One of the most popular articles I ever wrote for my old Web site was one about WebCams. It seems that everyone wants a WebCam. I can’t blame them. WebCams are a lot of fun. I’ve had one, on and off now, for about six years.
But what have always fascinated me are timelapse movies, which are movies created by stringing together a bunch of still images of a scene taken at regular intervals for a certain period. Depending on your subject matter, the images viewed in quick succession will appear to have motion.
My WebCam looks out into the Arizona sky. That’s not always very interesting as a movie. After all, a plain blue sky all day long can be pretty dull to watch, even if you can compress the entire day down to a half-minute movie. But during monsoon season here in Arizona, the sky can be an ever-changing subject. And the movies clearly show the motion of the clouds and the buildup of thunderstorms on the horizon. And once in a while, those storms get close enough to make it into the movie before nightfall.
So I set up my WebCam to make timelapse movies again. (You can see my sky change here.) You can make these movies, too. All you need is access to an Internet server (like your Web server or iDisk), a compatible camera (like an iSight), and a shareware program called EvoCam. Here’s how.
Step 1: Get and Install EvoCam
If you’re dedicated to setting up a WebCam and/or timelapse movie, don’t be cheap. EvoCam by Evological is a $25 shareware program that makes it easy to set up a WebCam, including one that also creates timelapse movies. I’ve been using it for several years now and am impressed with its feature set, which includes—among other things—a built-in WebCam server, e-mail and FTP capabilities, scheduling, and offline image support. I don’t even use half of EvoCam’s features and I think it’s worth every penny I paid for it.
The current version of EvoCam (as I write this) is 3.6.1. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and QuickTime 7.
Download the EvoCam software disk image here. If necessary, double-click the downloaded file to open the disk image. You can then either drag the contents of the disk image into a folder in your Applications folder or just drag the EvoCam application into the Applications folder.
I recommend that you try it and make sure that it works with your camera before registering it. You have 15 days to give it a good workout.