Halifax Harbour Storm Time Lapse

A view of Halifax Harbour, Cable Wharf and the Halifax waterfront; during the Nor’Easter on February 9th, 2013. This is a time lapse that spans from Feb 9th 10:30pm – February 10th at 9:00am.

I had to create a workflow to capture the raw images from an online webcam, organize and time/date stamp them, and then arrange them into video form. I ended up utilizing a .vbs script to accomplish the capture of the images.

Dim imageURL
imageURL = "http://live.novascotiawebcams.com/cablewharf/current.jpg"
Function SaveBinaryData(FileName, ByteArray)
Const adTypeBinary = 1
Const adSaveCreateOverWrite = 2
Dim BinaryStream
Set BinaryStream = CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
BinaryStream.Type = adTypeBinary
BinaryStream.Write ByteArray
BinaryStream.SaveToFile FileName, adSaveCreateOverWrite
End Function
Function BinaryGetURL(URL)
Dim Http
Set Http = CreateObject("WinHttp.WinHttpRequest.5.1")
Http.Open "GET", URL, False
BinaryGetURL = Http.ResponseBody
End Function
Function doSave()
Dim image, fName, p_month, p_day, p_hour, p_minute, p_second
image = BinaryGetURL(imageURL)
p_month = padZero(Month(Now))
p_day = padZero(Day(Now))
p_hour = padZero(Hour(Now))
p_minute = padZero(Minute(Now))
p_second = padZero(Second(Now))
fName = p_month & "_" & p_day & "_" & Year(Now) & "-" & p_hour & "_" & p_minute & "_" & p_second & ".jpg"
SaveBinaryData fName,image
End Function
Function padZero(val)
If(Len(val) < 2) Then val = "0" & val End If padZero = val End Function doSave()

I then utilized a .bat script to loop this operation at a set interval for a set period of time:
cscript C:\Users\Next\Desktop\cablewharf\webcam.vbs
ping 0 -n 2 > nul
goto loop

Once I had the images saved out (around 8,000 of them) I used Photoshop's batch actions to de-noise, color correct, and crop the images to a frame size suitable for use in a video (720x480).

I then used a freeware program I found called Photolaps (http://home.hccnet.nl/s.vd.palen/index.html) to stitch the images into a video file (AVI) and then used Premiere to do the final compression into an h.264 Youtube compatible video file.

A great big Thank you to novascotiawebcams.com for the raw images I used to create this! 🙂



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