Hyperlapse is a standalone app that shoots videos at a lower frame-rate than normal, but then plays the videos at a normal frame rate of at least 14 frames per second.
The effect accelerates motions that take a while to happen, such as the unfolding of a flower or views from travelling across a vast distance, making things appear to happen in just a few seconds rather than over a period of minutes or hours.
It uses a similar principle to time-lapse photography, which is often made into a video where each photo becomes a single frame, speeding up the movement of the clouds across the sky, for example.
‘Surprised at how smooth the stabiliser works’
The difference with video is that a hyperlapse can suffer badly from camera shake as the video is sped up. Instagram’s Hyperlapse app deals with camera shake by using the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer to digitally stabilise the video, creating a smooth short film from hand-shot video.
Users simply tap to shoot video, and tap again to stop – no account is required. Playback speed can be varied between 1x and 12x before exporting to the iPhone’s camera roll for sharing or saving. Videos can also be shared directly to Facebook or Instagram.
The app ranks 11th in the UK App Store, released at 6pm on Tuesday, but third in the US and first in the photo and video category, displacing Facebook’s other apps including Instagram.
Early reviews seem largely positive, with over 653 ratings placing it at over 4.5 stars. Some users complained about the square video format used by Instagram, while others complained about photo bleaching and the failure of the app to adjust exposure levels as the camera moves from dark to light areas.
“As a photographer, I’m actually surprised at how smooth the hyperlapse app works,” said one reviewer on the US App Store. “The stabiliser does a great job of smoothing out the footage for a nice lapse.”
Similar technology from others
Microsoft demonstrated very similar motion-stabilisation technology for hyperlapses in early August, which promised to smooth out first-person video shot from body-mounted cameras using advanced image-processing. The technology from Microsoft Research was promised as a Windows app, but has yet to be released.
Google also offers something similar for its YouTube video stabilisation, which often produces video that looks artificially smooth.
Instagram’s Hyperlapse app is currently only available for the iPhone and iPad, but the company said it hopes to bring it to Android in the near future. Despite Instagram being available for Windows Phone, Hyperlapse is unlikely to be available on Microsoft’s smartphone platform in the near future.
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