Our client just gave us an external HDD with 180 GB of images in a directory structure like this: /1013/02/18/04/02/12/2013_02_18_-_04_02_12.jpg (or something like that). We need to get all images into a TimeLapse, but Premiere isn't really capable of loading up all the images, so we need to convert all these images into a movie file first. Does anyone have any suggestions for software capable of doing this? Preferably for OSX.

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    This might be better suited to the AV stack? Its a sort of stop-motion type question you see... – Digital Lightcraft Jul 4 '13 at 10:03
  • Good point, I'll put it on there after I sort it out with the answers so far! Thanks – Tim Baas Jul 4 '13 at 11:00
  • I think that basically any answer under this question about making a timelapse on linux will work. – mattdm Jul 4 '13 at 12:16
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    What is Premiere doing wrong? Does it hang with such an amount of data? Or something else? – Saaru Lindestøkke Jul 4 '13 at 16:00
  • Well, I drop in the main folder and after two hours it's not even 10% done. Also I don't think it's an Image Sequence after importing because the images are in different folders. – Tim Baas Jul 5 '13 at 8:41

You can use ffmpeg. I use it to make animation out of plots saved as png files. The manual show lots of options, but in my case I use just:

ffmpeg -i frame_%06d.png -f image2 -sameq -r 24 out.mp4

It will convert files named as frame_0000001.png, frame_0000002.png ... to a mp4 video with 24 fps. Its quite fast and it doesn't consume lots of memory (like Imagemagick do).

  • Thanks, I was trying to install ffmpeg through brew but it didn't really work out, so I'm trying ImageMagick first now. – Tim Baas Jul 4 '13 at 10:58
  • Try ffmpegmac.net a binary version of ffmpeg. – corion Jul 4 '13 at 11:04
  • ImageMagick didn't work out either, so thanks for the binary-version, trying it now! – Tim Baas Jul 4 '13 at 11:54

I would first use file management tools to copy out all the files into a single directory. On PC, this can easily be accomplished with my file manager of choice, Total Commander, by doing a find on the directory tree for all .jpg, sending the results to the list and then selecting and copying from the list to another folder.

Once all the files are in a single folder, you would want to sort them by date and then apply a rename operation to associated a counter value to them. This can also be done on PC using Total Commander with the multi-rename tool which allows you to replace the filenames with a fixed title and a counter value.

Once they have the same name and a counter, it is a simple matter of importing as a image sequence. This will preserve the highest possible quality since the original files are still being used. You will probably have to produce a rendered version to actually be able to work with it though and use it as an offline file replacement. Working with a 180gb image sequence is going to be quite difficult to work with in real time in any editing software.

  • Thanks for your explanation on the file restructuring and renaming, I found muCommander to do this with. There's a lot of suggestions on converting to video, so I guess I can work that out.. – Tim Baas Jul 5 '13 at 8:42
  • @Tim - once you have them as images with something like MyVideoTitle_000001.jpg, MyVideoTitle_000002.jpg, etc, when you go in to import it, there should simply be an Image Sequence check box that you can click when you choose the 000001 file. It will then import it as a video. Sorry if that wasn't clear from my answer. For the offline file version, just run a render in Premiere of the clip and then do a Replace Clip and when you are done making edits, replace the clip with the original. That way your final render will use the maximum quality source. – AJ Henderson Jul 5 '13 at 13:14
  • Also, let me know if you have any other questions on this. I do this kind of thing all the time with image sequence renders out of SoftImage that I bring in to Premiere or After Effects. – AJ Henderson Jul 5 '13 at 13:17

I think you could do it with Imagemagick

Take a look to the docs, but it's probably something as simple as:

convert /1013/02/18/04/02/12/*.jpg output.avi
  • I'll take a shot at this and let you know, thanks! – Tim Baas Jul 4 '13 at 10:58
  • Can I do /*/*/*/*/*.jpg? I may have missed an asterisk but is possible? – Tim Baas Jul 4 '13 at 11:05
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    it should work, the arguments are expanded by the shell itself, but if there are way too many arguments it might exceed its limits (they are generous, but not infinite)... if it doesn't work you might need to merge in smaller batches. – fortran Jul 4 '13 at 11:07
  • There's a little more than 120.000 images to convert.. The process is now running, but I don't see the avi yet, so I guess I have to wait for it to complete to see if it worked out.. – Tim Baas Jul 4 '13 at 11:13

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