How to Make a Picasa Time-Lapse

Picasa, Google’s free picture editor, is one of the easiest ways to create free time-lapse videos even though it lacks many advanced photo and video editing features. My step-by-step tutorial is below this demo video that I made with Picasa.

Beginning with Picasa

Begin by opening the folder you wish to use in Picasa. I’ve decided to work with some recent San Francisco skyline photos I took from Treasure Island.

Picasa time-lapse

If you’d like to edit the photos at this point, Picasa allows some minor changes. Select all the photos you wish to change and then click on “Picture” from the top menu and look under “Batch Edit.” Here you’ll be able to apply a few basic filters such as sharpening and some auto corrections.


Making the Movie

Once you’re done editing, make sure all files are selected and click on the “Create Movie Presentation” icon near the folder icon.

Picasa Make a Movie

The photos will immediately render into a movie preview with editing options on the left side. Select “Time Lapse” under the “Transition Style” drop-down menu and then pick the video size and frame rate you want. American HD TV uses a 16:9 1080p size and a rate of 30 fps. Europe uses the same size but a 25 fps rate. You can use a smaller size and slower rate if you just want to watch the video on your computer. Set the frame rate by adjusting the slider bar to a range between 1/6 and 1/30 Sec. Select “Full frame photo crop” if your photos are a different aspect ratio than the video output you selected. This will crop the photos instead of resizing them with black bars on either side.

Picasa time-lapse adjustments

Final Edits

You can go ahead and make your video at this point or play around with some other options. Attach an audio track by clicking “Load” at the top of the “Movie” tab or change the default title under the “Slide” tab.

Once you’re done, click the green play button at the bottom for a rough preview of your video. If the video is how you’d like it, you’re ready to finish it.

Render and Export Your Video

Click the “Create Movie” button on the bottom of the left panel. Your movie will display as a draft in a new window with a progress bar off to the right side. Once Picasa’s done compiling the video, you can click “Back to Library” in the upper left corner to see your movie saved as a .wmv file within Picasa. Congratulations, you’re done. You can upload directly to YouTube or open it in a video editor.

If you found this tutorial helpful, why not share it with friends by clicking any of the buttons to the left. Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.


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