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How to make a stop-motion video from automatically taken photos

Posted on December 9th, 2008 by Neil Crosby. Filed under Blog Posts.

About a month ago now I showed you how to set up your Mac to automatically take photos. Hopefully by now you should have a good selection of photos, and you’ll be wondering what you can do with them.

The answer? Make a video!

For this make you’ll need to have a copy of QuickTime Pro. Yes, I know you have to pay for this, but it works quickly and makes good quality videos. If you don’t want to use QuickTime Pro, there are other free alternatives available (I’ve had MEncoder mentioned to me), but I’ve not used them myself.

Making a video out of sequenced images is easy with Quicktime Pro – just make sure your images are all in one folder, select a photo from that folder using the File/Open Image Sequence menu option, choose a frame rate and wait.

Of course, things aren’t quite that easy. For one thing, Quicktime Pro doesn’t actually work with full folders of images – instead it works with sequences of images within a folder. So, if you selected horse1.jpg as the initial photo then only images matching /horse\n+\.jpg/ would be sued to create the resultant video. Likewise, if the images were named in the format YYYMMDD-hhmmss.jpg then the video created would only contain images for a certain day, due to that pesky dash.

Unfortunately, that was the original filename format autocamcapture used. It doesn’t use that format any more, but all you early adopters will need to rename your images. Thankfully, that’s pretty damn easy to do. Just enter the following:

cd ~/Pictures/autocamcapture
for file in *.jpg; do mv $file `echo $file | sed 's/-//g'`; done

Your images will suddenly all be in the format YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.jpg and Quicktime Pro will happily register them as all one sequence.

So, that’s all there is to it. Have you been using the autocamcapture script? Yes? Then go make a video and add it to the autocamcapture pool on Flickr.

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One Response to “How to make a stop-motion video from automatically taken photos”

  1. we used your software to record us packing up our old office.

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