I have lots of portraits. How to align heads/faces for timelapse video?
November 10, 2017 6:58 PM   Subscribe

I've taken lots and lots of pictures of my baby sitting in his stroller. They're taken at a similar angle with similar cropping, but not literally with a tripod same zoom level etc. etc. They're not identical. I want to make a timelapse video and it would be great if the heads could line up. Is there software that will line up the heads and make a timelapse?

I realize that this will move the "edges" of the movie. That's fine there will need to be a blackbox or background, anyway, probably, since the pics are all in portrait mode. It would also be acceptable to line up the stroller sides, and then have his head move up as he grows, but I imagine if anyone has made such software it's optimized for faces, not strollers.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As far as I know, there's not an easy automatic tool for this. There are some tools that could help but they're probably going to take more work to setup than is worth it.

In the past I've done it manually using Photoshop. I did something like 75 frames and it took time but not a crazy amount. When you say "lots and lots" do you mean 50 or 5000.

You could also try running it through Premier or After Effects if the images are very similar.
posted by gregr at 7:28 PM on November 10

I suspect that Google Photos will eventually figure out how to do this and I'm waiting on that.
posted by potrzebie at 9:12 PM on November 10

Right now there are maybe 100-150 pictures. I expect there will be more eventually.

So what's the workflow for doing this in Photoshop? I'm thinking open each file, expand the canvas side then line up the tip of the nose say) with some predetermined grid point?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:51 PM on November 11

OK, it occurs to me that the quickest way to do it would be open each file as a photoshop layer, have a layer that is the sort of cross-hairs for lining up the nose and then save each layer as a separete file. I found automated ways to open all the files as layers and I could save each layer as a jpg, but not with any info that would preserve metadata for ordering pictures. Ideas for the output portion? Some way I could preserve the time-taken metadata? Some way I could auto-generate ordered file names?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:56 PM on November 11

Another idea is to do this all on your phone through a morphing app. The software will use facial feature detection to line things up and make the transitions as smooth as possible. Perhaps there is a smoothness setting that can make it choppier for that lo-fi feel you'd get by doing it in Photoshop? The one app I've used before is Face Story--though there are others worth looking at.
posted by oxisos at 8:41 PM on November 11

Picasa had this feature called Face Movie
posted by ringu0 at 9:42 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]

Great... I will update my picasa! That looks perfect.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:15 PM on November 13

So apparently google won't let you download picasa anymore. There are lots of other sites, but I'm wary. Does anyone know of a reputable site (i.e. no malware) site where I can download old versions of software?

(Yes, I see the reddit post saying the Google link still works...apparently it did when the post was made but not anymore).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:12 AM on November 14

I don't know if this is the safe way of obtaining Picasa, but here's what I just tried:

1) Figure out the announcement date of Picasa retirement. According to Wikipedia, it's February 12, 2016.

2) Go to Wayback Machine, plug in "http://picasa.google.com/" and "February 11, 2016", receive this page.

3) Click "Download Picasa" button.

The file you receive resides on https://web.archive.org/, not on google.com servers, but it has an intact digital signature by Google, and the right version:

Alternatively, I can send you my installation file. It's a 13MB executable, and if you have a file sharing service you prefer to use, the one that does not require registration if possible, message me, and I will gladly upload it for you.
posted by ringu0 at 10:17 AM on November 14

Just a minor clarification, the link in step 2 probably works only in Windows. I've clicked it on my Chromebook, and got a button redirecting to Google Photos.
posted by ringu0 at 9:44 AM on November 15

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