Archive for March, 2006


Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

One of the projects I’m working on this year is a long-term time-lapse photography movie for a straw-bale building project in Cumbria. The basic plan is to shoot time-lapse footage continuously over a period of 5 or 6 months and then cut it together to produce a short film of the building construction. The problem is that there just isn’t any software out there for the Mac that’ll handle long-term time-lapse.

In short, what I really need is software that’ll:

  • Shoot between fixed hours every day (i.e. 8am until 6pm). Even better, it can shoot between a calculated sunrise and sunset time
  • Shoot and organize basic images. If you’re running for 5 months you don’t need it to build a QuickTime movie on the fly.
  • Allow movies to be built from subsets of the captures. I won’t use every frame captured every day but I might use all the frames for some days to slow down the action at busy times.
  • Not leak memory. 🙂 If this program is running for weeks at a time (realistically), then it has to be really well behaved.

Sadly, there really isn’t anything out there that does all this. The solution, as always, is to roll my own. I’ve been working for a while on an application called Epoch that I hope will help me run the long-term time-lapse. I cribbed the basic camera code from the TimeLapse example application in the Image Capture SDK (which needed serious cleaning up for actual use). It’s also my first Core Data application, which has thrown up some unexpected issues.

Anyway, if you’re interested in long-term time-lapse and might be interested in using Epoch then drop me a line and I’ll let you know when it’s available to play with.