Time lapse, as you probably know, is a film technique used to show an extended passage of time condensed into moments. It can be hours, days, or even years condensed into seconds. It’s a relatively simple but visually striking addition to all manner of video project. Off the top of my head, I can think of two compelling reasons to consider a time lapse effect in your next video.

1. It’s really and truly functional.

Watch this video from the British Library recording their process for digitizing what was, for centuries, the largest book in the world. The Klencke Atlas, published in 1660, comes in right around 6 feet tall and opens to an impressive 7 feet wide. Digitizing it was, obviously, kind of a challenge! For the rest of us, it’s just fun to watch them try. This process, in real time, would be agonizing. Speed it up, though, and we’re suddenly engaged.

2. It’s just plain cool to watch.

This video was a staff pick on Vimeo and, yeah, WOW. Jamie Scott took about 3 years to make. If you have a few minutes, I truly recommend going full screen, putting on headphones, and relaxing into this one.

Spring from Vimeo.

Impressive, right? The patience and dedication alone is pretty remarkable – in case you thought nature was doing all the heavy lifting in that one!

Most of us don’t have the metaphorical bandwidth to make a video like “Spring.” Though it is an impressive piece of art, the rest of us can’t spend three years on a single project.  We can, however, spend a day or two to achieve a “really cool” time-lapse effect in our own videos.

At BakerBuilt Works, we often manipulate time for dramatic effect. Most commonly, you’ll see it in headlights streaking across a freeway or clouds sweeping across the sky. It works equally well on factory floors, with all the hustle and bustle condensed to highlight a process at work.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the visual effect, or do you think it’s overused? Lets create something amazing Drop me a line amanda@bakerbuiltworks.com.