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Tutorial: Creating a Moving Timelapse Effect in Adobe After Effects CC

This tutorial will demonstrate an advanced method of adding a slider or jib effect to timelapse footage in Adobe After Effects CC 2014.


In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a moving time-lapse effect using Adobe After Effects Creative Cloud 2014. In another recent tutorial, I showed you how to add a slider or jib effect to your timelapses by using Adobe Premiere with 2K footage in a 1080 sequence. Be sure to check out that tutorial for a simple way of achieving this look.

This tutorial is going to show you a more advanced method of that technique with a use of a few extra features in Adobe After Effects.

Getting Started in After Effects

We'll start by importing the clip into Adobe After Effects. We'll create a new composition and choose a 1080 preset (Figure 1, below). Next, we'll add a 2K or even a 4K clip to the timeline.

Figure 1. Choosing a 1920x1080 present in the Composition Settings dialog

You can turn the audio off for this clip by selecting the speaker button to the left of your clip (Figure 2, below), since we're not concerned with audio for this project.

Figure 2. Click here to turn off audio for the clip.

The first step we'll take is to adjust the duration of our clip from just under 8 minutes down to 10 seconds. You can do this by right-clicking in the Duration area and scrolling down to Columns (Figure 3, below). Here, you want to make sure that the check mark next to duration is enabled.

Figure 3. Click here to open the Time Stretch dialog.

Now, we can alter the duration of this clip and have After Effects do the math for us. We know we want a finished clip length of 10 seconds, so let's enter that as the new duration in the Time Stretch dialog (Figure 4, below). Press OK. Now After Effects has adjusted the length of our clip to fit the 10-second duration. Do a RAM preview to see what clip looks like sped up from 7 minutes, 58 seconds to 10 seconds.

Figure 4. Adjusting duration in the Time Stretch dialog

You can see at the 1:29 mark in the tutorial video that our clip is now starting to look like a time-lapse.

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