footage to my laptop. So I do have a ton of just clips that all together equal the entire trip. I was just going to mute it as well to avoid the in-car noise and maybe throw a music track on top of it.

    Maybe i'm not being clear enough but basically i have around 12 hours of footage. I'd like to combine them (simple with any editing software) and then speed it up to a fast motion, fluid clip. Much like time lapse would do but with video footage.

    Last edited by RUGGNATION; 11-18-2011 at 03:39 AM.

  6. #6


    Flip cameras record at 720p at 30 fps (constant frame-rate); and store video as progressive scan, H.264 video compression, AAC audio compression, MP4 file format.
    12 hours of video = 1,296,000 frames. (i.e. 12*60*60*30)
    If the final 'speeded up' video, for example, lasted 10 minites. It would only contain 18,000 frames.

    The problem is that for each 'speeded up' frame, 72 realtime frames will have elapsed. Jerkiness will be more noticeable because each frame is only a sample made every 2.4 seconds . Action occuring in the other 71 frames will be lost.

    Alternatively, some software may be able to merge all the 72 frames into 1. The jerkiness will disapear, but results will contain (very) blurry.

    I have no knowledge of the Chicago to Pheonix road. But, I might guess there are some parts where alot happens; and long bits where nothing much change.
    It may be that you could get better results by speeding up different parts of the journey, at different speeds; to help reduce jerkiness.

  7. #7


    Perhaps some of the jerkiness can be avoided if the clip (with the aid of 'motion tracking' perhaps) is edited so that the horizon is fixed in position. On less smooth verhicles, because of a verhicle's suspension, the horizon can wander up and down alot.

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