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time lapse photographyTime-lapse photography 6 Inspiring Time-Lapse Videos To Watch The World Go By [Stuff to Watch] 6 Inspiring Time-Lapse Videos To Watch The World Go By [Stuff to Watch] Time-lapse photography is an effective technique for showing the passing of time using still images shot over controlled intervals. While many sequences look complex and difficult to achieve, time-lapse photography is in fact a fairly... Read More is a method of showing the passing of time from what is usually a fixed viewpoint, sometimes incorporating a pan, zoom or sweep. The technique uses still photos shot at regular intervals which are then combined into a motion graphic sequence and the results can be spectacular.

A hyper-lapse uses this same time lapse photography technique, but instead of a fixed viewpoint the camera is moving, giving the impression of smooth glides or massive speed in addition to the rapid passing of time. Last week there was a rather special hyper-lapse video in the news, as well as a WebGL experiment Play, Learn & Experience New Web Technologies With Chrome Experiments Play, Learn & Experience New Web Technologies With Chrome Experiments The Chrome Experiments website is a showcase for all things new and exciting when it comes to web technologies and browser advancements, with a focus on JavaScript. HTML5, canvas, SVG and the 3D WebGL engine... Read More that lets you create your own.

So on that topical note here are seven of the best hyper-lapse videos I could find, all of them from the photography-conscious Vimeo 6 Top Picks From the 2012 Vimeo Awards [Stuff to Watch] 6 Top Picks From the 2012 Vimeo Awards [Stuff to Watch] There are a seemingly endless number of websites to choose from when it comes to sharing video, each with its own audience and style. If YouTube is the everyman’s stomping ground then Vimeo is arguably... Read More .

Google Street View Hyper-Lapse

Already quite famous and reported right across the Web, the Google Street View Hyperlapse has absolutely nothing to do with Google themselves (for a change). Instead it is the work of Teehan and Lax Labs and utilises WebGL rendering technology (so you’ll need Chrome or a similar WebGL enabled browser), the Google Maps API and liberal helping of JavaScript What is JavaScript and How Does It Work? [Technology Explained] What is JavaScript and How Does It Work? [Technology Explained] Read More .

The results are spectacular, particularly because Teehan and Lax have supplied the tools with which to create your own. None of the hyper-lapses I’ve tried to recreate are quite as smooth and impressive as the video below, but it’s still the coolest thing anyone’s managed to achieve with all that Google Street View data.


Make your own at

Berlin Hyper-Lapse

This video uses time-lapse and hyper-lapse techniques to show off the beauty and historic architecture of Germany’s capital city. Note the sequence when the camera is rushing toward the Brandenburg Gate as being a fantastic example of hyper-lapse photography, as well as the “3D” feel of the movie as the camera pans liberally around while keeping a select few subjects seemingly in the same place.

In addition to being a photographic masterpiece, creating such a movie requires a lot of patience when it comes to editing. Footage was shot on a Nikon D7000 with a simple tripod and two lenses, an 18-105mm and a longer 70-300mm and the resulting footage had to be stabilised manually, frame-by-frame.

Time of Rio

Another video shot using both time-lapse and hyper-lapse techniques, Time of Rio is a beautiful visualisation of the passing of time in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. This is another video that doesn’t solely rely on hyper-lapse but also time-lapse, footage shot on rails as well as a few hand-held sequences.

The opening of the movie uses hyper-lapse to travel down Copacabana beach with a thin blade of focus to great effect. The footage was captured over the course of a few months and then edited in Light Room, touched up in After Effects before being thrown into Final Cut X for the uh… final cut.

A Massive GoPro Array

Marc is a very lucky boy, and a clever one at that. He’s managed to get himself a considerable number of GoPro cameras and used them to great effect in building an array. This coverage allows him to achieve a 3D effect by which subjects appear frozen in the air while the camera pans around them. This of course isn’t possible in real life, and it’s the angle of coverage Marc built into his rig that makes it possible.

The true hyper-lapse moments come at the very start and end of the film, particularly where Marc is talking to the camera about his idea. This bit is particularly well-shot, and I’m incredibly impressed with the lip-syncing achieved. Just another reason to buy a ridiculous amount of GoPro cameras, as if I already needed one.

Brisbane Time-Lapse & Hyper-Lapse

The Australian city of Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland, and a rather beautiful modern metropolis on the east coast of the continent-sized nation. This might not be the smoothest of movies but it certainly does Brisbane justice, showing off the natural, historical and cutting-edge nature of the city in just under two and a half minutes.

There are a few beautiful hyper-lapse shots, particular of a panning around the CBD and a journey through the Queen Street Mall. Also included are the obligatory time-lapse photography sequences and the result is a true homage to what is a fantastic part of the world.

Vienna Hyper-Lapse

An incredible piece of work that is made up mostly of hyper-lapse shots of Austria’s capital, this particular video plays out more like a tourism promotional than an exercise in photography. The editing techniques and fantastically smooth motion point to a seriously professional team behind this one, who shot and edited over the course of 2012 and 2013.

In total there were 14 days of shooting over the course of three months which resulted in more than 16,000 photographs requiring 48 hours of post processing. Once the source photos had been edited into shape it only took 40 hours (!) worth of video editing before this video was ready to go. Let that be a lesson – these techniques have the power to thrill and amaze, but also eat into your professional and personal life in a massive way.

Camtrac Time-Lapse

Finally for a little bit of nature to finish off this article here is a film shot by Dan Eckert using a Camtrac which is a dolly used to transport a camera for super-still shots. I don’t think Dan could have done much better with this almost-$2000 piece of kit (though you can get cheaper versions for much less on eBay) as he puts it through its paces in Death Valley, California.

Have you seen any good motion time-lapse or hyper-lapse videos recently? Have you tried creating your own with Google Street View? Fill us in on the details in the comments, below.

  1. 2Sheds
    June 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks for this interesting and informative post.

    For other examples, I know this partially reflects my home town bias, but I've always found this to be a stunning work:

    "City Rising" (Toronto Timelapse)
    from Tom Ryaboi

    The sound track is also tremendous.

    • Tim Brookes
      June 25, 2013 at 3:52 am

      Magnificent! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. pettypoh
    June 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    tried doing one in 2012, you can see it here hope you guys like it =)

    • Tim Brookes
      June 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Hey that was really good, thanks for posting!

      • pettypoh
        June 23, 2013 at 3:59 am

        thanks tim, btw i just completed a new timelapse featuring "gardens by the bay" in Singapore - - do take a look and let me know what you guys think

        • Tim Brookes
          June 25, 2013 at 3:47 am

          Again - very interesting! And a beautiful city. My parents went last year for a short stop-over and they were amazed by it. I've been through Changi airport twice but I've still not seen the city - it's on my to-do list!

        • null
          June 25, 2013 at 3:56 am

          hi tim, you have my email, drop me a line when you are thinking of coming to singapore =)

  3. Jay M
    April 30, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Thanks for the article! Is there a way to save the Google Street View hyperlapses I choose? It's great to choose and see them, but it'd wonderful to save and edit them.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 30, 2013 at 4:09 am

      I've not actually found a way to do so, no - which is a shame. I'm not sure where the legalities lie (I'm guessing the guys who created the tool feel the same) as Google own the images but are generally quite relaxed about people doing things with a lot of their products.

      If you do find a way then please do share it with us, though!

  4. OussamaTBB
    April 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    this is a great article ^^
    I was interested in photo lapse years ago but didn't know the name :D
    then I stumbled on the name here in and I downloaded the Android app called "Lapseit" it's perfect ...give it a try ;)
    thanks for the great efforts spent on spreading such huge much of infos
    keep it up

  5. Uzair Ahmed
    April 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I saw the Google Street-View Hyper-lapse video a few days back and was completely blown away! This is absolutely amazing. Thank you for other videos too!

  6. Chris Marcoe
    April 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This will definitely be getting a look from me. It sounds like a great little piece of software.

  7. Nevzat A
    April 23, 2013 at 4:48 am

    This is a very interesting technology and it's amazing to see as ordinary people can use it with their phones and software. Hi-tech in our hands!

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