Tag Archives: Video

Creating a Time Lapse Video with ffmpeg

This is one of those posts I’m writing for myself as much as for anyone else. 😁

Someone from the local Buy Nothing group had some older webcams they were giving away and I was able to get one. My long term goal is to eventually set up a camera with a Raspberry Pi and do some motion-activated photography of whatever wildlife comes through our backyard. (Previous attempts have revealed deer, a fox, and various stray cats.)

For now though, I put it in my office window and set up the Windows 10 camera app to take photos of the front-yard flower bed once every ten seconds. After about 90 minutes, I had 504 photos. Now, what to do with them?

Stepping through them quickly in the image viewer made a day of gentle breezes seem quite windy. So I decided to turn them into a time-lapse.

The VLC player is my go-to for playing videos, and I’ve had some luck using to convert between formats as well, so I wondered if I might be able to use that. I found some tips for using it to create “slideshows”, but nothing for saving the slideshow as a video file.

But I did notice that a lot of the comments mentioned using ffmpeg.

That’s a Linux program, so I opened a I opened a Windows Subsystem for Linux prompt and installed it.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install ffmpeg

The ffmpeg program has a rich set of command line options to learn, but for now, I just wanted to convert my photos to a video. After a few false starts, I found some helpful tips in this Stack Overflow answer and tried it out

$ ffmpeg -framerate 1 -pattern_type glob -i '*.jpg'   -c:v libx264 -r 30 -pix_fmt yuv420p out.mp4

The first pass, with one frame per second, wasn’t quite what I was looking for. It was a “slideshow as video” but too slow paced for what was really 504 nearly identical images.

The next pass was 10 frames per second, followed by 30. I finally settled for 60 frames per second:

$ ffmpeg -framerate 60 -pattern_type glob -i '*.jpg'   -c:v libx264 -r 30 -pix_fmt yuv420p out-60fps.mp4

Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans

In 1967, The Beatles ‏released the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonley Hearts Club Band.”
In 1977, Star Wars opened.
In 2017, the band Palette-Swap Ninja, released a mash up of the two.

Some of the tracks don’t do much for me. For example, although the lyrics are moderately clever, “Luke is in the desert, whining” just hits me as a boring bit of music. (The original Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds hits me about the same way.)

On the other hand, some of the other tracks are downright brilliant. I particularly like the way they managed to work some of the original music, for example the cantina band in “Being From the Spaceport of Mos Eisley.”

And if that wasn’t enough, they also put together a YouTube playlist to go with it so you can see watch story unfold and read (and sing) along with the lyrics.

(Image credit: Palette-Swap Ninja)

Getting Animated

Copying some files from a thumb drive this evening, I came across the copy of Starship Farragut episode “A Rock and a Hard Place” I’d given a co-worker a few months back.

As is usually the case, running across an episode got me to wondering if there was anything new. Last I’d heard, the Farragut crew was planning to re-shoot portions of “Just Passing Through”, and there were one or two other projects in the wings.

A visit to the Farrgut web site revealed a few convention appearances I’d known about, and one or two more that I hadn’t. Then I struck gold — a new episode!

Since April 2008, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Starship Farragut’s animated episodes. And while I’ve been writing this entry, I’ve been downloading a copy of “Power Source” – Farragut’s first animated episode.

This should be good. 🙂