Introduction: Make a Time Lapse of Your Computer Screen

You can do a time lapse of your computer screen using simple programs.

The one that I recommend is CamStudio

The reasons why
  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Open Source
  • Vista or XP
  • Works with almost any video codec

For piecing the videos together I use Windows Movie Maker.

These are a few of the videos that I have done using CamStudio.

This is my first one.

This is the second one that I have done. This video is only a few days old. To view in HD click on the video to open in Youtube and click the HD option.

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Step 1: Download CamStudio

CamStudio can be found at Small file 1.3MB +/-

You can use either the 2.0 or the 2.5 Beta. I used the 2.0 version.

Step 2: Set Which Codec to Use

To set which codec to use click options then video options.

It will show compressor. These are the codecs that are available for use that are already installed on your computer. Most work but a a few don't work that well. Either compatibility issues or they make the files very large and take up a lot of processing power of the computer.

This allows you to set up a time lapse. Using settings that I found that are pretty good are

  • 500 milliseconds
  • 15 f/s
  • 1000 milliseconds
  • 15 f/s
  • 800 milliseconds
  • 10 f/s

Step 3: Program Options

There are many options with CamStudio.

  • Audio
  • cursor
  • full screen / region
  • whether it is minimized when you are recording

I never could get audio to work right so I just made the time lapse videos. As for the cursor I did not want to record it jumping around the screen in the videos. Doing the video full screen shows more but is zoomed out. It is a bit hard to see things.

Step 4: Set Up Keybord Shortcuts

A fast way to star recording what your are doing is to set up keyboard shortcuts. I use the ctrl+alt+Z to record. To stop recording I use ctrl+alt+x When you want to record minimize Camstudio and just hit the keyboard shortcut to record.

Step 5: Know Where Your Video Are Being Saved

To locate your videos they are in your CamStudio folder in the program files folder.

Step 6: Piecing the Videos Together

I use Windows Movie Maker to piece the videos together. If it is just one video it is still better to run it through WMM just to make the file smaller.

Open up Windows Movie Maker and import the videos. Put them in the time line in the order that they where taken. Posibly add a title, some music and then compile it. For a video to be HD on Youtube it needs to be in 720P this is a big size format but looks the best or the default best quality for playback on this computer option. It wont be HD but the video will be around 30-50 MB instead of 400-600 MB.