Which software to assemble a time-lapse from images?
I own a Nikon D700, which has in-camera support for taking time-lapse photos, but I need advice on the easiest and best software solutions for processing the resulting heap of images. I accept that the best software may not be the easiest, and vice versa. Open-source would be great, but I'm open to commercial solutions as well. I've tried Picasa's movie-making feature, but found it to be kludgy and missing many useful options. What do you recommend?
see also https://superuser.com/questions/249101/how-can-i-combine-30-000-images-into-a-timelapse-movie for doing this with command line level tools
If you are on a Mac, one of the best ways is using Automator, which you can use to do basic cropping/editing and conversion to video (although this part usually requires Quicktime Pro).
There is a good walkthough here: How to Make a Time-Lapse Video from Stills
Also, a great open source solution is to use ffmpeg, but it is a much more technical path to take, so keep that in mind.
There are lots of examples out there, here's one example: Creating Time Lapse with ffmpeg
"as simple as one command" is relative. If you have no experience with that sort of thing, figuring out a command like `ffmpeg -i %03d.jpg -r 15 -croptop 180 -cropbottom 180 -s hd1080 -vcodec libx264 -vpre hq -crf 16 rollins_1080.mp4` (example command for turning set of time lapse images into a movie) might be near impossible
Thanks, I will try ffmpeg. Fortunately, I'm comfortable with the commandline, and those options look like exactly what I was looking for.
It can be as simple as `ffmpeg -r 30 -i _DSC%04d.jpg timelapse.mp4` for 30fps, although I like to have ffmpeg resize my frames to 1080p frame size so I use `ffmpeg -r 24 -i _DSC%04d.png -s hd1080 timelapse.mp4` and obviously get 24fps (-r).
+1 for ffmpeg, it's a bit techy but masting that and Imagemagick / mogrify opens up a world of possibilities that many commercial gui-driven packages want to charge you big bucks for. Being able to batch-process photos with a few simple commands is awesome.