Timelapse the commandline method

Simple but effective timelapse. Note that raspistill has many more interesting configuration parameters!


Based upon notes by James Singleton.

Test the camera

raspistill -o testimage.jpg

The red LED on the camera module should light up for 5 seconds and a JPEG image will be saved to the current directory. If the camera is mounted upside down, then you can use the vertical and horizontal flip command-line switches (-vf and -hf).

Install and configure software

Install a web server to access your images remotely. Run this command to install Apache:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2

Remove the default page to see the contents of the directory:

$ sudo rm /var/www/index.html

Browse from a PC to http://<ip raspberry> and refresh the page, you should see an image file listed. You run this as a superuser so you can write to the directory.

$ sudo raspistill -o /var/www/testimage.jpg

Click on the file link and you’ll see the image in your browser.

Capture the images

Set up your scene and check the positioning of the camera.

$ sudo raspistill -w 1920 -h 1080 -o /var/www/testimageFullHD.jpg

The width and height have been changed to capture a smaller image in 16:9 aspect ratio. The top and bottom are cropped, so make sure that your subject is in frame.

Run this to start the capture:

$ sudo raspistill -w 1920 -h 1080 -t 10800000 -tl 1000 -o /var/www/frame%04d.jpg &

This takes a photograph every ten seconds (10,000 milliseconds) for three hours (10,800,000 milliseconds). The ampersand (&) at the end runs the process in the background.

Copy the resulting images over to a powerfull PC with e.g filezilla and process it to a video. I use Adobe Premiere Elements.