UPDATE: Password removed, and linking to the new open beta now.

UPDATE: This is starting to get more widely distributed now, so I’ll add a section at the bottom linking to videos made with it. Leave a comment if there’s one you want me to add in.

ATTENTION: You should’ve got here cos I gave you the link and password personally. So you know this is very early software, not for public release yet. There certainly bugs, and if running it causes the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse to ride out of your phone into your face…well don’t say I didn’t warn you. ;-)

Having said that, I have tested it a bit, and it seems to work as intended. Also, if you want to share this link + password  – well I can’t stop you (well, I could, by locking it to IMEI but I’ve not – don’t abuse the privilege). Just make sure people understand it’s early software and not for distribution.

What have we here then?

I wanted to take some time-lapse photos on my N8, which requires an intervalometer function. Sadly Nokia didn’t include this in the N8’s camera software, so I wrote an app:

Hmm that text in the image has come out tiny, but it’s pretty self explanatory. You use it as follows:

Wedge the N8 somewhere it’ll stay put. I use one of these (it’s pretty good, you can mount the holder on any tripod too).

  1. Click the focus button to lock focus. It’ll go green and say “focused” or if it fails, turn red, and you can click it again.
  2. Set the interval between photos with the slider. Default is 10s, you can go from 5- 60 (enough range?)
  3. Press start to start shooting!
  4. The start button will change to a stop button. Press it to stop.

Oh and you can let the screen sleep/lock the screen once it’s going to save power. It’ll keep on snapping.

I’ve captured a sequence, what now? Images are saved in E:\Images\Lapsed\ (your internal memory). That’s a fixed path for now. They’ll be called photo1.jpg, photo2.jpg etc. The first 200 will be in dir1, the next 200 in dir2…and so on. I keep it to a max of 200 per folder to make the files more manageable (not sure what the limit per directory is) but the filenames are continuous to make creating a sequence easy.

IMPORTANT: New sequences always start from dir1\photo1.jpg (for now). So each sequence you take will overwrite the previous one.

For ease of use, once you’ve taken a sequence, I suggest using the zip app to create an archive of E:\Images\Lapsed\ (navigate to E drive, new archive, navigate to lapsed, mark all, add to archive) then deleting the Lapsed dir. This means you don’t clog up your gallery app with 1000s of photos nearly the same.

Making a Sequence

Well, now you have an archive containing a time-lapse sequence of shots. Do with it what you will. But here’s what I did to create this video in about a minute:

I used a Mac with OSX 10.6 and Quicktime 7. Here’s how you install QT7 on snow leopard.

  1. Copy all the photoX.jpg files into one directory
  2. In QT7 File->Open Image Sequence…
  3. File->Export…

And your done! Edit in iMovie/whatever to suit.

Sounds Good, Gimme the app!

Right, it’s built with Qt and specifically used Qt Mobility 1.1 for camera access. The N8 ships with QtM 1.02though, so you need to install the new release, which requires Qt 4.7. Which is only in developer preview at the moment. If you’re not happy installing this (you can revert to stock) give up now. Otherwise:

  1. Install Qt 4.71 libraries, get them here. Read and follow the instructions. Heed the warnings.
  2. Install Qt Mobility 1.1. Get the Nokia signed .sis here.

Let me know how you get on in the comments, or contact me directly.

Features to Come

I wrote this in an afternoon, it’s my first mobile app. You can probably tell ;-) I’ve got some ideas for more features I want to add:

  • Choose the resolution to shoot at. As you’re probably making videos, high res isn’t that useful, but lower maybe is.
  • Lock exposure as well as focus – e.g. if you want to capture sunsets etc and the light level dropping.
  • Lock white balance – same reason, see the clock video to get what I mean.
  • Harder feature to add – generate the video itself afterwards.
  • Longer time intervals, minutes as well as just seconds.
  • Perhaps widescreen capture formats (i.e. 720p, tho the res was chosen to allow cropping to this).


Some sample videos that have been made with the app: – Fox in the Snow – How to make cranberry scones – test – another test – TV dinners (from @whatleydude)

I know there are a few more out there, but don’t have links to hand just now.


10 Responses to “Lapsed”

  1. […] from Nokia’s end, it seems that at least a SEQUENCE mode feature maybe coming soon by way of Iain Wallace (scratch that, Dr Iain Wallace PhD – grats ) from the doitdifferent.wordpress.c…. Iain’s the AWESOME crazy Scot who controlled helicopters with N900, used the N900 as a […]

  2. I used this to create my video, worked quite well. I really like the UI implementation (big buttons and a convenient slider). Can’t really think of any requested improvements, honestly. Is there a way for you to fire the flash for each photo? I’d imagine it’s tricky to get that, but it would be helpful in various situations.

    Resolution choice would be the best option.

    Also, of course, I’d request you make the installation easier – downloading and installing all those QT apps was a huge hassle.

    • I’ll add “flash support” onto the TODO list, shouldn’t be too hard. Well, coding wise it’s easy, the issue’s incomplete Qt camera code…

      Installation I have no control over. The current shipping versions of Qt don’t support the camera, so I have to use the dev versions. The official line from nokia is that it’s for dev only, and apps built on it shouldn’t be distributed yet, but will be able to in the new year. Qt 4.7 Qt Mobility 1.1 will probably appear in pr1.1. Or at least Qt4.7, then the smart installer can handle getting the right version of Qt Mobility onboard.

  3. We have an update to our Pixelpipe Share Online app that supports automatic uploading from Lapsed captures. This would be useful if you want to “life cast” your photos however could also be used to move the captures to online storage like Dropbox or an FTP site.

    If you’d like a copy just send us your IMEI to & we’ll add you to our dev cert

  4. Thanks for giving me access Iain. I was a big fun of this time lapse on S60v3 devices. And finally I can use it on my N8.

    I successfully installed Qt and the app. Will test this one soon. And also to the new MMS function of Pixelpipe.


  5. […] my timelapse app, Lapsed, that I’ve been writing to have a go with Qt is reaching a more polished stage. So I’ve […]

  6. […] Ian’s Lapsed, a Qt based app that lets you take hundreds of photos automatically after a fixed…. So for example you can setup the phone to take a photo every 5 seconds and forget about it, when […]

  7. Alvaro Says:

    I would suggest to add remote shoot control via bluetooth, using a mouse, or, even better the Wii stick (as in Bigscreen). Perhaps it may be even possible to control the camera using a PC via bluetooh.


  8. wordpress…

    […]Lapsed « How to do something differently…[…]…

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