Speeding Up a Normal Video to Simulate Time-Lapse

Speeding Up a Normal Video to Simulate Time-Lapse

This is a video of downtown Budapest that has been sped up to three times normal speed. To see the difference between it and the original, normal speed video, I included the normal speed video below also.

How I Made This Video – Speeding Up a Normal Video

I recorded the original video by sticking my Canon G12 camera out of my window on the fifth floor of the Hotel Mercure Korona in downtown Budapest. I was able to hand-hold it for about two minutes and record.

Here is the original video below:

I then took this video and converted it in GoPro Studio with the following settings:

  • 23.976 fps (original recording speed, kept the same).
  • Speed up option checked.
  • Frames to skip = 2. That means “skip 2 frames, play 1 frame,” effectively speeding up by 3 times (play 1 frame out of every 3).

Why do this? This makes it extremely easy to make a time-lapse video out of any normal video.


One issue that happens when you use this technique is that you lose the sound portion of the video. However, I could have made a soundtrack for it like I’ve done for other videos. In this case I didn’t, just to show you that the sound is gone.


If you want a time-lapse video from any ordinary video, just do the following:

  1. Use any video of some length longer than a minute and preferably between two and five minutes at a minimum. The longer they are, the more you can speed them up and have a good length video as a result (30 seconds or more).
  2. Convert the video with the speed up option in GoPro Studio. Skip frames to multiply the speed (1=2x, 2=3x, 3=4x, etc.). Use the smoothing option to make it even smoother in transitions.

(I would also recommend to convert the size to 1080p and upload it to Vimeo. See the glossary for the reasons.)

I’ll have more on video and time-lapse in future posts. In the meantime, you can follow me and my videos on my Vimeo page at http://vimeo.com/larslentz.

Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it!

Glossary of Terms Used in this Post

  • fps – Frames per second – a measure of the frame rate. This is the number of frames that are shown each second in a video. Anything less than 23.976 will look jerky when viewed.
  • 1080p – The size of the video on screen. The 1080 is the vertical size. The aspect ratio of 16:9 results in a 1080p video being 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall.
  • Aspect ratio – The ratio of a video’s viewed width to height. 16:9 is common for video. 4:3 is also, but not in 1080p. 17:9 is cinematic (movie theater screen).
  • Vimeo – A video hosting site that is higher quality than YouTube. It is preferred by photographers for this reason (and others).