Microsoft tech turns frantic GoPro footage into slick, stable time-lapse clips

Algorithm dramatically smooths out first-person video, and it’s coming to Windows

GoPro, Google Glass, and other first-person-centric personal video cameras have made it easy to capture your antics and adventures, but having a heap of juddering, uninteresting footage to sift through can be a real drag.

Microsoft has a better way to use all of that output without cherry-picking moments, and the company plans to share its secret with consumers too. At the SIGGRAPH 2014 computer graphics conference this weekend, the company premiered an algorithm called Hyperlapse, which creates first-person time-lapse footage that is simultaneously smoothed out - and dramatically so.

As seen in the clip below, standard helmet-mounted cam footage running at 10x speed can be utterly unwatchable in many cases; and at standard speed, watching an entire mass of recorded video is slow and uneventful.

But sped up and stabilised with Hyperlapse, the result is a clip that’s not only speedy and interesting, but also (mostly) easy on the eyes.

Hyperlapse takes your footage and creates an ideal path along the 3D camera route, stitching together and blending scenes to stabilise the image throughout. It’s not perfect, as you can see with the rock-climbing footage, but the odd software artifacts seem a far better trade-off than watching something that’s bound to give you motion sickness while sitting still.

Best of all, the Microsoft Research team behind the project says that they’re working on making the algorithm available to Windows users as an app, so we may all be able to make killer time-lapse clips from our mundane bike jaunts before long.

[Source: Microsoft Research via The Verge]

READ MORE: GoPro Hero4 Black Edition review