Lots of cameras have the ability to take a picture every minute or 2, to create a lasting record of an ongoing situation. And many internet-connected CCTV cameras can upload Jpeg images every time they detect movement.
Have you ever looked at a collection of such images and wondered if there was an easy way to stictch them all together into a timelapse video clip? If so, read on, because there is. And it's free too.
First you'll need a copy of Virtual Dub (or Vdub). You'll find it at http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualdub/?source=directory and it's only a 2 MB download. It runs on Windows XP and above, and is malware-free according to VirusTotal. It's also portable so there's nothing to install. Just download and unzip, then double-click the .EXE file to run it.
Next you'll need a collection of image files. They need to be sequentially-named, but luckily Windows provides a way to do this if they're not suitably named already. Put all of the files in a folder. Then select them all by pressing Ctrl-A. Then right-click and choose Rename. Choose to rename them all as, say, 1. Windows will rename them as 1, then 1(1), then 1(2) and so on. Which is sufficient for VDub.
Now, in Vdub, from the File menu, choose Open Video File and select the first file. The others should automatically follow. You can then just press the Play button to see your video.
VDub has lots of other options for controlling the size and speed of your video, and for saving it to a video file. Check out the article at http://timelapseblog.com/2009/08/04/using-virtualdub-for-time-lapse/ for full details. It really does take just a couple of minutes, once you've got the hand of it.
I converted 4,500 images into a video earlier today and the results were very impressive indeed, so head to http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualdub/?source=directory and download a copy of this excellent video editor.
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