How To Use Time Lapse Scenes in Business Videos

Geranium Flower Time Lapse

To play this time lapse again, refresh the page.

While it does take a lot of time, a time lapse scene in your video can add a lot of production value to any business video. The question is your client’s budget. A very low budget video usually cannot justify the investment.

Since the process is different for every camera, we won’t get into the how-to details for every camera. You can shoot time lapse with any video camera including a smart phone.

1. Using a conventional digital video camera, you record 30 minutes of footage and speed it up in your editing program so it plays for 10 seconds. Many cameras have an “interval recording” recording option in which the camera automatically captures one frame or frames. Footage recorded by a camera with this recording option, does not require post production.

2. With a DSLR and an intervalometer, you record thousands of still photos and then produce the time lapse film using Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW plug-in for Photoshop or Adobe After Effects. This is the most powerful and popular technique.

3. Smart Phones too, For Iphones there’s an app called iTimeLapse. For Android phones there are several including one called Timelapse Free.


For any time lapse camera, you will need a good tripod. There is no hand-held in time lapse! There are many time lapse calculators on the Internet. Here’s an online calculator I recommend.

What Kind of Scene to Record in Time-Lapse

The primary requirement of any time lapse sequence is that there be motion. Something must be moving in the frame. It could be clouds, the sun, stars, people, cars or anything you can imagine. If the movement is too subtle, it looks more like a photograph than video and quickly becomes boring.

One of the most popular subjects of time lapse is the production or assembly process.

For instance, see this time lapse of the construction of a Boeing 737 airplane. This same approach can be used with the construction or assembly of smaller products.

Here’s a simple time lapse you could adapt to many businesses. This one shows the growth of Wal-Mart since its beginning in 1962.

Here’s one of a process showing a typical day in the life of a Kettle Korn concession stand. It’s used to entice people to start their own Kettle Corn Business.

Here’s a clever idea. A chalk artist is painting sidewalk art that is actually an ad for Nvideo. It was at staged at SIGGRAPH 2012

A Time Lapse sequence of a Wikipedia page being edited over a period of time.

A tried and true time lapse scene is the conference room, stadium or other venue filling up with people and then emptying. This technique could be used to demonstrate the popularity of a produce or brand.

If you don’t have the time or budget to produce a time lapse sequence, you can always buy one from a stock house for as little as $6 from Videohive.net or from gettyimages.com where you can spend $600 or more on one time lapse clip.

For some inspiration see time lapse reel from Dynasty Films

Show me your time lapse.

For other types of scenes for a business videos, see Professional Video Producer


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One thought on “How To Use Time Lapse Scenes in Business Videos

  1. Hal Post author

    Just received the following email about using time lapse in a business video:
    Hello Hal,
    I just read your article on time lapse for business videos, and thought it was pretty good. My first video as a business was a time lapse. Just wanted to pass along the link because you mentioned to show you our examples. Feel free to use it as an example if you see fit. The video is here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4AhvD-W0ZA

    It was 9 artists over 8 days, and was done with various DSLR’s with intervalometers. It took over 20,000 images to create this short 3 minute video. Thanks.

    Lee Wilson
    New Season Productions

    Reply

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