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Instagram Reveals The Secrets Behind Its New Hyperlapse App

by Brandon Russell | August 27, 2014August 27, 2014 4:00 pm PST

Following the release of Hyperlapse, Instagram on Wednesday published a thorough explanation detailing how the company’s image stabilization technology works. The photo-sharing company’s video (above) best demonstrates this feature—we tried it, and can say that the results are definitely impressive.

Before, creating beautifully stabilized time-lapse videos required a lot of patience and expensive equipment. But with Hyperlapse, Instagram created a new stabilization algorithm called Cinema.

“We feed gyroscope samples and frames into the stabilizer and obtain a new set of camera orientations as output,” Instagram explained. “These camera orientations correspond to a smooth “synthetic” camera motion with all the unwanted kinks and bumps removed. These orientations are then fed into our video filtering pipeline shown below. Each input frame is then changed by the IGStabilizationFilter according to the desired synthetic camera orientation.”

Phew. That’s a lot of technical jargon. All you need to know is that Instagram’s Cinema algorithm produces some really stable results—much better than your stock camera.

Videos captured with Hyperlapse do get cropped once they’re processed, though that’s to ensure the results you get are as stable and shake-free as possible. Instagram provides a number of excellent examples of how Hyperlapse intelligently picks which part of the frame to show on its blog, so check those out if you’re curious to see how big of an improvement the company’s Cinema algorithm makes.

It might be enough to make you use Hyperlapse exclusively as your video recording app. If not for the time-lapse capability, you’ll probably want to for how well the app is able to stabilize your shaky shots.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...