What is a hyperlapse?


Hyperlapses and timelapses can be viewed in a similar way, but the fact is they are so so far from one another. In this article, we will breakdown what a hyperlapse is, how it differentiates to a timelapse and then finally, our step by step guide to creating the perfect hyperlapse.

What is a Hyperlapse?

A hyperlapse is banded within the timelapse photography category but is a completely different beast. A timelapse can be recorded statically on a tripod, whereas a hyperlapse is recorded with a large amount of distance covered, combined with intricate motion paths and angles.

What is a Hyperlapse used for?

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There’s no specific use for a hyperlapse, however, because of the sheer quality and intrigue that a hyperlapse creates a lot of companies use these for their commercial roles – especially camera companies and the world of travel.

These are brilliant to add to your portfolio if you’re a budding filmmaker and we definitely recommend you consider adding a hyperlapse to your portfolio of work as they look insanely cool.

Hyperlapse | imp?type(img)g(23614774)a(3136049)

What is the difference between a Hyperlapse and a Timelapse?

A hyperlapse and timelapse are both made of images but the difference between the two is that a hyperlapse uses movement. For a timelapse, you set up the camera for your shot and it takes multiple pictures at a set time to create the timelapse. Whereas there’s movement between each picture to create the hyperlapse effect.

How to create a Hyperlapse:

Here is a breakdown of the steps in which you need to undertake to make a sensational Hyperlapse, let’s get to it:


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You heard it right, firstly you need to decide on a location. Why is it so important? Well, the location is integral to creating a hyperlapse.

You need to find a location with plenty of space for you to move around in to get the correct movement for the hyperlapse, make sure to find somewhere with reasonable flat ground.


Choose the direction you wish to go in when taking the images. Are you looking to move towards the subject of the shot, away from it or are you looking to move around the subject in a 360-degree motion?

We advise to choose one motion if it’s your first attempt, then once you’ve nailed one direction you can start adding additional moves to create an extra dimension for the shot.

The focal point

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The focal point will allow your hyperlapse to stay stable. As you will be moving a lot you need to have one main focal point to keep the shots stable, this is key to having the perfect hyperlapse.

Firstly make sure you take note of your focal point within your subject, decide on what it’s going to be and stick with it throughout the shoot – pick anything that really stands out.

It isn’t always possible to find the focal point, which can be a hindrance, however, it’s not impossible. We’d advise shooting a building for the first attempt as the edges can be used as a focal point and will ensure a smooth hyperlapse.

If your subject doesn’t have a clear focal point either find a new subject or you can attempt one and keep an eye line that suits the movement.

We definitely advise starting on the easy subjects i.e a building where there are easy to find focal points and use this for your first couple of hyper lapses to make sure you are getting the shots correctly. After that definitely move on to more complex structures as your skills develop.

READ MORE: Top camera’s for producing a hyperlapse. 

Grid display to keep the focal point consistent

This is so important, we can’t tell you enough. Using a tripod as you move the camera for each step will help you a lot when achieving the stability.

Make sure you set up the grid display and shoot on live mode. You can then use the grid lines as a measure for your focal point, ensuring the focal point is always in the same spot every time you move to take the next picture.

Shoot in manual mode

Shoot manually by shooting in RAW mode. The reason for this is to preserve the raw footage which in turn allows you to edit the images to your preference.

Manual mode offers you full control over your pictures and allows you to keep consistency through images creating a much more appealing hyperlapse.

Step, shoot, step, shoot

Yep, it’s as simple as that, every step you take, snap a picture. You want to ensure you have your camera set on manual mode and set to shoot RAW footage.

Choose any starting point you like and adjust the settings to suit and make sure you have chosen your focal point. Now it’s time to take your first snap and then take a step forward, aim at your focal point and then move. As simple as that!

Things to look out for are changes in light or weather. This will affect the exposure and change the colour on your images so you may need to adjust the white balance to ensure they all stay consistent.

Hyperlapse Post Production

Once you have followed the above steps and have your shots, it’s time to take your hyperlapse to the next level.

Firstly let’s look at the imagery. Once you have finished taking your pictures you will need to upload these as a sequence. If you name them in alphabetical order it will make it easier to upload and position correctly.

Once you’ve created a sequence and they’re all in place use warp stabiliser if you’re using Adobe Premiere Pro or the equivalent on other video editing platforms. This will then smooth the motion as it flicks through the imagery providing you with a smooth, perfect hyperlapse.

Now it’s time to add some music to it to polish of the hyperlapse! Choose something that suits the style of the hyperlapse and then you’re done, you are ready to publish it!

Hyperlapse | imp?type(img)g(23614774)a(3136049)

We hope this article helped you with the production of your hyperlapse, tweet us with some of your coolest hyperlapses here.


Don’t forget to check out some of our favourite filmmaking resources below: 

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Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

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