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Assembling an images sequence into a video

There are situations where you do not want to use the automatic video editing features of my.tikee.io web app. For example, you weren’t able to upload all your photos as and when the timelapse was running and then you get too much data to upload at once. Or maybe you want to change the colorimetry for a more personal rendering, or any other modification of the images using a third-part software.

In these situations, you then have a large series of photos that you would like to transform into a video. In this article you will find the necessary steps to do it.

Download a Tikee images sequence

 

All images of your projects on my.tikee.io are downloadable from the project ‘Extras’ screen by clicking on ‘Export subset’.

After a few minutes, you will receive an email with a download link of one (or more – depending on the size of the project) archive.

Extras screen mytikee

Once extracted, your images are then named according to the capture date:

images sequence list

The advantage of going through this step is that you can benefit from our image selection filters to download only the periods you want.[/vc_column_text]

Sort images

 

For next steps, it is important that the images remain sorted in the chronological order of capture. Make sure you do so if you need to rename the files.

Whenever possible, when editing images, you should make sure to keep the original meta-data (EXIF) of images, or at least the ‘DateTimeOriginal’ field that contains the time of capture of the photo (UTC format).

If the naming of your image sequence does not allow them to be ordered in chronological order, some free softwares can rename series of image files according to the capture data. Here are some examples: Antrenamer (Windows) or pyrenamer (Linux) or ExifRenamer (macOS).

Assembling videos with a software

 

There is a wide variety of video assembly softwares but the purpose of this article is not to make it an exhaustive review. Most of it offer to import an images sequence by selecting the first file of the sequence and guessing the others (hence the importance of the nommage of the files detailed in the previous chapter).

We’ll study three of them in this article:

  • FFmpeg: a free command line program that works on all platforms.
  • Adobe PremierePro cc: a standard (but paid) video editing solution.
  • Quicktimepro or iMovie: for MacOS – paid.

Ffmpeg

This free tool is available on https://ffmpeg.org/. It works on any platform (Windows, Linux, macOS) and allows encoding, video format conversion, media assembly, etc. All through a very powerful command-line interface. Follow the standard installation instructions.

To create a video from an image sequence, we need an image sequence in a separate folder, named with numbers.

Like this:

frame_0001.jpg, frame_0002.jpg,… frame_1289.jpg, etc.

or :

000001.jpg, 000002.jpg,… 001289.jpg, etc.

Note that the numbers are written with so-called 0-padding: in this way the alphabetical order is the same as the numerical order. Otherwise ‘10.jpg’ would be filed before ‘3.jpg’.

Refer to the previous chapter to rename a series of files.

In the sequel, we will use the following sequence:

reframe list

You then have to open a command prompt in the desired folder (a Terminal on Linux and OsX, run PowerShell on Windows) and enter the following command:

ffmpeg -r 30 -f image2 -i reframe%03d.jpg myvideo.mp4

Explanations:

  • -r 30 : This means that the images will be played at a rate of 30 i/sec. It’s classic for video. You can slow down the speed (and thus lengthen the duration of the video) by lowering this setting.
  • -f Image2 : ffmpeg is indicated that its input is of image sequence type
  • -i reframe%03d.jpg : the image sequence. The %03d indicates that the images are numbered with 3 digits.
  • mp4: the name of the generated file.

In this case, the image sequence had a few images (< 1000) so it was possible to name it with 3 digits. Generally, we recommend naming them with 6 digits (%06d) to avoid overflowing.

Adobe PremierePro CC

This software is part of the Adobe Creative Suite and a reference for non-linear video editing. It is a very complete tool but not necessarily easy to tackle at the beginning.

When creating a new project, import the image sequence by right-clicking in the “Media Explorer” window or simply typing <Ctrl>-I:

adobe edition

Select the first image of the sequence and then be sure to tick “image sequence” at the time of import:

adobe edition 2

After a while, your sequence will be available in the Media Explorer and you’ll only have to drag it into the sequence editor on the right.

adobe edition 3

To export the video, type <Ctrl>-M or even File > Exports > Media, and follow the instructions according to your preferences.

Apple macOS software

The workflow is really similar:

  1. Name your sequence of images in chronological order;
  2. QuicktimePlayer > “open image sequence…”;
  3. Select your folder to import;
  4. And that’s it!
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