Ugly Clouds Timelapse

Today I wanted to try to make a time-lapse video. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating.

I put my Canon Powershot S100 on a tripod and aimed it out the back window. I started the CHDK time-lapse program with a 30-second interval.1I used a long interval because I couldn’t see any cloud movement. In retrospect, I should have gone with a 10-second interval. Then, 141 pictures later, I turned the camera off.2The battery indicator was blinking its warning. If I do this much more, I’m going to need another power source for the camera.

I used Picasa to put the pictures on my computer and export them at 1000 pixels wide. I cropped the images to 16×9 aspect ratio3This seems to be the right aspect ratio to avoid getting black bands on the side of the video on YouTube. using IrfanView in batch mode and converted the cropped images to an AVI file using RAD Video Tools. I uploaded the AVI to YouTube.

I was surprised to see cloud movement in the resulting video. Watching out the window didn’t reveal any movement.

I also tried a bunch of online animated GIF converters, but using only 30 of the images resulted in an animated GIF 1.81 MB large!

By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.


  1. Whoa…t’is pretty cool!!! How do you find RAD btw? I always use VirtualDub for video editing…but its TERRRIBLY SLOW AND eats up to much processr power. I wish I had the time and energy to pick up some Adobe premiere skills :(

  2. Sharmishtha, thanks but you’re much too kind.

    I’ve embedded time lapse videos on my blog that are fantastic. They combine a beautiful subject, good weather imaged at the most photogenic times of day and night, technically perfect photography, smooth camera movement throughout, and a nice music track. My video has none of these.

    I found RAD from Martin Setvak’s guide. Its one compelling feature is that it’s free, as are all the other tools he mentions.

    I should mention that GIMP can be used to create animated GIF files. I still plan on trying it a little more. It’s much more powerful than any of the online GIF creators.

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