A few months ago I found myself looking for an easy way to compile all the images I took into a timelapse. I browsed the web and found ways to compile using an older version of Quicktime which I no longer had. I knew I wanted an app that would “deflicker” my footage so into the Mac App Store I went hunting around until I found Sequence. The app stood out as the premium app to transform images into a timelapse.
Trusting brief user reviews in the store was tough for me so I headed over to the Sequence’s homepage to download a trial. Sure enough this turned out to be the one stop app for getting my timelapses ready for editing.
Pros and Cons
Stable app that is still being updated and improved
Various codec export types including ProRes and Raw
Option to export as 4k, 1080p and other resolutions.
Deflickr and white balance correction built in.
None to state besides the initial price for some.
The following were taken from the Mac App Store listing.
– Timeline based preview
– White balance adjustments using keyframes
– Export as video encoded as H.264, uncompressed and Apple ProRes in any size and frame rate
– Export as images in TIFF, JPG or PNG in any size
– Multicore and GPU based rendering
– Full RAW & 4K support
– Share to Vimeo
Ease of Use
Above is a general overview to give you a feel for the software. In this review I’m going to go over the application in detail.
Overall the application is easy to use and designed in a way where it does not require directions. When you first open the application you are prompted with a simple popup window asking you to either drop images into it or select images from Finder. If this isn’t your first time opening Sequence then you will see a list of your previous projects on the right hand side.
After you add images to the window you will be presented with a loading screen. This goes by really quick. For example, adding 1,000 images takes just about 15 seconds on my computer.
The interface is quite basic, nothing over the top, but it has all of the features that you need in a very clean simple layout.
On the left hand side at the bottom you will see an option to enable deflicker as well as white balance. If you check the deflicker box you will see an orange line shoot across the timeline in the middle of the application. Once the images are all looked at a green line overlays on top of the previous jagged orange one rounding out all of the brightness issues with the project. On the far right side of Sequence you will find the metadata for the current frame that you are on. Information displayed included filename, position number, file size, dimension (resolution), exposure time (shutter speed) and ISO. On the side of the filename is a small arrow that when clicked brings up the frame in Finder. This allows you to either remove it or replace it if needed.
Above the timeline is a timer showing the playback heads position and the gear to the right allows you to change the playback FPS of your project. To the left of the timer are playback buttons for a live preview of the timeline. These stuttered quite a bit the first couple plays but then again I was working with large beyond 4k frames, so I assume that was my problem.
On the right side of the app just to the left of the photo metadata is the export button.
Sequence allows you to export your timelapse in many ways and shapes. At the top of the export menu you will find the preset drop down and inside are size settings from 480p to 4k and all the way up to original resolution. If you need a custom size that is not listed all you have to do is type in the resolution you want into the field below.
The next drop down offers different ways to encode your media. There are five options including ProRes 422, ProRes 444, H.264, Motion JPEG and Uncompressed Passthrough which is essentially “RAW”.
The next setting is selecting the proper frame rate for your project. The options available range from 12 FPS to 30 FPS with specific ones in between like 23.976 FPS.
Depending on your camera and how it was framed the final option may mean a whole lot to you and that is how your video is scaled. Obviously most of the cameras that will be creating time lapses do not have sensors with a 16:9 ratio. Your options when it comes to scaling are aspect fit, aspect fill and don’t scale. My advice would be to try each and see how the scaling affects your sensors particular ratio.
Using the app is as simple as it seems and a final movie is only a few clicks after opening the app. The most difficult part of the app is finalizing your export settings and what works best for your camera and project. The movies created are sharp and grade well if you select the right codec.
I was happy settling with Sequence after about 30 minutes of searching for the best solution. It had positive reviews and had all of the features that I was looking for (plus more). The app has been stable and updated a few times within the last month adding new features. Having the ability to easily export to 4k as ProRes was the icing on the cake for me and it presents some stunning footage.
The application is available from the Mac App Store for $20 or the app’s website as a 14 day trial. I strongly suggest that the next time that you need to put together a timelapse, try out Sequence to see if it’s better than your current compiler.
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