Time Lapse 101

Document your project from start to finish with compelling and engaging time lapse videos.

Time lapse is a great way to showcase your work or retain your memories. Long term time lapse can be elusive. From new construction to remodeling, contractor to sub-contractor, time lapse shows your entire story. Time lapse is equally suited for small projects, hobbies, artwork, events and more. People watch time lapse videos just to see the action unfold. From your web site to social media to trade shows or client gifts, consider adding time lapse as a component of your service. Here are some tips and tricks to successfully capture your next project in time lapse.

Why should I consider time lapse for my project?
Every builder, remodeler, landscaper, installer and others should consider time lapse documentation of their projects. Time lapse is a simple and inexpensive way to show your project from start to finish. The social media value can be huge, well done time lapse videos can receive high view counts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Go beyond before and after photos, with before, during and after time lapse video. Showcase your hard work and project details.

What camera should I use?
Many cameras are capable of time lapse, DSLRs, action cameras, smartphones and other solutions may all be great choices for a sunset or a quick event. Capturing anything beyond two hours can be challenging, costly and complex.

Battery life and weatherproofing are the biggest issues. We offer cameras dedicated to long term time lapse work. An Afidus camera is a low cost solution which will run for weeks or months on a set of standard AA batteries. Afidus cameras have features specifically for longer duration projects, including a timer to capture working hours only, a day of the week schedule to avoid weekends, full screen smartphone set-up, image alignment, a time lapse calculator and more.

The Afidus ATL-200 has a 16-35mm optical zoom lens with macro capabilities. Zoom to frame your subject perfectly and get close, very close.

What other equipment do I need?
An Afidus camera ships with a 16GB card and batteries. You will need a clamp or mount and that's it. Our ClampMonstr camera clamp is very versatile, attaches to a 2X4 and has multiple camera mounting positions. A suction cup on a window is a great mounting solution for interior construction, remodeling, renovation or a fit out. Generally, inside windows are not touched until final cleaning and a window mount is usually a safe location for a camera. A third option is a magnet mount. The MagMonstr will hold strong on steel framework, suspended ceiling crossbars, metal door frames, etc. Sometimes you have to get creative, a bar clamp may work well on a block wall with a clamp or magnet attached to the bar.

Often we recommend two cameras especially for once in a lifetime projects. You can run both cameras outdoors for major exterior work and move one camera indoors once interior work picks up.Having two cameras offers redundancy, in case of an environmental or accidental failure.We have seen it all, cameras knocked down, painted over, turned around, moved, etc. Two cameras gives you peace of mind, variety and allows you to show the story from a different angles.

Where should I place the camera?
If avoidable, we don't recommend having the sun in the frame, shooting north is always the best option. We also recommend avoiding sunrise and sunset transitions. Played back quickly, dark to light and back to dark again, can be difficult to watch. Using the camera's timer feature, sunrise and sunset can be avoided. Bad weather, non-working days, holidays can easily be removed using programs like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.

What are ongoing maintenance requirements?
We recommend getting into a habit of checking your cameras regularly. For a long term project monthly checks would be safe. Although the batteries will last a long time we are primarily concerned with unavoidable occurrences. Speakingof batteries, we use Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries when the temperature drop below 30F. We also suggest more frequent camera checks in the cold. Standard alkaline batteries do not perform well when the temperature dips below freezing.

Is editing easy?
Editing can be easy if you utilize the camera's timer to capture working hours only (8am to 5pm). The day of the week schedule function, eliminates weekends.Editing may only entailremoving non-working days and bad weather days which can easily be accomplished with iMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (PC). Editing gets more complex if you have multiple cameras, stills, drone footage, etc. to work into your video. We are experts at editing time lapse footage. If you want a polished video, please reach out to us, we are happy to help.

What is the best way to show the end result to clients?
The great thing about time lapse is people watch just to see what happens. Time lapse videos are great for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Embedding YouTube videos into your web site is a very easy way to engage customers. Time lapse videos also work great as a trade show icebreaker, booth visitors are drawn into the action and often ask the first questions.

With an Afidus camera, time lapse is an easy, low cost method to creating impactful marketing, documenting an event or sharing your hard work.

We have additional learning content within this site and www.AfidusCam.com/learn