How to Make Time Lapse Video from Images

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One might need to make video from a series of images, e.g. in making a time lapse video. While there are a bunch of specialized softwares out there, I prefer the good old reliable method of using VirtualDubMod (virtual dub modified). Creating a video out of images using VDubMod is very simple and VirtualDubMod is a free software. Make sure you download the full package. It usually comes as a zipped folder with all the files, you just have to extract it and you are good to go. I would also recommend installing Xvid codec (free) which I am going to use for the video compression. Note: If you already have AutoGK installed then you don’t need to download VirtualDubMod again as it is there inside the AutoGK installation directory.

Here are the steps involved in the creation of the video. For linux based tutorial check here.

1. Launch the VirtualDubMod.exe file.

2. Select File > Open video file and select the first frame (image) of the series of images that you have. Wait till it opens all the images/frames.

Thats right you can open image file with VirtualDubMod and it would automatically detect all the remaining images as different frames, however for this to happen the images have to be named sequentially. If that is not the case you can do a batch rename and resize (i.e. do it for the entire lot in one go) using IrfanView (basic free image editing software).

3. If you want to add some background music (highly recommended for timelapses), then goto Streams > Stream list and add the audio file you want to use for the video. You can skip this step if you don’t want to add any audio/music.

Choose an audio file that is opensource or your personal creation if you want to upload your video on a public website. Further I am going to use decide the frame rate based on the length of the audio file. With this I don’t need to trim my audio file to match the total video length.

Step 4: To apply the desired frame rate for the video select Video > Frame rate from the main menu.

You can use predefined frame rates or force your own if you haven’t added any audio, of let VirtualDubMod choose a frame rate to match the length of audio file. I went with the last option. For time lapses the ideal frame rate depends on the number of frames you have and the desired duration of the video. i.e. Frame rate = No. of frames/duration in seconds.

Step 5: Now you are ready to save your video. Select File > Save As from main menu. Here you need to select the compression by choosing the codec.

On the save as box, click on Change button to choose the compression and the codec. I would recommend to go with Xvid codec which we have already installed.

Also click on Configure to ensure that you have Single-pass selected for the encoding mode. Go ahead and save the video. The encoding process would depend on your computer speed and the number of frames you are using. Let it finish and you would have your time-lapse video ready to be shown.

A sample time lapse video made using the above process is here:


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About the Author

has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

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