In May, 2018, I had the great fortune to be invited to teach a workshop to the SMPS-SFBAC chapter. The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) is the only professional organization dedicated exclusively to benchmarking and leading marketing in the A/E/C industry. Their members are marketing and communications professionals who work in architecture, construction, engineering, and other building- and development-related fields. Their Digital Marketing Bootcamp on May 18, 2018 was a chance for me to share ideas, techniques, and examples on moving beyond just still photography to showcase their firms’ projects and explore using what I call New Technology Visuals as a way of setting their firms apart and getting noticed.
One of the New Tech. Visuals that we discussed at the workshop was time-lapse video. Included below is the brief 3-minute video shown during the presentation to demonstrate the step-by-step process to get started creating a time-lapse using the Persecond app from Flixel Software. As I said during the workshop, time lapse videos can be created with almost any video editing program, as well as many standalone apps. I happen to like Persecond because it can process even hundreds of images quickly, it gives me tight control of frame rate and trimming, it allows me some control over export size and format, and that’s it — it doesn’t try to do too much but it does those things very well. I may sound like a pitch man but I swear I’m not affiliated, just a happy user!
As for capturing the images initially, as I explained at the workshop remember that the “time lapse” setting on most phone cameras isn’t really time lapse, but rather hyper-lapse. On this setting, the camera is actually recording continuous video and then playing it back at a higher than normal rate. Other than the larger-than-necessary file size for all that video, this hyper lapse may work well over a relatively small time frame of a few seconds or so. But imagine how large that video file would be if you tried to record over many hours or even days!
Instead, I’ve found a reasonable iPhone app called Camera TimerDC that allows me pretty good control over rate and duration of capture. It’ll also capture frame-by-frame video at anywhere from 10 frames per second, to one frame every 10 seconds, and it’ll also stitch all these frames together for you in to a video file, although it’s functionality is pretty limited. For the actual creating of the time lapse video from the existing frames, I prefer Persecond. As we talked about in the workshop, remember to keep your phone camera immobile during your time lapse, preferably on a small tripod, to avoid having the frame jump around and distract your viewer from your message.
If you’d also like to review the Cinemagraph demonstration and learn more about the app I discussed at the workshop for making cinemagraph videos, Cinemagraph Pro, please see my other blog post demonstrating How to Make a Cinemagraph.