I get asked often What is Hyperlapse vs Time Lapse?
Hyperlapses and time lapses are very similar with one MAJOR difference. Time lapses are stationary or move maybe a foot or two during the entire shot. 
If you want to master shooting hyperlapses, I recommend starting off with time lapses. I have some really helpful guides to shooting time lapses that will be a great starting point before learning to add motion. If you are brand new to this I’d recommend starting here – 17 Easy Tips for How to Make a Time lapse Video

What is a Hyperlapse and How to Make One Yourself

Visual aid of two camera's side by side taking a timelapse or hyperlapse.

While hyperlapses move MUCH FURTHER, creating a more dramatic and cinematic time lapse, which due to its movement is a hyperlapse.
Continue reading to see what the definition is and all of my tips on how to create amazing ones.

What Is a Hyperlapse

A picture of Scott shooting a hyperlapse in the rain in Korea.

There is so much confusion on the difference but simply put. A hyperlapse is a time lapse where the camera moves. That extra movement is what gives it the “hyper” added to it.
All hyperlapses are technically time lapses. But not all time lapses are hyperlapses. Because they do not move, or move so little.
Fun Fact: Most hyperlapses I shoot are either hand held, or on a gimbal,
Hyperlapses are engaging because they add so much energy and excitement to a shot. First they have the magic of a time lapse where we get to see everything changing that we can’t with our eyes. 
But then we also get to move MUCH faster than we would be able to with our feet. By it’s nature it just creates excitement.
Here’s an example of some great hyperlapse sequences.

One of the biggest drawbacks on hyperlapsees is you need a lot of space, and need to focus on one object or a building. Whereas in time lapses, photography, or video, you can shoot multiple subjects with ease.

What is a Hyperlapse Used For?

A picture of monument valley covered in snow as an example of a roadmap overview of hyperlapse.

A hyperlapse is used to create energy and excitement. It works well because it’s showing us movement that we can’t see with our normal eyes. Things like the clouds and sun moving quickly, but also is physically moving faster than we’d normally move drawing the audience towards or away from something really quickly.
This creates anticipation and energy.

History of Hyperlapse

A camera on a tripod taking a time lapse or hyperlapse of a lighthouse in Montauk, New York.

The first film using the hyperlapse technique dates to 1995. It’s awesome. It’s called Pacer and it was created by Guy Roland using FILM CAMERA’S. Totally mental. Check it out.

Subgenres of Hyperlapse

Pixellation a subgenre of time lapse and hyperlapse.

There are quite a few subgenres of hyperlapse.
One is Hyperzoom, a technique coined by Geoff Tompkinson who used it to seamlessly zoom between multiple different cameras to constantly zoom through things. I love it, it’s won tons of awards and is really cool.

I have a video tutorial explaining how to pull this off and it’s actually pretty fun and simple.

My favorite, and what got me started down this whole rabbit hole is “Flowmotion” a technique coined by Rob Whitworth where he seamlessly blends video, time lapse, and hyperlapse techniques all giving the illusion it was done in one shot. It’s breathtaking.
If you are interested in time lapse work, do yourself a favor and watch arguably the best time lapse film ever made below.

How to Make a Hyperlapse
A hand pretending to rotate a boat as a demonstration of a DJI Drone Hyperlapse with a graphic overlay saying How I Made this.
The meat of this is going to be not only how to make a hyperlapse, but how to make GOOD hyperlapses.
Luckily it’s just about asking yourself a few simple questions and then following a recipe. Which I’m going to explain now.
A good hyperlapse is made by having a clear subject, good composition, a lot of space, depth, be smooth, interesting framing, and good camera movement.

Clear Subjects

A picture of the church in Reyjkavic Iceland with the auroroa borealis in the sky that is a subject of a hyperlapse.

Ask yourself What do you want the viewer to focus on? Focus on that for the hyperlapse. 

Good Composition

The Skyline in Taipei, Taiwan during Sunset using a dashed line to indicate good composition rules for a time lapse or hyperlapse.

Like any visual medium, composition matters. Hyperlapses are built around finding single object and bringing attention to it.
Use the rule of thirds. Notice the photo above, has a beautiful sky, so use 2/3rds of the screen for the interesting sky.
A photo of Huntington beach with boring sky, using a dashed line to indicate good composition rules for a time lapse or hyperlapse
If the sky is boring, use only 1/3rd of the screen for the sky.
Symmetry is also a good rule of thumb for composition when possible.
A photo of the lake and cliff tops in Lake Powell using a dashed line to indicate good composition rules for a time lapse or hyperlapse


A picture of a camera taking a time lapse or hyperlapse in Williamsburg on a beautiful blue cloudy day.

You will need to move around quite a bit, so you will want space to give your movement room to breathe and to move.

Create Depth

A picture of Two camera's taking a timelapse or hyperlapse of the 9/11 memorial in Staten Island on a beautiful blue sky cloudy day.

Because we see things on flat screens, we want to bring as much DEPTH as we can for anything we shoot at all times. You won’t always be able to do it during a hyperlapse but it’s worth mentioning.
A good way to get depth in a hyperlapse is to have foreground elements as well. Something that is in front of the camera whether it’s just certain sections or the entire time. Railings, trees, and people all make for good depth.

Choosing a direction

A photo of a Sony a6300 taking a time lapse or hyperlapse of the boathouse in Prospect Park Brooklyn New York on a cloudless blue fall day.

You need to choose a direction for which way you want to shoot your hyperlapse. The three most common directions are towards and away from the subject. But you can also go left or right, diagonal and even pivot directions (advanced.)
If you are new to hyperlapsing, the easiest method is straight torwards the subject. Just take a step with your feet, fire the photo and move on to the next one.

Use Grids to Get Smooth Footage

An example of the rule of thirds

No matter how you shoot you’re going to have jumps in your hyperlapses. But a thing that goes a long way is to have visual aids.
For this, I use the grid feature in the camera. Line up an object on one of the thirds and do my best to keep that in the frame the best I can EVERY SINGLE time.
It’s really tough watching a jumpy hyperlapse.
Hyperlapse Using Smartphones
Before I get into the steps below that also apply to smartphones. I want to share this quick tip. For smartphones, you can use your native timelapse or hyperlapse app. 
On an iPhone, it’s in your camera under timelapse. Simply tap that and move in any direction and try to bend your knees a bit to help it stabilize and voila. It’s that easy.
Same with on Android except you need to open the camera app, swipe to the extra options and choose Hyperlapse.

Best Hyperlapse Camera Settings (For Hand Held)

So far we know what a hyperlapse is and what makes it good. Now we want to get the best camera settings for hyperlapses down.

Shoot in Raw

Always advised to shoot in RAW to give you full control over your edit. When shooting hyperlapses the lighting conditions will change and this can cause flicker or just some images that are really under or overexposed. Shooting in RAW allows us to change this.

Turn off Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance can ruin your shot by creating white balance flicker. That’s where the camera makes teeny tiny little changes to the white balance from photo to photo and can be a pain to try and fix. Sometimes even screwing up sequences shot in RAW. I like defaulting my settings to cloudy.

Manual or Semi Manual Modes

If you have the ability to shoot in full manual go for it. I almost always do aperture priority unless shooting on a longer focal length like 70 or higher.
If it’s from 12mm-70mm I do aperture priority and make sure my shutter speed is at least double my focal length. So if it’s 12mm, I want a shutter speed of 1/24th of a second. If it’s 70mm I want a shutter speed at 1/150th of a second.
If my focal length is bigger than 70mm, than I use shutter speed priority to make sure all my photos are sharp and I want my shutter speed to be at least double my focal length. 
So for example, if I am shooting at 200mm I want my shutter speed at least 1/400th of a second.

Shooting Mode – Single Photo

A lot of times I have my multiple exposures turned on to high so I can press and hold my shutter down and choose the best frame. Which can really get in the way of shooting a hyperlapse.
I recommend going into your shooting settings, and turning your camera shoot mode to single shot when you press the shutter. This will prevent a lot of time and headaches later trying to remember to delete those extra photos.

Choose Focal/Anchor Point

An editing example for a hyperlapse illustrating what an anchor point is.

One of the most overlooked aspects is not choosing your subject before you begin shooting. For stabilizing purposes, the computer NEEDS something to focus on to do the stabilization.
Once you’ve found your subject, try to think of its edges. Is there a really easily definable edge you can see throughout the shot. If not no worries I’ll show you how to tackle that, but definitely recommend it if this is your first time.

Use Grid

If you don’t already, turn on your camera’s grid lines. This will help you keep things aligned much better. It’s going to be one of your best friends while shooting.

Hyperlapse Movement – Photo Step Photo

When shooting you want to be as consistent as possible. But don’t stress every step needing to be the EXACT same. Trust me that will come with time and no one will notice.
What’s more important is that you just try to be as consistent as possible. I like to always step with my right foot forward. Then stop, recompose, check my grid, shoot and repeat those steps. 
Always stepping with my right foot, always coming to a complete stop and doing that until it’s done.
Warning, sometimes your bicep will get really tired haha. If this happens just shake it out for a second.

How Many Photos to Shoot?

Two cameras taking a holy grail time lapse of a sunset in sunset park brooklyn.

This is going to come with practice and getting a feel for your style and what framerate you like. I use 24fps, and will typically won’t worry about how many photos I get as long as I get at least 100 photos which is approximately 3 seconds.
But if I shoot a sequence that has 1000 photos, I know I am going to SPEED THAT UP A LOT. No one wants to watch a shot that is 50 seconds. It will get boring.
Personally, I think a hyperlapse is good between 2-5 seconds. Remember you can always speed up your shot, it’s tough to slow it down.

Three Methods to Stabilize ANY Hyperlapse

I’m pretty excited to share this bit with you. It goes from beginner to advanced techniques and I’ve never shot anything that these three steps don’t work on.

Warp stabilizer. The easiest method is to just go ahead and run warp stabilizer on your footage. Or a warp stabilizer equivalent. It’s tempting to think you want to crank this up to 100, but ironically it works better in the 15-35% range.

If that doesn’t work, sometimes you can pre-comp the footage and do it again.
If that doesn’t work, you can track whatever your focal point/anchor point is. Once that is stabilized it. nest or precomp it and then run warp stabilizer. 90% of the time this does the trick.
Lastly, sometimes things GET IN THE WAY of our tracking. If this happens we have the most clever trick ever. Go to a frame before or after the track is hidden.
Move it to another section of the building, and then reposition the target back to its original tracking location.
When you track, it will put the target on the spot that it SHOULD BE, even though it’s hidden! 
Once the original anchor is back, move them all back to it’s original position and voila!
How Do You Hyperlapse a Picture
A pretty view of the sunset in Sunset Park Brooklyn
A hyperlapse is made up of hundreds of photos taken in a sequence. Therefore you cannot hyperlapse a single picture.


Well that’s all I got on the topic, I have Youtube videos going into detail if you’d rather see what that looks like in real-time with visual examples that move. I’d greatly appreciate any feedback or checking out the youtube channel!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hyperlapse Record Sound?

No, hyperlapse does not record sound and that will need to be added in later if you want your audience to hear anything.

Does Hyperlapse have a time limit?

As far as I am aware there is no time limit, as long as you have enough battery or a power supply source and storage needed it should be able to run forever.

How to do Hyperlapse on iPhone?

Simply open up the native camera app, tap timelapse, and move in a direction while keeping steady.

How to Hyperlapse on Instagram?

Open up instagram app, select hyperlapse feature and begin shooting and moving. However, it’s better to do it in your native camera app than in Instagram because of the image quality.

How to do hyperlapse Mavic 2 Pro

Simply launch the drone, navigate to the hyperlapse modes, and choose one of the options. Then select how long you want to shoot for and voila.

What Does Hyperlapse Do?

Hyperlapse app on your smartphone will speed up time and stabilize your footage to create a cool and engaging video.

Is Hyperlapse the Same as Time Lapse?

Yes and now. A hyperlapse is a moving time lapse. A time lapse typically has little to no movement.

Is Hyperlapse App Free?

Yes on your smartphones the hyperlapse app is free. However, there are some paid apps that use hyperlapse as well.

Is Hyperlapse One word?

Yes, hyperlapse is one word or it is also sometimes hyphenated as hyper-lapse.

What is Hyperlapse Mode?

It is a type of AI mode that speeds up video footage and stabilizes it at the same time to create smooth looking time lapse videos that move.

Can You Hyperlapse an Existing Video?

Sort of. The easiest way would be to speed it up by 1000X percent and then turn on frame blending. Another option is to export 1 out of every 24 frames and then reimport it as a jpeg sequence and you’d get a better result but it is more effort.

When To Use Hyperlapse?

Great question, it’s best used when you want to create energy and excitement or show a process that we can’t see with out naked eye.

How Hyperlapse Work?

It works just like a time lapse except that we move between each photo. It then gets stabilized so it is smooth for the viewer.