SkyStudioPro version – updated

There is a new version of SkyStudioPro available for download:

New in this version:

– folder creation by date is now optional
– prevent screensaver from running
– prevent stand-by of sleep mode
– lots of useful hints added in mouse overs
– button for auto-sizing of program window

SkyStudioPro is a freeware time lapse and motion detection application for the Windows® platform.
You can download it from

SkyStudio Pro – freeware time-lapse & motion detection software

SkyStudio Pro is a freeware time-lapse capture & motion detection application for Windows®. It allows you to capture high-res time-lapse footage at any size, any speed with any capture device or web cam.


SkyStudio Pro screenshot

SkyStudio Pro screenshot


SkyStudio Pro device settings

– select video capture device, any Windows device, capture card or webcam will do
– select audio device, not really needed for time lapse video
– video capture dialog to access your driver settings
– audio capture dialog to access your driver settings
– capture size, e.g. 640×480
– capture resize, allows you to take huge frames from your webcam and resize them on the fly for better sharpness.
– frame rate, allows you to take slow shots from webcams, will enhance light quality at night. Lower frame rate means more light

– all settings are stored by video device. Changing the video device will open its codec, time-lapse and motion settings.
– recorded avi will have either the selected captured frame size, OR if resize is checked, the resized frame size.


SkyStudio Pro saving & recording

– storage folder: root dir for saving movies. Subfolders will automatically be created by date.
– Live codec: codec used for live capture.
– Time-lapse codec: seperate codec can be selected for time-lapse movies. Use as high as possible quality here.
Personally I favor FFDShow codec at 95% quality. Relatively small movies, great quality & sharpness.
– config buttons open the codec config dialog.

note: live video uses lot of cpu, make sure your codec is suitable for live recording


SkyStudio Pro

– preview display shows how your time lapse will look. Click to pause/resume. Below are two bars: the upper shows current playback, the lower shows current frame being recorded.
– current date/time, frame rate and frame number is added to each frame (top left)
– interval: gap between each frame taken from your capture device. 5 sec means every 5 seconds a snapshot is taken and added to the movie
– Fps: the final avi will run at this frame rate. Recommended: 25fps
– auto-save: saves the movie and starts a new one after x frames. Purpose: if your pc crashes for whatever reason, you’ll still have most of your movie.
– recording: check to record, uncheck to stop recording
– with a 1 sec interval and 25fps, your final movie will be 25x faster than reality, playing 25 seconds of real captured time per second in the final movie.
– with a 5 sec interval and 25fps, your final movie will be 125x faster than reality and so on.
– you can change the fps during recording, but it will only have effect on the next recorded movie.
– at the start of every recording, the frame size and fps of the recorded video is set, and does not change during recording


SkyStudio Pro motion detection

– check/uncheck to activate/deactivate
– noise filter needs no explanation other than that it uses some cpu
– proportional: sets a baseline for the motion values, and outputs motion as a “relative” value. As opposed to “absolute”.
– slider: if the motion value is above the slider, it triggers a “motion event”.
– Autom.treshold: sets the treshold slider about 10 points above the average motion of the last 25 frames.
– ON MOTION: if the motion value is above the treshold, a motion event is triggered. Two options: start recording live video, or speed up the current time-lapse.
The latter creates a nice “bullet time effect”. Imagine your time lapse showing clouds speeding by… when an object triggers a motion event the time lapse slows down to real speed. When the object is gone, the video speeds up to time-lapse speed again!

Operating System & requirements

– this program is provided “as is” – no warrantee or guarantee. I developed it for my own use, if it works for you too: great.
– this program has been developed and tested under Windows 7 (x64).
– it will probably work fine under XP and Vista, feel free to test and feed back.
– faster PC, better results. Time-laps does not use much CPU, motion detection does, especially at high frame rate.


This software is freeware for non-commercial use. It uses Mitov’s components for Delphi: AudioLab, VideoLab, VisionLab. Many thanks and credits to him for making these components available for non-commercial use. You can find his website at
The SkyStudioPro software is developed by DjSadhu –



For questions or suggestions: dst [a t]

Time-lapse script

I have been capturing video from the sky for years. When I used to run Windows, I wrote my own software for making time-lapse movies.
After I switched to Linux (first Ubuntu 9.04, now Linux Mint 7) I had to “reinvent” time-lapse capturing.
Then I came across a nice script that I could modify. Run this script in a terminal:


echo "Video device?"
read devnum
echo "Video input?"
read inpt
echo "Frame interval seconds?"
read intv

[ -p my.fifo ] && rm my.fifo
mkfifo my.fifo

mplayer -slave -quiet -input file=my.fifo -vf screenshot,scale=768:576 -tv driver=v4l2:input=$inpt:fps=1:norm=pal:width=768:height=576:\
device=/dev/video$devnum tv:// &
while true
echo "screenshot 0" >my.fifo
sleep $intv
name=`ls -tr shot*.png | tail -n1`
mv $name img/timelapse-`date +%y%m%d_%H%M%S`.png

This script asks for your video device ($devnum), the video input line ($inpt) and a frame interval in seconds ($intv).
It opens mplayer to display the video live, and starts taking .png screenshots in directory “/img” (create first!)
To close, simply click away the mplayer or the terminal.

Now we have to convert the images into a movie:


echo "Movie width?"
read pix_x
echo "Movie height?"
read pix_y
echo "File type? png bmp jpg"
read filetype
echo "Delete stills when done? (y/n)"
read del_permis

if [ $filetype = 'bmp' ]
echo "Converting from " $filetype "to png..."
mogrify -format png $filetype/*.$filetype
echo "Moving png..."
rm -r $filetype/*.$filetype
echo "Deleting " $filetype "..."
mv $filetype/*.png img
echo "Done."


FNAME=tl-`date +%y%m%d_%H%M`.avi
cd img/
mencoder mf://*.$filetype -mf w=$pix_x:h=$pix_y:fps=25:type=png -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:mbd=2:trell:vbitrate=5000 -oac copy -o $FNAME
mv *.avi ../avi
if [ $del_permis = 'y' ] || [ $del_permis = 'Y' ]
rm -rf *.$filetype
echo Stills deleted
echo Stills kept
echo "Finished, press any key to exit"
read anykey

This script asks for a file type (png/bmp) because sometimes I need to convert bitmaps into a movie.
Default is “png” from the “img” directory, but I can choose “bmp” from the “bmp” directory.
Then it runs mencoder to create the movie, and optionally deletes the stills after completion.
I created two links in my main menu (“timelapse” and “makemovie”) and I was ready to capture another day…