Make Shorter, Smoother Time-Lapse Videos with Instagram Hyperlapse


There is a lot of hype about a recent video app that just hit the app store at the end of August. iPhone and iPad users are now able to record long videos and condense them into shorter, faster videos changing real time into hyper speed.

Hyper what?


Is it video or is it photography? A good example of hyperlapse footage is the House of Cards series intro. Over elapsed time clouds drift while the camera glides, traffic speeds as the camera pans, and flags flutter as the camera flips. This smooth time-lapse is a little combination of both photography and videography.

A Little History

Time-lapse photography has been around since the late 1800s. Specifically in the early 1900s, Georges Méliès, a European filmmaker known as a movie magician, used the concept of time-lapse photography to make the movie “A Trip to The Moon.” The French silent film used many special effects like stop motion, time-lapse, smoke, and mirrors to manipulate frames and make them magical.

Time is Ticking

As technology progressed from taking stills to the transition of video many people have experimented with changing frame rate (the picture viewing speed or frames per second). Today standard movies are shot in 24 fps while home video or broadcast footage is shot at 30 fps. Innovators are pushing the limits and experimenting finding new ways to tell stories more efficiently and effectively.

Technical Timing

Time-lapse photography is setting an interval to take pictures repeatedly and throw them into a video format 24 or 30 fps. So, if over three hours I set my camera to take a picture every 15 seconds, which is four times a minute, over the three hours I have 720 pictures which when edited into a 24fps video I only have 30 seconds of video. The final product is viewing those three hours in 30 seconds.

Taking it to a whole new level, hyper-lapsing is introducing motion while capturing the time-lapse. Traditional time-lapse photography is one static camera angle. So now during my three-hour shoot, if I decide to move the camera two feet to the left after each picture I will end up 1440 feet away from my initial spot with my 30 second video having an interesting motion that seems like it’s sped up. Now the only issue is figuring out how to smooth and stabilize from frame to frame. Taking all that data and smoothing it out can be a little tricky. Instagram has developed an app that uses the iPhone’s gyroscope as another data point to apply a series of algorithms creating a stabilized time-lapse motion video.

This mobile camera app helps turn bumpy, jittery, real-time video into shorter, smoother, sped up video.


Just as slow-motion video is useful in showing a reality that we can’t actually see, condensing long videos into short watchable videos is now possible on the go. Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. In 2000, our attention span was about 12 seconds. Now in 2014, it’s down to 8 seconds. With our attention span shortening video marketing needs to draw in their audience within the first 10 seconds. Using the technique of hyper-lapsing is extremely helpful to show a long process with smooth movement in a short amount of time.

Ok, Now What?

With the need of online video marketing growing, now you are able to use their mobile phones to shoot an interesting style video being more visible online.

Shoot a facility tour behind the scenes, or speed up a how to video. Showing elements from the company internally helps build rapport painting a positive picture that competitor A is better than competitor B because they have fun at work or have a fish tank in their lobby.

Here are Some Ideas

Holding a company contest?

Ask customers to post creative videos to promote your product. They could win a discount or a gift card.

Shipping a product to a client?

Show the wrapping and packing stage.

Got a new supplier?

Unmask the secret ingredient.

Got nominated for the ALS challenge?

Show the video, but shorter.

Work community service?

Film a before, during, and after video.

Product Display

Show your product

Summer Picnic? Holiday Bash?

Hyperlapse it!

Big Event?

Hyperlapse it!

Renovating the building?

Hyperlapse it!

Have a crazy idea?

Hyperlapse it!

Instagram Hyperlapse doesn’t require an Instagram account. The standalone app modifies the camera and saves final videos into Apple’s camera roll. This makes it easier to post, link, and share online.


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