31 August, 2017

Raspberry Pi Zero W + cam timelapse

I got a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a camera module.

I wanted a timelapse video.

This is how I did it:

Capture a sequence of image frames

This will capture a sequence of images (forever) approximately every minute, with the filename being a unix timestamp.

while true; do raspi-still -o $(date +%s).jpeg ; sleep 60s; done

Leave this to run for as long as you want to collect frames, and you'll end up with a bunch of numerically named files, like this:

$ ls

Combine the sequence of image frames into a jpeg

After you've got all the frames you want, use ffmpeg to join the frames together. I do this on a different Linux box (my laptop) but you should be able to do it on the Pi too.

First make a command file listing all the jpeg files:

ls *jpeg | while read a ; do echo file $a; done > e.cmd

Next, feed that command file into ffmpeg to generate a video:

ffmpeg -f concat -i e.cmd -b:v 1500000 -r 24 -c:v libx264 e8.mp4

As a result, the output video should be in e8.mpg which is in a form suitable for playing with vlc or uploading to YouTube.

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