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TimeLapse for the iPhone – A First Look

By January 23, 2009 6 Comments

TimeLapse is an iPhone app that automates the operation of the iPhone’s camera to help create time lapse photo sequences. TimeLapse stores the photos in the iPhone photo library so you can easily download them to your computer and create a movie using applications such as Apple QuickTime Pro, Windows Movie Maker or ffmpeg.

We downloaded it last week and have put it through a few first tests. If it wasn’t for a fundamental flaw in the way the iPhone names images it would be almost the perfect pick up and go TimeLapse tool. Annoyingly at the moment the iPhone names images in sequence up to 1000 and the goes back to the start, so with a timelapse of over 1000 images you end up with a file sequence of 1000_1 1000_2 etc which means that the files need to be renamed before imported into any of the programs above.

That said, we think have found a way round it using some Windows freeware, more on that later next week. Our first example is embeded below – it was a horrible day with fast moving clouds but you should get the idea:

iPhone TimeLapse Test from digitalurban on Vimeo.

By simply turning your phone on and running the software you can get some interesting sequences – its the easiest way we have found so far for creating timelapses. Hopefully the image naming issue can be ironed out, until then its not too much a hurdle and for £1.79 it makes TimeLapse a must buy for any iPhone owning image sequence fan.

You can buy TimeLapse directly from the Apple App Store.


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.