Instagram’s Hyperlapse: time-lapse videos made easy and elegant


Creating smooth, cinematic time-lapse videos generally requires at least a modicum of technical know-how and a decent digital camera. Instagram’s latest app, Hyperlapse, promises to change that and enable anyone with an iPhone (for now, an Android version of the app will doubtless follow) to make beautiful time-lapse videos with minimal skill or effort.

Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for roughly $1 billion in cash and stock, wasn’t the first app to let users add filters to images and share them to various social networks, but it’s by far and away the most successful. With Hyperlapse, the company is demonstrating that it’s not going to rest on its laurels – or warchest.

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The new addition to the Instagram stable was announced on the company’s blog yesterday. “Since launching nearly four years ago, it has always been a priority to bring the Instagram community simple yet powerful tools that let people capture moments and express their creativity,” the company said in yesterday’s blog post.

“Traditionally, time lapse videos depend on holding your phone or camera still while you film. Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilisation technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality and feel – a feat that has previously only been possible with expensive equipment.”

The company says it designed Hyperlapse to be “as simple as possible”. Users don’t have to create an account in order to use the app, instead, when they open it for the first time they’re given a short introduction to the app’s working and can then record by simply tapping an on-screen button to begin recording, and tapping it again to stop recording.

Users can then speed up the video by as much as 12 times and, once happy with the result, can save it to their camera roll. Thereafter they can share it with Instagram or other social services.

The examples of videos created using Hyperlapse are extremely impressive, and do genuinely rival the sorts of time-lapses created by professionals (see the example video below).

“From documenting your whole commute in seconds or the preparation of your dinner from start to finish to capturing an entire sunset as it unfolds, we’re thrilled about the creative possibilities Hyperlapse unlocks,” the company says. “We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.”

Users with iOS devices can download Hyperlapse from Apple’s App Store here. To learn more about what stabilisation looks like in Hyperlapse, take a look a the video below.

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