On August 26th, Instagram released a new app called Hyperlapse that allows users to make time-lapse-like videos. Naturally, people and brands alike have jumped on the new tech to test it out.
Hyperlapse isn't your typical video-shooting app - instead, it's intended to mimic time-lapse video. Essentially, it condenses a few thousand dollars worth of equipment into the palm of your hand. Here are a few tips on how to make remarkable videos!
1. Hold Still!
Traditional time-lapse videos are generated from stationary cameras. Unfortunately, a handheld phone isn't particularly steady on its own, especially when you're walking. While the Hyperlapse app has programming to counter for jumpy movement, it's not all that effective. So, if you want your Hyperlapse to look great, hold still! Prop your camera against something or use a tripod. If you have to shoot your video on the move, try to move very slowly.
Avoid: Walking/running while recording.
2. Focus on Movement
Time-lapse is meant to capture subtle changes (stars, sunset, snail movement) or show patterns in rapid movement (people and car traffic). Shooting one subject that moves at a regular speed will just produce a "fast forward" version of the normal video. This can be an amusing effect, but only if the subject is doing something interesting.
Avoid: Quickly repeating patterns (i.e. waves, flames, etc.)
For the pros: Switch from subject to subject in the foreground, with traditional time-lapse in the background.
Hyperlapse will warn you about low light situations, but what it doesn't tell you is that the camera will fix the lens to the ISO setting at the start of recording. If you start to record in a dark scene and move to a lighter scene, everything will be overexposed. Record in natural, constant light.
Avoid: Extreme changes in lighting
For the pros: Create interesting lighting effects by fixing the camera in normal or dark scenes, and shoot using flashlights in a dark scene.
4. Plan Ahead
Once you're done recording, the app allows you to adjust the speed from normal to up to 12x. The default setting produces a video that is 6x (every six seconds recorded is one second produced). Naturally, 12x is twice as fast and can be used to condense more footage. Depending on the subject you are recording, you may want to record enough footage with 12x in mind.
Avoid: Not recording enough video
For the pros: Record a slow moving object in scene with a pattern (going against tip 2) that will create a still background when sped up.
Don't feel limited to just creating time-lapse shots. There's much more you can do with increased video speeds to create interesting content. Remember, you have a remarkably powerful video app in the palm of your hand, so be creative and have fun. (Here's a quick experiment from the analytics team at Renegade including Merlin U. Ward who also helped with the research and writing of this article.)