Copyright 2011 Super Runaway (superrunaway.com)
In October 2010, Liz (my wife) and I packed up everything we owned, piled ourselves and our cats into our car, pulled up our proverbial stakes, and moved across the country. The trip from New Jersey (where we'd been born and raised) to Portland, Oregon was somewhere around 3,000 miles, and took 8 days (plus an extra day convalescing in Denver from the flu.)
Being the nerd that I am, I decided to mount a camera to the dashboard and capture our entire trip, just in case anyone else wondered what it was like to be in the car for 50+ hours. Obviously, taking video of something like that is a horrible idea, so time lapse it was!
It took me forever to find time to get around to going through all of the images, compiling them into a video, finding music, editing everything, blah blah blah... so here's the finished product, almost exactly a year after we got to Portland.
Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1100
Firmware: CHDK (chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK), which enabled me to write a script to take the photos at a set interval
Tripod: Some tiny crappy thing that I got for free, stuck to the dashboard with Sugru and duct tape--and I do mean stuck: it's still there!
Timing: 1 picture taken every 10 seconds
Total shots taken: 15,448
Edited down to: 11,477 (Many shots were unusable, like just windshield-wiper, or shots taken while securing the camera. Yes, I went through them all by hand.)
Batteries: Fortunately, this camera uses a rechargeable battery pack, of which we own two. Less fortunately, taking a shot every 10 seconds resulted in each battery only lasting for 2 hours apiece. So, I had an inverter plugged into the cigarette lighter, with the battery charger plugged into that... and we swapped the batteries every time one died. Or, at least, every time the person in the passenger seat was awake and noticed--which was most of the time, amazingly.
*Very* technical detail: In early testing, I found that the screen on the camera would stay on while the time lapse script was running, which was really annoying for the driver at night, but also drained the batteries much faster. Solution? Plug the included AV cable in to disable the screen. Hooray!
Software I used (all open source!):
ImageMagick: to crop and rotate all of the images (to cut off the hood of the car, and to compensate for the slight angle of the dashboard)
ffmpeg: to compile all of the shots into a video
Inkscape: to create the titles
Pitivi: to edit the titles, video, and music together and export the video
python: to script some of those steps because doing them manually is crazy
Bohemia Al-Andalus, by Gnawledge
Our Slanted Voices, by DoKashiteru
Both songs used under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. Thanks for releasing awesome music for free, awesome people!