There is nothing more tedious in any time-lapse workflow than those time consuming tasks that provide no artistic value to the final movie.

After developing your RAW images in Adobe Lightroom and exporting to JPEGS, our previous workflow included to open each folder with the images and generating the movie using QuickTime Pro 7. Depending on the number of time-lapses in your pending queue, that means a lot of wasted time.

Until now. We have created a script that automates this task. This script takes a bunch of folder containing image sequences and generates the .MOV files automatically. This means a huge improvement in our productivity, specially in our 4K time-lapse production.

Our script, by default, generates ProRes 422 HQ movies at 30 frames per second, but we are going to show you how to modify this settings.

Our script makes use of AppleScript, so it only works in OS X and you need to have QuickTime 7 Pro installed in your computer.

Easy instructions

Ok, don’t want to hear about Automator and Applescript and just want to use the script right now? Just follow the short way:

– Download TimeLapse_Exporter_settings.qtes and save it in your Applications->Utilities folder.
– Download the application TimeLapse_Exporter.zip, unzip and move it to Applications->Utilities.

To use it just drag all the folder containing your image sequences and drop it to our aplicación TimeLapse_Exporter (super easy if you have the application in your Dock). When the process finish working you will end with all the time-lapses generated as .MOV movies compressed with ProRes 422 HQ at 30 frames per second. If you work with 4K or full resolution images, this process will take some time depending on your machine specs.

 

Full instructions

You can see the full instructions in the screencast video. We show you how to generate your own settings file to define the codec to use as well as to define your own framerate.

We will use our standard folder structure. We work with different folders for each of our projects, trips, or assignments. Inside this root folder we have each of the time-lapse image sequences inside subfolders behind Raw Images. Also for each project folder we have the Adobe Lightroom catalog.

For the screencast we have 4 folders containing four time-lapses where we use our motion controlled follow-focus and follow-zoom ZenFocus.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 13.12.18

Let’s begin downloading the script generate_timelapse_exporter_settings.scpt and the application TimeLapseExporter.zip.

If you want to use a different codec than  ProRes 422 HQ, we have to generate a settings file with the help of our script.

The script  generate_timelapse_exporter_settings.scpt generates a configuration file with the last export generated by QuickTime 7 Pro, so to first of all we have generate our dummy image sequence with codec we want to use in our future batch exports.

  • Open QuickTime Player 7
  • Open any image sequence. File -> Open Image Sequence.
  • Select the first photo of our dummy sequence.
  • Select any framerate as this is not define in the settings file.
  • Export. File -> Export
  • Select Movie to Quicktime Movie and click in Options
    In the Settings section we can choose the video codec we want to use. Close the Movie Settings clicking in Ok.
  • After clicking Save, Quicktime will start the export. Cancel it but do not close QuickTime Player 7. The settings have been saved and we can get use of them with our script.
  • Double click on our script generate_timelapse_exporter_settings.scpt to open it. It will be opened in Script Editor.
  • Execute it by pressing cmd-R.
  • The script will save the Quicktime settings file with the name “TimeLapse_Exporter_settings.qtes” and will ask you for a destination. Choose Aplicaciones->Utilities.
  • The generated file contains the codec definition in QuickTime Player 7 and we will make use of it in our application TimeLapse_Exporter.

Let’s move to the application itself. Unzip it and save in Applications->Utilities.

This application generates time-lapses at 30 frames per second. In case you want to use a different one open the application in Automator, change the following line and save it:

 

Screen-Shot-2015-05-27-at-16.16.26

 

We recommend you drop the TimeLapse_Exporter to the OSX Dock. That way you can drop the image sequence folders very easily.

 

*** UPDATE ***

You can find the configuration files for ProRes422 and ProRes422LT codecs. That way you don’t have to generate by yourself. Just download and place in Aplications->Utilities.

Prores422: Download here.

ProRes422LT: Download here.