#Hiperlapse and #Instagram how does it work? A simplified answer.

Published in Apple

#Hiperlapse and the #Instagram Hiperlapse app. How does it work? A simplified answer.

what is hiperlapse?

Instagram just released a free app (here) on the App Store to create Hiperlapse but how does its work?

This is an explanation for those who don't like the technobabble or don't have the time to understand it thoroughly, it's an over simplification of how Hiperlapse works.


What is Hiperlapse?

Hiperlaspe is time-lapse video in which the camera is moving made smooth.

What is a time-lapse video?

A time-lapse video is a video in which 1 second of video is not equal to one second of time. 1 second on a timepalse video can be much more than one second of time. In short it's a sped up video (or a large number of photos taken in sequence every few second, put to ether to make up a sped up video).

Here is a time-lapse video without moving, so you can better understand time-lapse without the distraction of motion.


(Simple Time-Lapse video example without motion)

OK. So Hiperlapse is a sped up moving video made smooth. How is the video made smooth? Hiperlapse is made smooth through image stabilisation.

How does the image stabilisation work in Hiperlapse?

You probably know about image stabilisation. There are two ways of doing it: 1) Using a physical device to actually make the Camera move less. 2) Use a program to shunt each frame of the video in the opposite direction of the shake - in this case, the image is always cropped (cut down).


(an example of image stabilisation using software)

Where the image stabilisation in Hiperlapse is different:

Hiperlapse only applies the stabilisation to finished time lapse. For example. If you first stabilise 10 minutes of video and then speed it up to show the whole ten minutes in only one minute (a 10x time-lapse) then, even though the 10 minute version was stable, the one minute time lapse won't be. Why? Because the images (frames) which make up the new, faster, timelapse video are no longer each frame one after another, now you are only seeing every tenth frame - the other nine are thrown away to make the 10 minutes fit in only one minute. So... It makes sense that even if the first frame and second of the original have been stabilised there could still be a big shift between frame 1 and frame 11 right? Of course! the camera has shaken a lot in that time. Hiperlapse works by creating the time-lapse BEFORE applying image stabilisation. That way, in the example the frames in the timelapse (1,11,21,31,41 etc) are stabilised relative to each other regardless of the olde frames that previously came in between them. The result is the a smooth time lapse which has become known as Hiperlapse.



(an explaination of Hiperlapse by Microsoft who also are developing Hiperlapse)


To understand Hiperlapse and how it works, all you need to know is:

  1. A time lapse video (sped up video) is created but squeezing a long video into a shorter time (or putting together photos taken over time).
  2. The resulting video is then stabilised to reduce shake.

Believe it or not, although the image stabilisation in software is quite complex (you don't need to know the details), that's all there is to a Hiperlapse: Take a video, speed it up, make it smooth. You can even manually create your own Hiperlapse video by taking those steps with video editing software.

Here is Instagrams lengthy blog post about how it works.

I hope this helps you understand how Hiperlapse is made and how it works. Now you can download the free instagram Hiperlapse app and try it for yourself.