Time-lapse videos are the cats meow over on Vimeo. Everyday it seems we run into a new photographer setting up to capture the nights sky aiming for the next best time-lapse video. True TL videos take time. A lot of time. Like, 8-10 hours time. So much time that most of us would rather enjoy others than create our own. The team behind Instagram decided to help all of us create time-lapse videos with ease, using Hyperlapse.
One of the toughest parts of creating a time-lapse video is stabilizing your camera. A tripod is typically a must. However, Hyperlapse uses Instagram’s in-house stabilization technology to allow you to shoot videos handheld without shake. After you shoot your video, the app smoothes things out so it has a cinematic feel. If you have the patience, you can sit and capture the entire sunrise and then let the app shrink it down to a quick 10 second video.
NOTE: You don’t need an Instagram or FaceBook account to use this app!
Here are a few fun things you can do with this app:
- Shoot handheld time lapse videos in motion— while you’re walking, running, jumping or falling.
- Smooth out your video for cinematic quality with automatic stabilization.
- Speed up your hyperlapse to be up to 12 times the speed.
- Share your videos seamlessly on Instagram and Facebook or save them to your camera roll to share anywhere, anytime.
- Start filming immediately with a simple design that gets out of the way of your creativity
- Download and start capturing. No sign up or account required.
Things you currently cannot do with the app:
- Shoot and edit multiple videos together into one
- Use the onboard flash for nighttime videos
- Record sound
Even if you use this app to shoot regular videos, you are getting a FREE app with built-in image stabilization thats better than any other we’ve seen. That alone is worth giving it a look. You can download the app FREE on iTunes by clicking here.
More from Instagram:
Hyperlapses are a special kind of time lapse where the camera is also moving. Capturing hyperlapses has traditionally been a laborious process that involves meticulous planning, a variety of camera mounts and professional video editing software. With Hyperlapse, our goal was to simplify this process. We landed on a single record button and a post-capture screen where you select the playback rate. To achieve fluid camera motion we incorporated a video stabilization algorithm called Cinema (which is already used in Video on Instagram) into Hyperlapse.
In this post, we’ll describe our stabilization algorithm and the engineering challenges that we encountered while trying to distill the complex process of moving time lapse photography into a simple and interactive user interface.
Video stabilization is instrumental in capturing beautiful fluid videos. In the movie industry, this is achieved by having the camera operator wear a harness that separates the motion of the camera from the motion of the operator’s body. Since we can’t expect Instagrammers to wear a body harness to capture the world’s moments, we instead developed Cinema, which uses the phone’s built-in gyroscope to measure and remove unwanted hand shake.
The diagram below shows the pipeline of the Cinema stabilization algorithm. We feed gyroscope samples and frames into the stabilizer and obtain a new set of camera orientations as output. These camera orientations correspond to a smooth “synthetic” camera motion with all the unwanted kinks and bumps removed.
These orientations are then fed into our video filtering pipeline shown below. Each input frame is then changed by the IGStabilizationFilter according to the desired synthetic camera orientation.
Putting It All Together
“The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.” –Tom Cargill, Bell Labs
Very early on in the development process of Hyperlapse, we decided that we wanted an interactive slider for selecting the level of time lapse. We wanted to provide instant feedback that encouraged experimentation and felt effortless, even when complex calculations were being performed under the hood. Every time you move the slider, we perform the following operations:
- We request frames from the decoder at the new playback rate
- We simultaneously kick off the Cinema stabilizer on a background thread to compute a new optimal zoom and a new set of orientations for the new zoom and time lapse amount.
- We continue to play the video while we wait for new stabilization data to come in. We use the orientations we computed at the previous time lapse amount along with spherical interpolation to output orientations for the frames we’re going to display.
- Once the new orientations come in from the stabilizer, we atomically swap them out with the old set of orientations.
We perform the above steps every time you scrub the slider without interrupting video playback or stalling the UI. The end result is an app that feels light and responsive. We can’t wait to see the creativity that Hyperlapse unlocks for our community now that you can capture a hyperlapse with the tap of a button.