Time-lapse video for dummies

View org. chart demoView time-lapse video

For a recent Articulate eLearning Heroes challenge I created an interactive org chart. Once I posted it I got a lot of positive reactions and questions asking me how I set it up. Inspired by a time-lapse video done by fellow Articulate Super Hero Tim Slade I set out to create my first time-lapse video.

So for those of you new to the term a time-lapse video, simply put, is basically a video put on fast forward. So a video of sunrise to sundown displayed in 3 minutes would be called a time-lapse. You might have seen such a thing on tv or in a movie. The same principle can obviously be applied to a software instruction or demonstration video as well.

So what kind of tools do you need to this, I wondered. I need something to record my screen so I can create a record me building the interactive org chart. I need a video editing tool that can fast-forward my video and add some up-tempo music to accompany the video and a place to host my video to share it with the world.

Recording your video

Now I’m lucky to have Articulate Replay, a super simple yet powerful screen recording tool but there are quite a few other options out there. There’s SCREENR.com where you can record 5 minute videos, which you can download to your local machine, as well as other software programs you can use to capture what is happening on screen. As I said I started Articulate Replay, pressed the record screen button and started recording the video without audio. After 21 minutes I was done and published the video to mp4 format.

Editing your video

moviemakerUnfortunately I did not have any video editing software on my pc and did not want to spend any money on it so a quick google search led me to Microsoft Movie Maker, a free software tool that allows me to edit videos, Yeah!

I basically opened my video in Movie Maker and clicked the Edit tab where I found the playback speed feature and played around with a different time settings and decided to go with 16x playback speed as I did not want my video to last much longer than 2 minutes and this turned out at 2:40 and seemed to play at a reasonable pace, viewers still being able to see what was happening. After that I added had to find some nice music to add to the video. I chose Pharell Williams – Happy, as it always makes me happy and has that up-tempo beat that works well with fast playing video (try adding some ballad and you’ll know what I mean). Again Movie Maker came to my aid as I could set the audio to fade in and out at the beginning and the end of the video and even assign at which time the audio should start (there was a 14 second intro in my mp3 file before the music actually started playing).

Shareing your video

With that all done I saved my video ‘for Youtube’ getting a high-resulotion mp4 file which I was able to upload to YouTube since I have a free account there. Obviously there are other ways to share your video like Vimeo, Instagram and Facebook. …And that’s it really, so go ahead and try it yourself!


Published by

Jeff Kortenbosch

Jeff is a performance-focused learning professional that believes in making learning relevant again!

7 thoughts on “Time-lapse video for dummies”

  1. Jeff, thank you so much for sharing the awesome org chart you created along with the wonderful time-lapse video on how it was made – it was a great way to start the day! The Articulate and bigger eLearning communities are better because of your talents!

  2. I love the org chart, the time-lapse video, and the explanation of how you made it. Excellent stuff!

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