Taking photographs at slow rates and playing them back as movies at normal movie rates creates a perception that time in the movie passes faster. Time-lapse photography is a technique used for exposing slowly varying processes, such as cloud and celestial motion, plant growth etc. For more details, see this wikipedia article.

Most photographic cameras, even digital ones, offer limited (if any) control for time-lapse photography and that at a high price. Webcams on the other hand are much cheaper and ubiquitous, though in many cases the images they produce are of inferior quality. Depending on the objective, however, they can provide a cheap but adequate solution for time-lapse photography.

Glacier in a glass

A time-lapse movie made with tilaphos.
160 frames taken at 1 min intervals, or 2 hours 40 min of recording, played back at a rate of 25 frames per second, last 6.4 seconds.

Camera: Philips SPC 900NC webcam.
Movie license : GFDL

tilaphos (acronym for time-lapse photographs), is an application for taking time-lapse photographs. It is written mostly for portable devices that can be mounted close to a scene, and for this reason it has oversized buttons and makes use of piemenus in its GUI, in an effort to provide easier control for touch screens operated with fingers. tilaphos can help stage physics and biology experiments for educational purposes.

A mini web server plugin provides simple multipart jpeg streaming functionality for watching time-lapse live cameras over the web.

NOTE: It is adviseable to take strong security measures if planning to put tilaphos's mini web server to public view.

tilaphos's GUI needs further development, with consideration to the different screen resolutions and form factors of mobile devices. So far, tilaphos has been tested on destop PCs, Toshiba laptops, and mostly on a DIALOG Flybook laptop with a touch screen.



Tcl/tk source code and Windows binaries, as well as this page are hosted at sourceforge. For users that find it difficult to install ffmpeg, a package that bundles ffmpeg with tilaphos is also available for download.


User's manual
Technical overview
How to mount a webcam for mobile use

YouTube gallery

tilaphos channel in YouTube. You can also share your movies created with tilaphos.