Texas outline

Timelapses, etc.

28 August 2009

One of the things folks like to do in Ludum Dare is record timelapse videos of the compo. Usually these are screenshots over the 48 hour period, one every couple of seconds; other times they’re webcam shots of the participants over the same timeframe, again every couple of seconds. I’ve never successfully put together a timelapse video, partly because I never got the tools sorted out beforehand and partly because I always manage to screw up the recording somehow.

Not this time, though.

I’ve got a pretty good set-up going: screenshots every two seconds under both windows and linux, autostarting on login for both (No forgetting!) and saving to an empty harddrive formatted to fat32 so both OSes can access it. Images are tagged with the time in a consistent format, too, so I can make sure they’re all in the right order after the dust settles and I get around to encoding the thing. In case you’re interested in repeating this feat for yourself, let me describe the software and hardware setup: One desktop, dual booting Linux and Vista + one Macbook, running OS X and equipped with built-in iSight camera. On Linux (Ubuntu, 64bit) I’m using scrot with a custom makefile, dumping JPEGs of my screen every 2 seconds. On Windows I’m using Keeyai’s excellent Chronolapse, a tool that I’m pretty sure came out of an earlier LD. I’m also using Chronolapse to merge everything together in the end, because it works with screenshots saved as a series of images and can do picture-in-picture compositing. For OS X I’m using EyeSight to take pictures with the iSight camera every 2 seconds. The laptop is sitting off to the side when I’m not using it, so that image will either show me working on the desktop, on the laptop, or not working at all (e.g. sleeping).

Not bad, eh? And all free software to boot.

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