In this tutorial I will show you how to create a Timelapse video made from a sequence of still images, using Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12.

The instructions I show in the video tutorial will work in all versions of Sony Movie Studio Platinum and Sony Vegas Pro.

Types of Timelapse

There are two ways you can create a timelapse video sequence.

  1. The most simple of all is to simply speed up a standard video recording, however this is not the best method to create a good looking timelapse.
  2. The best method is to shoot a long sequence of still images using a DSLR camera or a GoPro Hero camera, and then convert those still images into one video.

In this tutorial I will be showing you how to do the second method using Movie Studio Platinum 12.

How to Control the Speed of a Timelapse ?

If you want a time-lapse to go slower, you need to shoot more still images at time intervals closer together.
This has the biggest influence on whether your time-lapse runs fast or slow.

If you want a time-lapse to go faster, you need to shoot your original still images at time intervals further apart.

Example #1

Shoot 1x still image every 5 seconds for 60 minutes (1 hour) = 12x images per minute
12x images per minute x 60 minutes = 720 images per hour
Import 720x images into Movie Studio and set to 25 frames per second
720/25 = 28.8 seconds of video
So a 1 hour timelapse turns into only 28.8 seconds of video.
If the same sequence was set to 60 fps, 720/60 = 12 seconds of video.

Example #2

Shoot 1x still image every 1 second for 60 minutes (1 hour) = 60x images per minute
60x images per minute x 60 minutes = 3600 images per hour
Import 3600x images into Movie Studio and set to 25 frames per second
3600/25 = 144 seconds of video = 2:24 minutes of video.
So a 1 hour timelapse turns into 2:24 minutes of video, which would play back 5x times slower than the Example #1.

How to Import Still Images

This is the most important step in the workflow using Movie Studio or Vegas Pro.

Select Import Media from the Project menu and then navigate to the folder where you have your sequence of still images.

Before you proceed any further, it is extremely important to make sure your images are ordered from First to Last and NOT Last to First. If it looks like the numbers of your files are counting down instead of counting up, right-click a blank area inside of your image folder and go to Sort By - Ascending (not descending).

Now select the first image in the sequence and then have a look at the description box near the bottom of the Import Media Window.

Next make sure to select Stills - Open Sequence

Then check to see that the Last Image indicated is in fact the last image in the sequence.
If it is OK, then press Open.

create a timelapse2

In the Properties window you can now select what frame rate you would like the Video to be, then press OK.

create a timelapse3

A new video will be created and now appear in the Project Media tab.
Now you can drag this onto the timeline and continue like a normal project.

For full instructions on how to create your timelapse, please watch the video tutorial below.

create a timelapse4

 

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About Derek Moran
Derek Moran is the author of all articles on Movie Studio Zen.
You can find me on YouTube, , FacebookTwitterRead more about Derek...

 

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  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Andy · 01:35 22/10/2013
    Hi
    I have a project taken off a roll of cine film, the original camera was set at 17 frames a second so when I import that sequence what frame rate do I set the project 17 or 25?

    Thanks for you help........Great video by the way!
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 14:24 22/10/2013
      Hi Andy
      I have never heard of any film being recorded at 17fps before. Film has been recorded at 24fps since the beginning of the movie industry. I don't understand how your question relates to Timelapse either. In this tutorial I am using still images to create video. You sound like you are using a moving picture. Can you please explain more ?
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Andy Goldsmith · 22:27 27/10/2013
        Sorry Derek I really didn't explain myself very well.

        I have a telecine unit that copies cine film ( 8mm super 8 ) and either creates a .mov file or a collection of stills that needs to be stiched together to create a movie. It literally photographs each frame in sequence.
        The company says that using the image sequence method would result in a better result. The cine film, from the 60's was originally shot at 17fps so I understand that to create a 25fps movie some duplication/overlapping of frames is needed. So when all the thousands of stills are played together it creates a movie at the right speed when played on a DVD player.
        So I was unsure which movie studio setting would be the correct one for my project.
        I hope that makes sense ( I've just read this back and I'm not sure it does! )

        Thanks

        Andy
        • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
          Derek
          • Moderator
          · 01:24 29/10/2013
          Hi Andy
          This is becoming too complex to answer in the comments section and if we keep going, there will only be a skinny area left for replies. Can you please email me at help@moviestudiozen.com so I can reply properly.
          Thanks
          Derek.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    CH · 07:12 25/06/2013
    When I try to open the stills the checkbox for "open sequence" is grayed out. What am I doing wrong?
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 00:11 26/06/2013
      Do all the still images have sequential numbers and are from the same camera ?
      You may like to send me a screen shot of what you Import Media window looks like, so that I can see it.
      Send email to help@moviestudiozen.com
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        CH · 06:27 27/06/2013
        The pictures are all from the same camera (Contour ROAM), same day and in sequential order, although I had to rename them when I copied them to the computer since it puts only 999 pictures in a folder (on the camera) then creates a new folder with pictures 1-999. I can't save them to my hard drive that way so I change them by saving 1-999, then renaming the ones in the next folder 1000-1999, etc. Otherwise it wants so overwrite the photos from the previous folders because they have the same name, or create a (2), (3), etc version of each one and then they are all out of order.

        I suppose it doesn't like the pictures being renamed even though they are in order and are numbered in order? Really shouldn't matter, but something is wrong.
        • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
          Derek
          • Moderator
          · 12:40 27/06/2013
          I am the first to admit that I do not know everything, nor understand everything.
          It may have something to do with the Meta Data that is attached to each Image file, but most likely you simply cannot rename the files.
          Why don't you try an experiment and take say 100 new timelapse shots - don't rename them - then see if you can import as a sequential set.
          The logical thing would be to do this:
          Import each 999 images in separate folders.
          Then import them one batch at a time into Movie Studio to create "mini-movies". Finally you could join them all up.
          • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
            Charles O. Slavens · 03:39 02/07/2015
            Thanks for the tut. I experienced the same grayed out OPEN SEQUENCE problem. But I discovered that Windows Explorer had inverted the sequence and I was selecting the LAST image and not the FIRST!. What a dummy!
            • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
              Derek
              • Moderator
              · 13:57 02/07/2015
              WOW :ooo:
              Thanks for reporting this problem. I never ever thought of this before now.
              You have just explained why some other people were having problems, but I couldn't work out what was wrong.
              I will make sure to add your new info to this article.
              Thank you.
              Derek.
              • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
                ken · 11:39 23/01/2015
                Did you ever solve it? I am having the same difficulty. Same camera, same session, shots edited in LR and exported from it as JPEGs, renamed to clear sequential list.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Nancy · 10:56 19/04/2013
    Thanks for the great tutorial. You just saved me a lot of time and agony.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 00:37 20/04/2013
      You're welcome

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