Hyper-lapse photography – a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest – has been a growing trend on video sites. It’s not hard to find stunning examples on Vimeo. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material. It worked so well, we decided to design a very usable UI around our engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.
The site settings are purposely low (like having a maximum of 60 frames per animation) for greater accessibility. However, all the source code is available on Github (including examples and documentation) so developers can play with higher frame rates, better image quality, and more complicated camera movements.
The idea for this project came from one of our motion designers, Jonas, as part of his Labs experiment. He wanted to explore a tool that could help him create hyper-lapse videos with the assistance of available data sets and emerging technology. We built the tool – he built a video with it. The results are pretty stunning.