Microsoft Is Turning Your Lengthy First-Person Videos Into Super Smooth Hyperlapses

Microsoft Hyperlapse
Late last year, Microsoft previewed some promising technology that turned videos into automatically-stabilized hyperlapses. That technology is starting to make its way to mass market, and the results are promising.

This week, the storied technology company released Microsoft Hyperlapse, a multi-platform software solution for creating smooth hyperlapses from lengthy video clips, presumably first-person clips shot on a smartphone or action camera. Here's a quick preview of what it can accomplish:

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=twncW4PLdsY

The technology is currently available on three platforms, two of them mobile. Obviously Microsoft Hyperlapse is available on Windows operating systems, both desktop and mobile, but it's also up and running as a beta for Android users if you join the Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile for Android Preview Community. Here's a brief look at Hyperlapse Mobile:

Microsoft also has a desktop version of the software called Hyperlapse Pro that works on Windows 7 and beyond. Take a look:

What's most significant about Microsoft Hyperlapse is the advanced smoothing features that it brings to the table, at least with the Pro version. One of the biggest obstacles to creating mesmerizing hyperlapses like this one is the tedious post-production process of stitching together photos in order to create something that flows smoothly. While Microsoft's Hyperlapse isn't necessarily as "smooth as butter" yet, the potential is certainly there. The other significant facet of Microsoft Hyperlapse is its cross-platform availability. Although it's not likely ever going to make it's way to Apple platforms, it's still reaching a much wider audience through the Android market. Plus, iOS users have the Instagram Hyperlapse app, so at least there's that.

Even though these apps are being marketed towards everyday folks who just want to spice up their first-person or selfie videos, there's definitely some potential here for filmmakers who want smooth kinetic hyperlapse footage, but who don't necessarily want to do it the old-fashioned way. 

You can learn more about Microsoft Hyperlapse and download all of the various apps over on the Microsoft site    

Your Comment

9 Comments

I have little experience of fast motion. So, wondering if anyone who knows could tell me -- what is the "old-fashioned way" to do this? For Premiere Pro, say, is it as simple as dropping footage into timeline, using rate stretch tool to speed it up, adding warp stabiliser to compensate for shakiness, then maybe using a plugin to smooth out lighting changes? Or are there better ways to do it?

May 15, 2015 at 1:40PM

7
Reply
Adrian Tan
Videographer
1142

This is just another tool. There isn't just one way to do things, this one I guess offers a consumer friendly way since most don't own Premiere Pro or other pro-editing software.

May 15, 2015 at 2:14PM

0
Reply
avatar
GeoRover
Aspiring DoP
155

The other way to do this sort of thing in Premiere is to export your footage as a sequence (TIFF, JPEG or PNG) choosing a lowish frame rate (Premiere offers 1,5, 6, 7.5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 12.5 and so on) then import that sequence as a clip into a 25p (PAL) or 24p or 30p (NTSC) timeline...virtually what is happening in the export is frames are being dropped giving it the look of a traditional timelapse achieved by using stills sequence shot from camera...resolution is less tho' as the camera is shooting in video mode so only 1920x1080 unless using a 4K capable camera

May 15, 2015 at 11:10PM, Edited May 15, 11:11PM

0
Reply

This is a tangent, but I just wanted to add that the way Premiere handles "off" frame rates seems slightly dodgy to me. If you have a 25fps timeline, for instance, it can somehow handle any footage you throw at it, of any frame rate, and still maintain original clip duration. I only found out recently that, if the clip frame rate is less than target frame rate, Premiere simply doubles a frame every so often to compensate. I haven't worked out what it does if clip frame rate is more than target frame rate; hopefully it's interpolating frames, but I kind of doubt it -- I think it's more likely, as John says, that it's dropping a frame every so often.

May 16, 2015 at 4:00AM

8
Reply
Adrian Tan
Videographer
1142

It is way different because the microsoft software makes a 3d perspective of actual path, then it use only some frame and part of the frame to make de video smooth. You technic works only if you have smooth footage at the begining, the microsoft one works even if you have shaky first person images. Here is the explaination of how it works, it's quite amazing :
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hyperlapse/

May 16, 2015 at 2:23AM

0
Reply
AvdS
1222

Very cool, and it looks much improved over the previous videos released of it.
Sucks that it is only available for certain Android phones unless manually installing the apk.

May 15, 2015 at 2:32PM, Edited May 15, 2:38PM

0
Reply

The Instagram Hyperlapse IOS app works really well and does the same thing as the non-pro version. You just can't import footage - you have to shoot with the app.

May 15, 2015 at 8:22PM

10
Reply
David Summers
VFX Supervisor/Artist and Filmmaker
338

I've used Instagram's Hyperlapse app a few times. Fun little gimmick. I can't imagine whatever tech MS is using here is any different from what Adobe is pumping out in CC or any other stabilizer. Just dumbed down for the masses=)

May 18, 2015 at 6:07AM, Edited May 18, 6:07AM

1
Reply
avatar
Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
1107

This sums up the difference, there is a lot more than just warp on Microsoft's
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hyperlapse/igcomp/

May 18, 2015 at 9:11PM, Edited May 18, 9:12PM

11
Reply