Tech for ESOL Teachers

Information, Advice, and Reviews for ESOL Teachers

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Year in Video

A Year Out My Window

We don’t have houses behind us, just a divided street with some traffic and then a public park on the other side of the street. Below is a video of the area behind our house, for one full year. The view is from the window next to my desk. Each month is about 20 seconds and the entire video is less than five minutes long. Enjoy and please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

2014-2015 Full Year Time Lapse – Central Ohio from Chris Spackman on Vimeo.

Update, 2015-01-27

I added a full-length, not as fast version. This is a direct link, so depending on your settings, it might download to your computer, or it might play in your browser. It is about 300MB (don’t watch on your phone!) and about 16 minutes long.

How the Video Was Made

So, you want to know more about this video. Read on …

Almost exactly one year ago, I started a small experiment: I put my webcam on the windowsill next to my desk and set up motion (motion detection software) to take a picture every three minutes. I left it running for an entire year. That is a lot of pictures — over 175,000 photos, taking up over 25 GB of space.

Pictures Become Video

I used those pictures to create time-lapse videos of each month, with one picture being one frame of the video. Each month came out to about eight minutes. This was easy to do, actually, because OpenShot, the video editor I used, allows you to import a sequence of images, which it then treats as video. When exporting the final product, OpenShot converts the images to video. To be sure everything was imported properly, I used Krename to rename the images from date format (2014-03-31_17-42-00, for example) to plain old 00001 to 09999, (or however many images there were that month).

Next, I put videos from three months together into a quarter, added the month names at the bottom, and finally sped up the video six times. So, a quarter of the year becomes about a four-minute video.

Then I put all the quarter videos together into the final video and sped that up about four times. The final video is the entire year, in about five minutes.


Of course, this is my home computer, my main computer and I had to reboot it occasionally it order to apply security and kernel updates. One of those caused an issue with the webcam being recognized at boot, so for a day or two, the pictures were just blank blue jpegs. With that one exception, the camera didn’t miss more than maybe four or five pictures in a row at any time in the year. So, a lot of pictures, like I said.

posted by spackman at 17:46  

Powered by WordPress