I’ve had a great time capturing timelapses for a few years now. I even got into the motion controlled motorized slider scene and added a pan tilt head after seeing Tom Lowe’s “Timescapes.”
But recently I’ve been doing more “Hyperlapse.” Hyperlapses are just like timelapses only you’re moving the camera between each frame and usually more than a motion controlled timelapse.
I’ve found that it works best when you center your focus point on the same spot between each move. It’s a little bit of trial and error as some motions paths don’t seem to work as well as others.
Intuition would tell you that you should shoot on a tripod and then move the tripod between each shot, but I’ve found that excellent results can be achieved by just hand-holding the camera. Your eye level is a constant height, so as long as you focus on the same spot and try to keep the camera level each time you take a step you can get great results. Shooting without a tripod is easier and faster.
It’s important to try to keep a rhythm so that clouds, people, etc move fluidly when the hyperlapse is compiled.
Shooting a hyperlapse is surprisingly straight forward and more fun that the standard stationary timelapse in my opinion because you’re busy and involved the entire time.
Post processing a hyperlapse is very similar to compiling a standard timelapse with one exception. Because you are moving the camera between each frame, if you don’t apply any stabilization during the compilation process the results will be shaky and jittery, even if you took great care to place your focus point on the same spot and keep the camera level for each frame.
Luckily, Adobe After Effects has a great tool called warp stabilizer that fixes this jitter in almost every case. Here is a great tutorial for using warp stabilizer as well as manually stabilizing if the warp stabilizer fails with your specific hyperlapse.
Need to brush up on your timelapse skills? I’ve written more extensively about the art of timelapse in The Ultimate Timelapse Guide.
I’ll get into the details of how I created some of the hyperlapses in the Budapest video at the top of this post in the second part of this post.