A Time Machine

Python Raspberry Pi Timelapse Video

I’ve had a Raspberry Pi in my drawer pretty much ever since they came out, but could never really think of anything to do with it. Then I heard about the Camera Module. Maybe this could be the thing that it’ll be for!

So I did the anti-static dance and wired it in, upgrdaded the software, and soon I had a lovely picture of the ceiling!

Great. But I can do that with a phone. The awesome thing about Raspberry Pi’s is that they’re cheap and use little power, making them great for shoving somewhere to do something autonomous for ages.

Like black and white, soft focus and Instagram filters; timelapse is an easy way to produce nice photography without being good at it. And this looks like a fun way to make one.

This guy has made a simple timelapse workflow with a short bash script that captures and stores images on an interval. He has even worked out the incantation to make Mencode turn a directory of still images into a video. 

I BluTac-ed the camera module to the window and tried it out, it worked brilliantly, till I maxed out my memory stick. It would be good to know what its up to while its snapping away, without the faff of SSHing on all the time. 

I went back to the draw and dusted off a Textstart LCD display that I had also bought at a more optimistic time. It works with the GPIO pins on a Pi, and I found a nice little Python script that handled all that messy serial business. 

This would be great to display the current frame number and the amount of memory used. Great for checking up on it while I’m near by, but what if I go to the pub. Time for a webapp. 

I made 2 Python scripts:

A small snippet of code in a image - just because

A loop for taking photos, and a Flask app to keep an eye on things. They are both booted with Upstart so all I need to do is plug it in and it goes. In a curious moment I can point a web browser at it and see how the little fella’s doin.

The grey sky of London -hoping it will clear up later

Its all on Github here


And here’s the video:


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