How to create time-lapse movies from JPEG stills

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The Mission

Trying to combine many .jpg-files[1] into one movie, using my Mac with Mac OS X 10.8 Snow Leopard.

The Solution(s)

Using ffmpeg

  • Download and install ffmpeg either via homebrew, compiling or just downloading binary from:
  • This…
    ~/bin/ffmpeg -t 20 -f image2 -r 1 -loop 1 -i "%05d.jpg" -r 30 ""[2]
    …will create a movie with…
    • -t 20 = length of movie (20 seconds)
    • -f image2 = force format for output or input? TBD!
    • -r 1 -r 30 = input-rate (1 image per second for the input files and 30 images per second for the output file)
    • -i "%05d.jpg" = input files with wildcard
    • -r 30 "" = output frame rate and file name
  • This is what I use to create a movie (input files are photos taken every minute, renumbered using Script for renaming files using numbers):
    ~/bin/ffmpeg -f image2 -r 60 -i "/Users/heiko/Desktop/Kastanie/test/%05d.jpg" -r 30 "/Users/heiko/Desktop/Kastanie/"
    And this is the result:

Using mencoder


  1. Taken with Raspberry Pi Camera Setup for Time-Lapse
  2. Since the pictures taken are named like this: 2014-03-30_10-17-02.jpg, you will have to rename them, for example with a little script or Better Finder Rename