Image stabilization in Instagram's Hyperlapse

Instagram has already revealed a bit about how Hyperlapse turns your shaky handheld footage into smooth time-lapses, but what if you really want to know what makes it tick? Don't worry -- the company will happily satisfy your curiosity with a deep dive into the app's inner workings. Ultimately, you're looking at a significant extension of the Cinema tech used in Instagram itself. It's still using your phone's gyroscope to determine the orientation of the camera and crop frames to counteract any shakiness. The biggest change is in how Hyperlapse adjusts to different time-lapse speeds. It only checks the positioning for the video frames you'll actually see, and that crop-based smoothing effect will change as you step up the pace.

Importantly, Instagram's approach contrasts sharply with what we saw in Microsoft's similarly-named technique. There, Microsoft is calculating a 3D path through the scene and stitching together frames to create a seamless whole. That approach is potentially nicer-looking, but it's a lot more computationally intensive; Instagram is taking advantage of your phone's built-in sensors to create a similar effect without as much hard work. You don't need to know the nitty-gritty about Hyperlapse to appreciate the effect it has on your clips, but the post is definitely worth a read if you have unanswered questions.