Software & Design

Here’s How Instagram Hyperlapse Works

Instagram’s Hyperlapse allows you to create some very cool looking video timelapses while still moving the camera around. Here’s how it works.

In a Tumblr post, Instagram’s Alex Karpenko detailed the process by which it deals with the single largest problem with creating motion timelapses, which is the problem of video stabilisation. As a process that’s nothing new, because without stabilisation on any video it’s all too easy to create jarring video that quickly leads to user nausea.

Instagram’s solution, which they dub “Cinema” — 0/10 for marketing names there, Instagram — uses the inbuilt gyroscope on your smartphone to determine motion areas, which are then fed into the Cinema engine, along with a fairly large amount of cropping to remove judder at the sides of the picture. What’s interesting here is that the level of cropping is dynamically computed based on the amount of shudder in your video frame, rather than being a fixed constant.


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