RePho – A Versatile Tool for Time-Lapse Photography and Animation

By Martin Kolman - Last updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The RePho app was originally designed to “recapture” old photos. If, for example, you have an old black and white picture of some place, imagine what it will look like today? RePho allows you to display the old image as an opaque layer on the screen of your smart phone. The parameters of the layer (overlay opacity and rotation) are easily adjusted. And just when the original picture “fits” the new one, you simply press the button.

RePho Icon

RePho Icon

Main Screen

Main Screen

Quick menu on the main display.

Quick menu on the main display.

For this opaque layer, you can use images from a variety of sources: image files stored on your device, galleries, URLs, or you simply capture the layer your self (if events are moving along fast enough, you may take the pictures in an interval of just a few minutes instead of several years).

Main Menu

Main Menu

Animation

RePho basically allows you to capture the changes to a scene over a certain period of time in great detail. This, of course, can be utilized for simple ad-hoc animations. How? You might want to start by selecting a suitable scene with plenty of contrasting objects to help you find the right angle again when you take the next picture for your animation. Once you have selected the right scene, you simply take a picture that covers the whole scene, display it as an opaque layer and the animation work can begin. The process is straight forward – focus on a certain subject in the scene and with the help of the opaque layer you simply recapture it from the same angle. To achieve good images, you need neither a steady hand nor a tripod – just an eye for detail. RePho stores the individual pictures in the order you have shot them, with rising numbered index to view the images in chronological order on your computer or to build a classic animation. When it comes to animation with RePho, there are no limits to your fantasy – pens and crayons may rise and march all over the desk, or cooking utensils may engage in mortal combat with each other. Just one simple rule: the fewer movements in between individual images and the more images you take, the more fluent the animation will be.

Timed Capture

Sometimes, pressing the button at the right moment might just not be possible. That is why RePho contains a function for timed capture. Simply set the time interval in seconds and RePho will then automatically take the images using the set interval. The number of pictures is only limited by the available storage space and the capacity of your battery. RePho keeps taking pictures unless one or the other runs out – or the user changes the settings. Images are also taken when the display is turned off, which saves battery life and allows the timed capture for longer periods of time. (of course, assuming that the interval between the pictures is large enough).

For a sample animation see Clouds at Sunset

Timed Capture allows to visualize gradual changes, which are usually not visible to the naked eye. For example, the progress at a construction site, or the ever changing formation of clouds. To start with, simply set a suitable time interval, for example 60 seconds, start Timed Capture and position the telephone at the window so that the camera renders the environment outside. During a quick screening in the evening, you can enjoy the clouds and the sun passing along, or the construction site growing by yet another floor.

Menu for Timed Capture

Menu for Timed Capture

Timed Capture

Timed Capture

The main platform for RePho is Nokia’s N9. You can download RePho for free directly from the Nokia Store (formerly Ovi)

Qr code for downloading RePho from the Nokia Store

Qr code for downloading RePho from the Nokia Store

RePho is open source software, detributed under the GPLv3 license and the source codes can be downloaded from Github.

Future Plans

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