Creating a time-lapse video using your GoPro camera

If you are the proud owner of a GoPro Hero 4 Black camera, or as a matter of fact any GoPro Hero action camera, you might not know that you can create some fascinating time-lapse videos.

Further, you will read how can you get the best result when you are creating a time-lapse video with your action camera.

Because I have already mentioned the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition, let me tell you that the action camera is really close to perfection.

It has the best slow motion capability, at 120 frames per second, 1080p, full HD resolution, letting you capture an event even if it is extremely short, such as a water drop, over a period of time.

But wouldn't it be interesting if you would do exactly the opposite? That would be to take some hours of the same event and compress it in just a few second.

There are some steps you have to follow to perfectly do that:

1. Think about something that is worth time-lapsing

The best things that you can time-lapse, are stationary scenarios, where only a certain element is changeable: the city at sunrise or sunset, the construction of something, a port with all the boats leaving and arriving, and so on.

2. Placing the camera

In order for you to obtain a good video, you will have to find a spot where you can firmly place the camera, and to make sure that the camera won't move not even a little bit for a long period of time.

The advantage is that a GoPro has a myriad of its own that will perfectly do this job for you.

3. Setting the GoPro for the time-lapse

Go to your Settings menu and from the grid icon option you will choose the still image capture size, which will have to be 12MP wide, that is actually the maximum that the camera supports. From the Settings menu you will also have to choose the time that the camera will wait between the shots.

4. Press and sit back

On the fourth step of the process you are only supposed to press the shutter button once.. and that's that. A quick suggestion would be not to wait near the camera but find something to do because it will probably take a lot of time.

5. Importing the images

When one of the three factors will knuckle under (battery, storage or your patience), you will simply have to connect the camera to your PC as you would normally do, open the GoPro Studio and click the “Import new files” button. The program will automatically detect the relevant pictures and you will see that you will be told that it's “Building Reference Movie”. This means that the pictures are ready to be compressed in a time-lapse movie, you will only have to click the “add clip to conversion list” and then confirm it by clicking “convert”.

6. Edit your video for better results

After the conversion is done, you will have to click on the “proceed to step two” option and you will be redirected to a pretty good video editor. After dragging the video you will see that a cropped version of your movie will appear on your screen.

Experiment with the framing option for you to see what it can do. If you are not happy with the result press “reset all”.

7. Add keyframes to have a much more professional result

Even if this is not really basic video editing, not adding them would be a shame because you would lose some extra image resolution. For example, you can introduce zoom for you to have the sense of movement.

Do to that, you will have to press the plus button under the framing sliders, and this will insert a keyframe right at that point in your video. Before doing that, make sure that the yellow edit line is at the beginning of the video, because you will now have to move it at the end of the video. Click the plus button again, zoom as far as you want (you can even go to 75%). Check if the zooming is working by dragging the yellow line over the keyframe to see if you have that movement feeling.

8. Add some spit and polish

This is the point where you can adjust the saturation, and contrast of your images. Also, the “video” tab will allow you to add fade in and out effect on your video. Add some music on the background of the video and drag all that below the video track.

9. See the magic happen

Export the video by clicking the top right button, select 1080 HD, choose where you want the video to be saved and hit “export”. After doing that, you will be able to see the results and share it with your friends.