Video Editing

How to make a time lapse video easily

Updated April 18, 2024

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How to make a timelapse video

Time lapses are an artistic video style where you can literally see time fly by. They can be captivating no matter what you capture, like busy city streets, flowers blossoming and even eclipses! If you're looking for a way to turn your photos into a quick time lapse video or GIF without any advanced video editing software required, read on.

Explore how to make a time lapse as well as beginner-friendly tips to make your video look like it was made by a pro. To get started, grab your photos, open Clipchamp video editor and follow these simple steps.

How to make a time lapse video using images

Step 1. Import your photos

Click on the import media button within the your media tab on the toolbar. Browse your computer files, or connect your OneDrive to import the photos you would like to use to build your time lapse video.

Hình ảnh người dùng nhập phương tiện.

If you're using a large number of photos, we recommend sorting your photos before adding them into the timeline. Click on the sort button inside the your media tab on the toolbar and select by name and select ascending.

Sorting photos by date in the import media tab

Step 2. Arrange your photos in the timeline

Add your images to the timeline in any order you desire. You can drag and drop your media or use the green plus button that appears when you hover over any media.

If you're working with a large number of image assets, you can use an editing shortcut. Select the first image, hold down the shift key and select the final item in the your media tab. This will select all the media assets. Next, select the green plus button in the your media tab to add your assets to the timeline in one click.

Drag and drop media into the timeline

All photos added to the timeline in Clipchamp will automatically have a duration of 5 seconds.

Multi-item add to timeline in Clipchamp

Step 3. Adjust the media length

To edit multiple images at once to adjust the duration, hold down the shift key on your keyboard, then click on the images on your timeline that you would like to edit at once. Your assets should be highlighted in green. Next, simple drag your cursor to the left to trim the clips to your desired length. We suggest 1 to 1.5 seconds to achieve the fast time lapse look.

Multi select assets in Clipchamp

Step 4. Delete timeline gaps

The timeline will highlight any gaps when you finish trimming your video assets. Hover your cursor over the gap and a trash can icon will appear. Select the icon to remove your gap. If you have many clips and would like a video editing shortcut instead, hover over a gap and right click on the timeline to reveal a dropdown menu. Select delete all visual gaps and all your clips will rearrange to close the gap. 

Highlighted gaps in Clipchamp

Step 5. Preview and save your time lapse

Before saving your time lapse video, preview by clicking on the play button and make any other adjustments you'd like to make. When you’re ready to save, click on the export button and select a video resolution, such as 1080p. If you're time lapse is under 15 seconds, you can also create a GIF to share easily on social media.

Save and export video

3 ways to polish your time lapse video

Enhance colors

Evoke different emotions in your viewers by adjusting the brightness and contrast of your video or using a filter. Experiment with different video filters like VHS and black and white to add an artistic touch to your time lapse video. Learn more about color correction.

Add ambient background music

Let music help you tell your story better. Instrumental music can help create a sense of rhythm in your time lapse video. We recommend using royalty-free music to avoid any copyright issues on social media. Explore the Clipchamp music library and exclusive music tracks perfect for sharing on social media.

Add frames and overlays

Place unique video overlays such as light leaks or lens flares to add visual interest to a simple time lapse. You can also lighten the vibe with animated stickers or level up your video with decorative video frames. Want to polish your video editing skills further? Explore how to make a montage video or blur parts of a video online.

When you're ready, start creating your own time lapse videos for free with Clipchamp.

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