Create Time Lapse Movie with iPhone & iMovie

I have always been fascinated with time-lapse movies. Time-lapse photography/videography is a technique where in frames are recorded at a much slower frequency compared to how you normally would record and play a standard video. The output when played looks as if time moves faster.

The good news is that you don’t have to learn how to slow down your device’s recording frequency (whatever!) to do a time-lapse video. Creating a time-lapse movie doesn’t have to be complicated and time consuming. All you need is an iPhone 4/4S and iMovie installed on your Mac. The time-lapse video on this post is a rough sample I made using my iPhone 4S just so I can demo it to you guys. I didn’t even use a tripod or a mount to keep my iPhone steady haha!

What you need

  • iPhone 4/4S or any Digital Camera
  • Tripod or a base you can mount your camera
  • iMovie for Mac

Here’s how to do it

First you need to record a video of a view or an object. How long the video depends on what kind of action you would like to capture. For landscape, cityscape, skyline, sunset and nature, the longer the video, the dramatic and impressive it is going to be. As per my sample simple video, it took me just about 7 minutes to record it.

Import the video from your iPhone to your Mac using Image Capture.

Import photos from iPhone to Mac using Image Capture

Open iMovie and import your video (File > Import) and drag and drop it to the project library. Select the footage you want to include on your time-lapse video and drag and drop it to the timeline.

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

Double click the clip. An inspector window will pop out where you can change the speed settings of the video. Adjust the speed slider to its maximum. You will notice that if you move the speed slider all the way up to the rabbit, it can speed up the clip up to 800%. Truth is, it can actually go all the way up to 2000%. The trick is to type in the value. For this particular sample video, I used 1200%.

Tweak the settings depending on your preference.

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

The next thing you want to do is to import the video and share it to your friends!

Happy time-lapsing! 😀

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac


DIY iPad Smart Cover: Pimp It!

In case you don’t know yet, iPads are equipped with magnetic sensors located on the upper right side of the bezel. It is used to trigger the sleep/wake function of the device so each time you apply a magnetic field on that portion, your iPad sleeps or wakes. Cool huh?

See this video demo to better visualize the technology behind Smart Covers
(recorded using my iPhone 4S)

This feature is specially made to cater to Apple’s Smart Cover accessories which you have to buy separately. These accessories don’t come cheap and you’d rather buy a typical folio case or cover that are affordable and look even better and stylish than the Smart Covers.

I bought a Speck FitFolio case the moment I bought my iPad 2. And I loved it so much because it is thin and lightweight as if it’s barely there.

And knowing the technology behind their so-called Smart Covers, I decided to pimp my case and add that Smart Cover touch to it.

What you need

1. Magnetic Strip – You can use any form of magnet but I prefer a magnetic sheet because it is thin and it can easily be cut. You can get one of these at National Book Store for P38.50

2. Strong Adhesive – I used a leather glue (contact cement a.k.a. rugby) but be cautious in using this because it might melt certain plastics. Just a small amount will do.

3. Scissors to cut the magnetic strips.

DIY New iPad 2 Smart Cover

Magnetic Sheet

DIY New iPad 2 Smart Cover 1

Doing it is very easy. First you need to cut a small magnetic strip, just the right size to fit to your iPad 2’s border (probably 1″ x 1/2″)

Once your magnetic strip is ready, you first need to find out where the exact location of the magnet sensor of your iPad is. By looking at the first video I posted, it is located somewhere on the upper right side of the border. Mark it down and mirror that location on the inside part of your iPad cover.

Put adhesive glue, just the right amount enough stick the magnetic strip into place.

And voila! A SMART COVER!!

Just make sure the iPad Cover Lock/Unlock option (Settings >;; General) is turned on for you to use this feature. If it’s not appearing yet, you need to trigger it with a magnet so the option will show. Simply place the magnet on top of the magnetic sensor.

iPad Cover Lock/Unlock option (Settings  General)

Here’s a video of my pimped Speck FitFolio Case turned into a Smart Cover by using cheap magnet strips: