The Ultimate Guide to Making a Time Lapse Video

Jan 6, 2024


Welcome to Bonomotion's ultimate guide to making a time lapse video. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned filmmaker, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information and techniques you need to create stunning and captivating time lapse videos that will engage your audience. With our expertise in advertising and video/film production, we are here to help you master the art of time lapse videography and elevate your visual storytelling.

What is a Time Lapse Video?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let's start by understanding what exactly a time lapse video is. A time lapse video is a technique used to capture a series of photos or frames at various intervals over a period of time and then compile them into a video sequence. This technique allows you to condense hours, days, or even months of real-time footage into a short video, revealing the passage of time in a visually captivating way.

The Benefits of Time Lapse Videos

Time lapse videos offer a multitude of benefits for businesses and creators. Here are just a few reasons why incorporating time lapse videos into your visual strategy can make a significant impact:

  • Engagement: Time lapse videos have the power to capture attention and engage viewers by showcasing dynamic and mesmerizing visuals.
  • Storytelling: With time lapse videos, you can effectively narrate a story by compressing time and showcasing the evolution or transformation of a subject or scene.
  • Showcasing Progress: Time lapse videos are ideal for documenting and showcasing long-term projects, construction processes, or creative endeavors, allowing viewers to witness progress in a condensed format.
  • Brand Differentiation: By incorporating time lapse videos into your marketing materials, you can set your brand apart from competitors and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

The Process of Creating a Time Lapse Video

Creating a time lapse video involves several essential steps. Let's explore each of them in greater detail:

Planning and Preparation

A well-executed time lapse video begins with careful planning and preparation. Here are some key considerations:

  • Subject: Choose a subject that experiences noticeable change over time. This could be a bustling cityscape, a blooming flower, or a construction site.
  • Location and Composition: Find the perfect shooting location and compose your frame to create visually appealing and balanced compositions.
  • Interval and Duration: Determine the interval between each frame capture and the overall duration of your time lapse. This will vary depending on the subject and the desired effect.
  • Lighting: Consider the lighting conditions and how they may change throughout the time lapse. Natural light transitions, such as sunrise or sunset, can add an extra element of visual interest.
  • Equipment: Ensure you have the necessary equipment, such as a sturdy tripod, a camera with manual controls, and ample storage space for the large number of frames you'll capture.

Capturing the Frames

Once you have completed the planning phase, it's time to start capturing the frames for your time lapse video. Follow these steps:

  1. Set Up: Position your camera on a stable tripod and frame your composition accordingly.
  2. Camera Settings: Adjust your camera settings to ensure consistency across frames. Use manual mode to have full control over exposure, focus, and white balance.
  3. Start Shooting: Activate the camera's intervalometer or use an external intervalometer to automatically capture frames at the desired intervals.
  4. Patience and Monitoring: Throughout the duration of the time lapse, be patient and monitor the progress, making any necessary adjustments if needed.

Post-Processing and Editing

Once you have captured all the necessary frames, it's time to bring them together and create your final time lapse video. Here's what you need to do:

  • Import and Organize: Transfer the frames to your computer and organize them into a dedicated folder for easy access.
  • Editing Software: Import the frames into a video editing software of your choice. Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or even free options like DaVinci Resolve are popular choices.
  • Assemble the Sequence: Arrange the frames in the desired order, adjusting the duration of each frame to control the pace of the time lapse.
  • Visual Enhancements: Apply color grading, adjust exposure, and make any necessary enhancements to ensure a visually striking time lapse video.
  • Adding Music and Sound Effects: Consider adding background music or sound effects to complement the visuals and elevate the overall viewing experience.
  • Exporting and Sharing: Export the final video in a suitable format and resolution, keeping in mind the intended platform or audience.

Advanced Techniques and Tips

To take your time lapse videos to the next level, consider implementing these advanced techniques:


A hyperlapse is an advanced time lapse technique that involves capturing frames while moving the camera over a long distance. This creates a dynamic and immersive effect, often used to showcase journeys or explore large environments.

Night Time Lapses

Night time lapses capture the magic of city lights, starry skies, and other nocturnal scenes. Experiment with longer exposures and adjust camera settings to achieve visually stunning night time lapses.

Long-Term Time Lapses

Long-term time lapses offer a unique perspective on slow processes or changes that occur over months or even years. Documenting the growth of a plant or the construction of a building can create captivating visual narratives.


Creating a time lapse video is a powerful and creative way to capture the passage of time and engage your audience. With our comprehensive guide, you now have the knowledge and techniques to embark on your time lapse journey. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of your creativity. Whether you are in the advertising industry or part of a video production team, mastering the art of time lapse videos will help you stand out from the competition and captivate your viewers. Start making your own time lapse videos today with Bonomotion by your side!

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