So, you shot about 3000 photos to build a time-lapse video. Now what? The easiest way is to use a program that can import an image sequence for use as video or animation. After spending a hour with Pinnacle’s Studio HD, I am disappointed to say that it cannot. So falling back on Philip Bloom’s DVD, I used QuickTime Pro.
1. Resize the photos to a width of 1920 pixels in Photoshop
Create an Action in Photoshop to resize the photos to 1920×1280. You can also add into the action other Photoshop steps like color enhancements. When you are finished include Save As to a different folder. Never over-write the original file. Use this Action in File > Automate > Batch to convert all of the files. You can skip this step and have QuickTime Pro resize and crop the photos, but I think Photoshop produced better/quicker results.
2. Use QuickTime Pro to import the image sequence
Only QuickTime Pro will work. For $30, it’s worth it. But, the images must be numbered sequentially for the import to work correctly. Select the Open Image Sequence to start the process.
3. Pick the first image in the sequence
Make sure all of the images are in the same folder. Select the first image in the sequence. You also must specify the Frame Rate at this point. If you are planning to use 24fps, then you want to select 23.976 (the REAL frame rate). Just click the Open button and give it a minute to import.
4. Crop and Export the movie
Once imported, you can play the movie through the QuickTime Player. If you are happy with the results, select to export to QuickTime Movie and click the Options button. Click the Settings button, and select H.264 Compression with Best Image Quality. Now for the important part, click the Size button. From the drop-down, select 1920×1080 HD for Export Size and Crop with Preserve aspect ratio checked.
That’s it. You can now import these HD QuickTime Movies into Studio HD or any other video editor just like a Canon 7D movie. You can see my final time-lapse movie called Time Square Pop here.