Time Lapse with SAM Animation Inspires Inquiry

One of the unique features of SAM Animation is the ability to perform time lapse. While this is not stop-motion in the literal sense, it’s a useful feature for students to ask questions and have discussions about changes that occur over long periods of time. Below is a time lapse video that captures a plant moving overnight (check out the clock in the background!)

And you can see more in our Time Lapse YouTube Channel here…

It’s a lot of fun to watch time lapse animations, and your students will be enthralled, wanting to know why, why, why! Here are some recommendations we have for doing time lapse in your classroom:

For time lapse animations, you must select the
(1) capture interval, and
(2) capture duration.

The interval is how often you take pictures, and the duration is how long the time lapse capture will run. Depending on the phenomenon you are trying to capture, these times can vary. Below is a list of time-lapse topics, with recommended intervals and durations. These are only suggestions, and we strongly encourage you to test out interval, duration, and camera angles for yourself.

Ice cubes melting
Interval: 30 seconds
Duration: 3-4 hours

Expanding water when heated
Interval: 10 seconds
Duration: 1-2 hours

Sun/shadows throughout the day
Interval: 2 minutes
Duration: 8-10 hours

Yeast/ CO2 production (i.e. bread rising)
Interval: 30 seconds
Duration: 3-4 hours

Evaporation — a comparison of different liquids
Interval: 20 seconds (this will vary depending on the liquid – alcohol evaporates quickly!)
Duration: 1-2 hours

Overnight plant motion (phototropism)
Interval: 30 seconds
Duration: 8-10 hours

Crystal growth
Interval: 5 minutes
Duration: 10+ hours

Construction or some other long term project at a school
Interval: Variable (could be once a day, once every hour, etc.)
Duration: Until it is done!

Interval: 15-30 seconds
Duration: 1-2 hours

Bacteria growth
Interval: 5 minutes
Duration: 12-24 hours


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