SO the idea is to create a wall of sticky notes. At this event every time someone enters they have to write something inspirational on a sticky note on the wall. And then stick it. Now I want to make a timelapse video for this. But I'm not sure how timelapse works. What time frames should I keep? How often to take the picture, and then I know when I tried making a clouds timelapse my camera (600D Canon) would not focus, even on manual. And therefore wouldn't take the picture. Any ideas?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is several questions, and fairly open ended. Have you researched the topic at all? Best to read up then come back and ask about specific questions or issue you're having. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Jul 10, 2014 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ As far as frames, a good way to start is to work out how long you will be shooting (say an hour), and how long you want the video to be (say 30 seconds). For 30 seconds at say 30 frames per second, you need 900 shots, over an hour, which is one every 4 seconds I think \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Jul 10, 2014 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the image is only changing when a new note is put up, you only need one shot after each note is put up. If you want to capture people moving in and interacting with the wall, then you'll want a shot every certain interval. One "expensive" way I've done this in the past is to just video the entire event and then edit the video to playback at whatever speed I needed to get the exact run time I wanted. Most video cameras today can easily fit 8 hours or more video on one card - you can reduce the quality if you know you're just going to speed it up. Uses GIGs of space, but simple to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jasmine
    Jul 10, 2014 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


But I'm not sure how timelapse works.

A time lapse movie is simply a sequence of photos taken over time, usually at regular intervals.

What time frames should I keep?

All of them, unless there are reasons to throw some away. For example, if you continue taking photos throughout a day, all night, and into the next day, you might decide to toss the night ones if you can't see much or very little is happening. That will of course produce a noticeable jump in the movie, much like a cut from one scene to another.

How often to take the picture

That's up to you. What's the target length of the movie, the number of frames per second, and the real period of time covered? For example, if you want to compress 8 hours into 1 minute, you'd calculate:

60 seconds at 24 frames/second = 1440 frames needed
8 hours * 3600 seconds/hour = 28800 seconds to cover
28800 seconds/1440 frames = 20 seconds/frame

So for this example you would set your camera to take 1 frame every 20 seconds. I don't think the 600D has a built-in intervalometer, so you might need to buy one of those.

when I tried making a clouds timelapse my camera (600D Canon) would not focus, even on manual

If you set your camera on manual focus, it should take a photo no matter where you set the focus. If you're having trouble in this respect you may need to ask another question with more information, or just check your owners manual.

For time lapse movies you'll probably want to set your camera on manual focus and leave it at the same setting throughout.


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