Have you ever looked into the skies and wondered if anything was really up there? We obviously cannot be alone in this universe; scientists have proved that billions of other planets exist in the universe. Surely, on some of those planets, life must exist. Perhaps it does. How else does one explain Pugs?
Some of the strangest things upon this earth are surely not the result of the normal stock of human ingenuity. For example, have you ever looked at Lady Gaga on stage and wondered if she was from this planet? Do you really think Avatar was filmed in studios? How do automatic doors know when a person is approaching? It’s either aliens or little magical elves. Take your pick.
Recently, we had an alien encounter on our campus. This was actually shot last year, during spring break. Unfortunately, the aliens seemed to have thought that the film style was still 1920s. This footage was left on my youtube channel. Such a strange way of making contact. I honestly don’t even understand the aliens’ humor.
Ok, maybe not. To be honest, the video had been on my hard drive since last spring break. Me, being bored and intoxicated by too much heavily-sweetened hot tea, decided to make this video…. or did I?
Once again, I am straying from my normal mode of posting randomness to bring you a tutorial-type post. In this post, I am going to lay out my method of using a webcam, a laptop, free software, and Sony Vegas 9 (or freeware programs) to make a time lapse video.
First of all, I have a fairly good webcam, a Microsoft Studio, that is capable of shooting 1080p video and taking 8mp still shots, so the results of your time lapse will vary with the quality of camera. Various free programs exist that allow you to make time lapse videos, but most of them are either buggy or limited in function; I couldn’t use Tilaphos to shoot in HD, and Booru is pretty buggy.
The solution to my problem lay in a very simple method of image capture. The laptop is not able to be used for other functions while it is capturing the image, but that was no big deal to me. My solution is to use a software auto-clicker to press the photo button at a certain interval.
- Download the auto-clicker here. (This is safe software that I’ve had no trouble with; no installation is required.) Unzip the .zip file and save the folder to a location that is easy for you to find.
- Open your webcam software and browse to a screen that shows a capture image button. For those of us with Microsoft webcams, this is a little image of a camera.
- Once you have opened the software and have your webcam pointed at your subject, open the auto-clicker. Set the point at which you want the mouse to click by clicking “Locate” and then clicking on the image capture button.
- Set the time interval (how often the software will capture an image) in the “Click Interval” section. The units are milliseconds, so if you want to take a picture every 5 seconds, set the first number to 5000. Ignore the second number, and leave the “To” box unchecked.
- Make sure that “Left Button” is selected, and set the number of clicks if you wish. (If you set the interval at 5000 ms, and you want to record for an hour, set the value to 720. Click the Start button and let take pictures for as long as you want.
- To turn your images into a time lapse in Sony Vegas, open the program, go to Options > Preferences > Editing, and set the “New image still length” to .050. When you insert the images into your timeline, the images will be the right length to play back at 30fps. Tweak your output settings to whatever you want; I set mine at 8mbps 1080 30fps in .wmv format.
- Alternate: If you do not have Sony Vegas, here is a tutorial detailing how to make a time lapse with various free programs. I recommend using Virtual Dub.
Here’s the result!
Have fun! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.