At right is a short timelapse video (12 seconds, no sound) that Lightroom expert Sean McCormack made from the collection of 300 images he ended up with after setting his camera up on a tripod and having it take a shot every 10 seconds for 50 minutes.
To see the high-resolution version, go here and look for the “four arrows” icon at the lower-right of the video. Click that to put the video into full-screen mode. Then, click the “scaling is on” badge in the upper right to turn scaling off so you see the original size. Then, play the video.
He didn't move the camera during the hour the pictures were being taken, so the original images from the camera were, of course, of one static view. To create the panning effect, Sean used a combination of Adobe Lightroom and little Perl script that I created for him.
I'm publishing the script here in case the more adventurous timelapse makers among you wish to use it. I say adventurous because it's not particularly straightforward, it requires some technical abilities, and it's possible that it could corrupt the images (but you do have backups, right?).
The instructions assume that...
You already have the original frames.
You have perl available on your system.
Macs come with perl already installed. Windows users can get a free version at ActiveState.
You can work in a command window (Win) or a Terminal Window (Mac).
You know how to convert a bunch of images into a video.
The script itself is here: pan (save as a raw text file; the instructions assume that you name the file “pan”)
Make backups of the images. Really.
Load the frames into Adobe Lightroom.
Crop the first frame where you want your pan to start. You'll probably want to use a crop with the same aspect ratio as your target video format. Do not use any rotation because the panning script can't yet handle rotation.
Copy that crop (Ctrl-Shift-C) and apply it (Ctrl-Shift-V) to the final frame. Then, ensuring that the aspect ratio is locked, move/resize the crop to how you want it at the end of the video.
If you don't resize the crop, but only move it, you'll end up with a simple pan. If you also resize the crop, you'll end up with a zoom-in or zoom-out Ken Burns effect.
Now, apply a crop (any crop) to all the intervening frames. You can, for example, simply apply the crop you happened to have from step #3 above. It doesn't matter exactly what crop you apply because it'll end up getting changed by my script, but you must apply some crop at this point.
Select all the frames, and “Save Metadata to Files” (Ctrl-S).
Now switch to a terminal/command window, and cd to the folder holding the images in question.
Run the command “perl pan” and name all the files for the frames, in order, as arguments. If all the frames are by themselves in one folder, and the images are named sequentially, you can usually get away with simply typing:
perl pan *.jpg
with the caveat that you'll have to give the full path to the script (or first copy the script to image folder).
WARNING: the script writes a new crop directly into the intervening frames, but does so in a way that's not very smart and is very brittle; it could easily screw up and corrupt your images. Be sure to have backups.
Back in Lightroom, select all the frames and “Read metadata from Files”. Lightroom will load the crop info that the script wrote to the files. (The script does not modify the first and last frames, so you don't need to include those frames in this step, but it doesn't hurt.)
You can now export all the frames and create the video. Be sure to resize to uniform dimensions if the pan involves any kind of zooming.
I've never actually done one of these myself (my experiences with timelapse photography is limited to this short cherry-blossom timelapse), but I'll try some day soon. I'd like to see what others come up with, so if you make one, let me know!