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So, I've been trying to get into taking time-lapse photos. I already have a number of sample images of melting snow, in panorama. (I'd like to do all four seasons somewhere.)

My question is: what methods exist of blending photos together? I could simply do averages, but I've learned from taking Harvard CS50x that the way in which panoramas are made is that the computer finds the shortest distance between the edges of the photos and stitches them together. Is there a way to do something similar to fade completely different images together?

Are there any well known techniques or software for doing this?

Thanks.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking to make a single resulting image, or are you creating a time-lapse video? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Dec 23, 2019 at 16:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ More of a time-lapse video. I'm not quite sure how snow-melt would be represented in a single image, but I'm open to dieas \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2019 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Two things: 1. video is off-topic at Photo-SE. Video Production exists for video production. 2. Open-ended, list-oriented, idea-generating style questions don't work well here, or almost any Stack Exchange. Is there a specific problem you're having? What have you tried, and how has that not worked out? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Dec 23, 2019 at 16:32

3 Answers 3

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The starters the easiest is simply to assemble images into a video. This will already give you a time-lapse. Any tool that can create a video from images can do this. ffmpeg is a popular free utility with lots of options but will give you something without much trouble. See this SuperUser question for details and other options.

The second level is to align images to reduce shake. Shooting from a tripod is really important as it minimizes shake but it is possible that the framing shifted during a long time-lapse. In this case you can use either a tool to align images before merging (such as align_image_stack as detailed here) or use the stabilize feature available in many video editing software.

With long running time-lapse, you may have huge intervals between frames which causes the final video to be jerky due to the slow capture rate or if you render it at a reasonable speed (24+ FPS), it may be too short for your liking or too fast for viewers. For such cases, you need to look at Motion Interpolation which creates in between frames. This is usually a feature of higher-end video editing software but I'm not up to date, so you have to search online to find out which current ones offer this feature.

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You can convert the images directly to video frames using something like this: http://www.candylabs.com/videovelocity You generally need a lot of images for this to be successful.

You can use a slide show program like Proshow Gold to fade each image into the next image. This works best if you only have a few images to work with. http://www.photodex.com/proshow/gold

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There's this handy software called FantaMorph. I guess this is the fade you're refering to.

Capture-wise, this is what I'd do:

  1. set camera on a tripod in a secure location (meaning no wind could knock it over)
  2. Set up your interval remote timer. (not sure about community standards regarding linking to amazon/ebay, but I'm sure you're one google away of finding out what one is and what the cost is).
  3. set it and forget it
  4. Stitch it together into a movie using any software you like.
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