How to Make a Stop-Motion Video in Ubuntu Linux

This would also apply to time-lapse videos.  As I use Ubuntu now, my stop-motion technique of creating animated GIFs in GIMP, then importing them into Windows Movie Maker is no longer an option.  This feature doesn’t seem to exist in Windows 7 either, so a new solution had to be found.  Here’s a stop-motion video of me trying to tie a monkey’s fist knot using Openshot Video Editor in Ubuntu to combine the shots:

The video is kind of a cross between a stop-motion and time-lapse as I wasn’t using an intervalometer (here’s some from Amazon if you’re wondering what that is) to time the shots.  Combining the photos into a video was done without GIMP.  The photos were imported into Openshot, then all of them were highlighted and added to the timeline using the right click menu.  If you go into “edit,” then “preferences” you’ll notice that you can set the length of the imported photos.

Unfortunately, the lowest you can set it at is 1 second.  After things are imported, you can change the length to a lower value, but this has to be done to each individual photo.  At 16 frames per second, one minute of stop-motion video is 960 frames, so avoid this technique as that will take forever.

speed setting Openshot LinuxWhat I did to the above video was exported the video using “file” then “export video.”  You’ll end up with a video clip that’s hopefully much longer than you would like.  Import this clip back into Openshot, then put it in the timeline.  Once here, you can right-click for properties, then hit the “speed” tab.  From here, the clip can be sped up to 16x if you like.  The video of tying a monkey’s fist knot above uses 3x speed.

On the other hand, if you’re using Windows and have a Webcam, I used this free program to generate some time-lapse video of my CNC router in action.  I haven’t found anything like this for Ubuntu, but if you happen to know of any, please let me know in the comments!

On the other hand, I wasn’t quite sure of what to do with this video, since a rather poor instructional video on making a monkey’s fist doesn’t really fit into my format.


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