Building a new timelapse solution
Over the past year or so I've been working on a small timelapse photography appliance.
It all started with the idea to put a webcam to shoot a nice valley in east of France to get live view (and display it right on my screen as a wallpaper, a bit like looking through a window).
I first thought to use a usb webcam but the quality was poor, then I discovered remote capture capabilities on my girlfriend's Powershot A420 and started to build a script to capture a picture and send it via FTP to a small server. (initial work available here: http://buhl.spottrotters.com/
The camera was not very stabled, crashed almost every 4 days (I'm about 500km away from the system) which was far from practical. So I bought a S50 which can be restarted every day via a timer on the power socket), and finally got a stable system.
But it was a script, not very practical to let other people change setup so I build a small web interface and started to add new capabilities controllable via this interface.
Bits by bits it became a larger project and we ended up more or less with a remote controllable appliance for compact and DSLR cameras.
Months after months I worked on new functions for the system:
- Automated or custom HD video creation (1080p, 720p, ...), adding a soundtrack, browser view, ...
- Watermarking, ...
- Connectivity (DSL, 3G, ...), FTP capabilities, Youtube uploads, ...
- Multiple camera support (including USB webcams, IP cameras, Compacts, DSLR, Internet images), ...
The system is not far from completion and its first "public" release, I'm currently updating the interface to support multiple languages.
It is pretty stable, five test systems are currently running without too much trouble.
If you want to have a look to the "viewer" interface, it is available here: http://demo.webcampak.com
, login: demo - password: omed
I also built a small website, http://www.webcampak.com
, but only available in French for the moment.
Development process right from the first bits is available one of my friend's blog here (but in French again): http://infracom-france.com/blog2/?tag=webcampak
Regarding the system itself, the basic version is based upon an ATOM CPU running Ubuntu Linux (that's why it's stable
). Camera capture is made using gphoto and the whole systeme is based upon open source software (lftp, ImageMagick, mencoder, ffmpeg, apache2, ...).
It is likely that I'll be releasing the source code under GPL in the next months or so.
I would really appreciate your feedbacks on this topic.