Timelapse tutorial from Carrie Anne’s Geek Gurl Diaries

Even though Carrie Anne Philbin is working here at Pi Towers now, she’s still carrying on with the Geek Gurl Diaries YouTube channel that she set up before she joined us – for which we’re all profoundly grateful, because her videos are some of the best tutorials we’ve seen.

Here’s the latest from Carrie Anne: a tutorial on setting up the camera board, making timelapse video, and creating animations.

Are you a primary or secondary teacher in the UK? Would you like two days of free CPD from Carrie Anne and the rest of our superstar education team? You’ll get to come here to Pi Towers, meet all of us, and learn about the many ways you can use the Raspberry Pi in the classroom. Apply here – we’d love to hear from you.



When I first glanced at the title of this post, I thought we were going to watch a time-lapse of all of the Geek Gurl diaries to see Carrie Ann evolving in her role. This version is good, too :-)


Great stuff Carrie-Anne! I’m a fan of time lapses, you can see mine here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1M67dcO5Valg2o6OT5NW6R49gi6HngQT

And my write-up on how-to do them here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=67109&p=490822#p490822


Kewl, like the stopmotion bit also. With this and the new slow-motion feature my daughters will have some fun with the pi-cam.


Miss Philbin once again makes it look easy and fun. I think I’ll make a timelapse of my cat Belle as she prowls the back yard.


Brilliant, isn’t she. :D


Could this great stuff, and similar, from her be made permanently available on the website – perhaps as a new dropdown “Tutorials” alongside Forum and FAQs?


This is going to be so helpful for the ‘Hamster Party Cam’.


That’s really the reason I made the video. Hamster Party Cam is my ultimate goal.


My daughters Pi came yesterday. I’ll get an IR cam for it today and hopefully we can sort something out for the weekend.

I should warn people though that one of the hamsters (Tric) is no more so it’ll be a more sombre party than previously planned.


RIP Tric



Got it working via your tutorial, run a test on my window which worked fine. Ran two tests on the cage, first night it switched itself off about 5am and the lazy git hadn’t moved all night. Second night I heard him going crazy but it switched itself off before he’d gotten up.

I’m wondering if the shaking of the cage or the fridge (that the cage is on) is causing problems. Anyway, back to a window test tonight.


Thanks Carrie Ann

Pi-Mation is just what we are looking for to do my lads poster project.


Thanks, did this with some students today, they loved it.

We now have 5 Pi dotted about school, capturing “a day in the life…”


quick question.. I’m very new to all this but after watching I wanna understand before I start. How does the pi know where to put the images? or do I need to put that long line in after I change directories or do I do it from the root directory? Also, is there other documentation on how to change the number of pictures taken per min. sec.. or the like.. and the amount of time it actually takes the pictures.

Also… how much room or space do I need for so many pictures? will my 8 SD card hold um all?

Thanks for the great work and all the help!


The pictures will be stored in whatever directory the command in run from.

To change the number of images per second you change the -tl paramenter.
1000 = 1 per second.
500 = 2 per second
250 = 3 per second etc

If you change the -t parameter that will increase the duration.
3600000 = 1 hour
1800000 = 30 minutes

in theory raspistill –help should show other options available.


Great post, you can really get good results even with a simple setup. I did a very simple project using the Raspberry Pi own box, tape and command line.



Thank you for you video. this is very helpful.

I have a quick question.

you know when I command the line the camera start right away. but I want to take a pictures 5 minutes later.

I mean when I command the line and wait 5 minutes then start to take picutres every 10 seconds during 1 minutes.

raspistill -o image_%04.d.jpg tl 10000 -t 60000

where should I add 300000(5 minutes)?

can you tell me how to do this?


Just chain a couple of separate commands together onto one long line:

sleep 300; raspistill -o image_%04.d.jpg -tl 10000 -t 60000


(and get rid of the dot between the ‘4’ and the ‘d’)


Thank you really much for your tutorial !
I just made some little tests, we can see one of them here (it’s very fast),


I will now try to take à storm :D

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