Some time ago, we posted about the great post-production in this construction time-lapse, from as-yet-unknown time-lapse photographer in France, Ramon (if you know who he is, we’d love to learn). We were particularly impressed with the motion graphics/text that added so much to the story of the old building coming down and the new hotel going up.

We’ve since found some other great construction time-lapse clips that also do an excellent job of using motion graphics/text to help tell the story of the project. Construction time-lapse is all about quickly telling the story of a long process that would otherwise remain a mystery. Commentary through motion graphics reveals even more of the mystery and adds to the “wow” factor. Knowing more about the engineering and construction really does make it more impressive.

Here are three great examples of motion graphics/text in construction time-lapse:





Here’s a list of the different factors these time-lapsers have included in their construction videos:

  • size, weight and amount of materials and equipment used
  • history of the site
  • project progress dates/time-frame
  • number of workers and man-hours on site
  • cost of project
  • duration of project (and milestones throughout)
  • height of construction
  • distance material travelled (over ground or upwards)

With non-construction time-lapse, there are a whole raft of possibilities:

  • A time-lapse telling the story of a face-paced city could include stats about travel flow along the main strip or the number of people who ride the subway each year.
  • A time-lapse of famous landmarks could include the number of annual visitors or historical facts.
  • A nature-focussed time-lapse could include stats on the amount of water flow through a valley, changes in climate, or information on flora, fauna and original human inhabitants.
  • A star-lapse could include, of course, astronomical information on the stars and planets.

As with many things, though, less is more. Time-lapse itself does a great job of telling the story so you don’t want to clog it up with endless motion graphics. A great non-time-lapse example of just the right amount of motion graphics and text is the opening sequence of Stranger than Fiction. The technique is used to great effect to set the scene by giving us insight into Harold Crick’s personality. But, if the whole movie had continued with it, it would have driven viewers crazy. Enough to enhance the story, but not so much as to be annoying.