View Full Version : Timelapse with a Webcam

08-12-2009, 11:29 AM
I need to do a timelapse using a webcam. I'm struggling to find software that will do this effectively, ie. capture and store each frame at the camera's top resolution.

Does anyone have any experience of this, and can recommend software, and/or camera and software combos?



08-12-2009, 12:01 PM
I don't know about using a webcam, but if you have a canon camera you can load chdk on it and set it up to do timelapse stuff with automatic metering within a few minutes.

I've done a few timelapses using my Canon Powershot A560 and it generally comes through with really good results despite being a general consumer camera.

I'll see if I can dig up some more stuff though.

08-12-2009, 01:55 PM
Yup, I have a consumer level canon A620 with chdk. It expanded the features of the camera a lot. I actually used it to do a timelapse before, too.

A quick search for webcam timelapse returned this (not free):


08-12-2009, 01:59 PM
You might be able to use your webcam in combination with some screen capture software.

08-12-2009, 03:39 PM
premier, vegas..
so on ! also there is some freeware kicking on bing somewhere !" notice the use of windows search engine (",)

08-13-2009, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the ideas!

I've been messing about with Flix most of the day, on and off, but it just isn't up to it. Works OK when it works, but we found it wholly unreliable. Tried the trial on two machines, but got the same failures in each case - a black screen in Flix after restarting the machines. I know there are instructions to get round this by editing the registry, though I had no success on that front either.

To be honest, I genuinely thought there'd be a ton of small apps out there to do timelapse with webcams. In this case it would have been an ideal solution, and in other situations like this. The Flix developer obviously managed the core of getting a shot every set number of seconds then dumping the frame to a folder with sequential numbering, but the reliability and consistency, in our experience so far, is lacking.

That said, and because of this, we've decided to go down the regular camera route, and quite likely a Canon running that chdk ..... but it looks like to do time lapse that requires some scripting. I haven't checked yet, but it kind of looks that way ..... is that right?


08-13-2009, 03:10 PM
I never tried time lapse with a webcam, but as you said, one would expect more software available with webcams being so ubiquitous

There are scripts available for chdk that already do that (all free). No need to write them (unless you want to). I think the one I used was this one:


it does everything I needed, first shot delay, time interval, number of shots etc. It's probably better to use a power supply as the camera must be constantly running. I'm not sure about other models, but in my camera I had to disable the "automatic display off". This could be also done via chdk.

other scripts:

08-14-2009, 08:06 AM
Try video surveillance programs like this one http://www.fgeng.com/

Time lapse recording is used a lot in video surveillance.

Alternatively, I'd use Debut capturing, which is free and lightweight. You can set it to save the recording every hour or so, put those files in Premiere and speed them up.

Hope this helps