GoPro Time-Lapse Video: Using a GoPro for Time-Lapse Videos

Time-lapses are a sure-fire way to captivate and mesmerize your audience. There is just something hypnotic about watching clouds and weather patterns transcending across the open sky. What used to be a difficult process is now quite easy with a GoPro. With just a little bit of navigation on the user interface, you can make your own GoPro time-lapse video in no time.

What is a GoPro time-lapse?

A GoPro time-lapse will take a series of photos, and stitch them together in a video, making it look like time is moving very quickly. In the olden days, making a time-lapse video was very difficult. It would require taking many, many photos, at a consistent time interval, and then stitching them together in post-production. Today, it is much easier with GoPro. The camera will automatically take photos and stitch them together, so you can set it and forget it. Additionally, time-lapses are easier to alter in post-production than ever before, in large part due to GoPro's software. 

How to create a time-lapse video using a GoPro

  1. Stability. The most important thing for making a GoPro time-lapse video is a stable camera. The camera must be completely still for it to look good. More advanced videographers can incorporate camera movement, but this is not recommended for beginners. Some form of tripod will probably be necessary.
  2. Framing. Framing is important for any shot, including time-lapses. Follow the fundamentals of the rule of one-third. Make sure the horizon is parallel with the top third or bottom third for a nice clean look. Time-lapses take a long time to film, and you don't want all that time going to waste due to bad framing.
  3. Know frames per second.  One way or another, time-lapses will take a long time to film. The frames per second and timing intervals will determine how much time is needed to make a time-lapse video. We recommend filming at 60 frames per second (FPS). This will give you more flexibility while editing in terms of adjusting clip duration. If you're just testing out this feature, you can go down to 24 FPS to cut back on filming time. However, 24 FPS can degrade the video quality, especially if you change the clip speed while editing.
  4. Time intervals. Time intervals are also a key factor in the filming time of time-lapses. The time interval will indicate how much time passes before taking a new picture. For example, a time interval of "10" will capture an image every ten seconds. So if you are filming at a frame rate of 24 FPS with a time interval of 10, a 30-second video clip will take two hours to film. Lower time intervals take less time to film, but will require more memory than higher time intervals.
  5. Know your Subject. Knowing your subject will also determine the best time interval to use. If it is something quick, like a sunrise or sunset, then you want to use a lower time interval. If it is something long, like watching clouds pass over a landscape for an entire day, then you will want to use a higher time interval. 

Roxio Creator can help

After you've filmed your time-lapse, using a professional video editor can help complete your masterpiece. Roxio Creator is such an editor.  With this editing software, you can adjust the timing of your GoPro time-lapse clip, crop & trim as needed, and use lens correction to remove the fisheye distortion that is common on GoPros.

If you need to burn your final product to a DVD, check out the Roxio Creator NXT Pro. This new software allows for seamless disc burning with encryption if needed. If you are keeping video digital, Creator NXT Pro allows for easy file conversion to multiple formats compatible with YouTube, Vimeo, and others. 

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