• Donald Simpson


Updated: Mar 1

Want to learn how to create a time lapse video from a single still photo? Swipe your cursor across the image quick to see the action. Read On.

Looking at the short video above you will see a dull B&W photo of a Hibiscus slowly become a beautiful orange Hibiscus. This was all accomplished from a single color photo which was then used to make a totally desaturated B&W photo. Using these two photos and a little help from Photoshop and a Video Editor (I used iMovie) it only takes a few minutes to create this incredible scene. I call this technique Metamorphosis because you could most likely change something into anything if you want to create a slow enough changeover.

This is the technique starting with both your color version and black & white version of your subject. Basically two jpg photo which are the same photo so no need to align anything. In Photoshop:

  • Import the color version and place it on Layer zero with a label as "Color Photo.jpg". On Layer 1 place the black and white version with a label as "B&W.jpg"

  • Make certain that the opacity on both layers is 100%

  • Save this as a jpg photo titled Photo 1.jpg

  • Now change the B&W.jpg layer to an opacity of 90% (you can decrease the opacity at any rate you wish; so you could go 99%, 98%... down to 0%). We will decrease buy 10% each time.

  • Save this as a jpg photo titled Photo 2.jpg

  • Now change the B&W.jpg layer to an opacity of 80%

  • Save this as a jpg photo titled Photo 3.jpg

  • Continue decreasing the B&W.jpg layer by 10% and saving the result changing the out put filename each time

  • Repeat these last three steps until you reach and opacity for the B&W.jpg layer equal to zero.

  • You should now have 11 photos titled Photo 1.jpg through Photo 11.jpg

You are finished with Photoshop and need to switch to your video editor. I am not going to provide step by step instructions here because the commands to do the following will vary dependent upon the application. These are the tasks you will need to complete:

  • At this point you have 11 photos and each one becomes a frame in your automated video or slide show.

  • Import the 11 photos into your video editor making sure they are numbered 1 - 11 (left to right) so that you start out on your timeline with the B&W photo and end with the full color one.

  • At this point you need to put a time (duration) for each slide

  • I cannot give you the exact amount of time for each slide because it depends on how smoothly you want the transition to be. Probably start with .5 seconds and see how it looks. Then go back and adjust the time interval faster or slower depending upon your needs.

  • It may be a good idea to keep the interval on the first frame be 1 or 2 seconds and the same on the eleventh photo. This is so people can realize they saw a B&W image to start with and a full color change to end. If you rush these two intervals people may not realize fully what they just saw.

  • Save the video you just created as an .MP4 and you are all done.

Have fun and play with it. Even add some music if you like. The resulting short video can be used in many ways (web pages, emails, text messages, Instagram, Facebook, etc.).

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