Time to get out all the first-person footage you captured with your GoPro, but never touched, as Microsoft finally released its Hyperlapse technology.
Capable of turning standard lengthy videos into smooth and stabilized time lapses, you can expect to see a significant bump in time lapse videos in the near future.
The software is available in one form or another to Windows, Windows Azure, Windows Mobile and Android users.
Microsoft seems thrilled about the release; just don’t confuse it with Instagram’s Hyperlapse app.
As can be seen in the video below, there’s really not much to it. Not on the user’s side anyway; Microsoft says the technology is built on more than 20 years of research in computational photography.
Simply import your video into the app, select the section you’d like included in the final time lapse, choose the speed up factor (between 2x-25x) and one of two processing options. That’s it. Give Hyperlapse a bit of time to do its thing and you’re done!
Some people might get confused between the two Hyperlapse apps, but Microsoft were quick to point out the differences back when it revealed the technology is in the works.
Other than the fact that Instagram’s app is only available for iOS, which sadly is not supported by the Microsoft software, there’s a major difference in the way the videos are processed.
Microsoft explained how Instagram’s technology works and why its method is better:
Instagram’s Hyperlapse is similar to existing video stabilization algorithms in that it warps each video frame in order to remove slight camera shake. Unlike Adobe After Effects or the Youtube video stabilizer it does not rely on image analysis but rather the camera’s built-in gyroscope to determine the necessary amount of rotation for each frame. To avoid visible out-of-frame regions it zooms into the video to leave some buffer area for cropping.
This works well for sequences with only a little bit of motion, such as walking carefully around an object or filming out of a plane window. However, in less controlled situations, for example with a wearable camera, it breaks down. To see why, consider this hiking video:
Every frame in the left video was generated by warping just a single input frame. As you see, there are lots of out-of-frame pixels visible. So, existing methods would have to either stabilize less to follow the camera motion, or crop to a tiny common area in the center.
Our method is fundamentally different from previous approaches. It reconstructs a full 3D camera path and world model. This enables smoothing the camera path in space-time and generating an output video with a constant-speed camera, skipping over ‘slow’ parts of the input video, such as waiting times in front of red lights. Just as importantly, our method can fill the missing regions in the video above by stitching together pixels from multiple input frames. Thanks to these two innovations we can handle much ‘wilder’ input videos, such as climbing or riding.
More details about the technical aspect of Hyperlapse can be seen here, or in our original post about it back in August 2014.
If you need further convincing, Microsoft lists some of Hyperlapse Pro Preview’s main features:
- Hyperlapse Pro Preview can take video from any camera and create a time lapse with a smoothly moving camera.
- It works especially well with wide field of view action camera videos, such as GoPro.
- Supports different speed up factors from 2x to 25x.
- Hyperlapses can be output at different resolutions and frame rates.
- Takes advantage of multi-core CPUs and high-end GPUs for better processing speeds.
- A step-by-step user interface makes it easier than ever to create hyperlpases.
One of the biggest advantages of the Hyperlapse app is that the final video is a file you can easily share anywhere or play back on almost any device, so you’re not as limited as you are with the inferior software offered by Instagram.
Check out a few more of the examples below, then give it a try and let us know what you think about it!
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