3D Printing Timelapses with Octolapse

Octolapse Timelapses

Why film a timelapse with Octolapse? Because it looks awesome!

I film all of my 3D printing timelapses using the Octolapse plugin for Octoprint.
I run Octoprint on a Raspberry Pi 3B, and use a Logitech C920 camera.

You can read about Octoprint and Octolapse here: https://octoprint.org/https://plugins.octoprint.org/plugins/octolapse/

You can download my current Octolapse configuration: Download

3D Printing Timelapse
3D Printing Timelapse
3D Printing Timelapse
3D Printing Timelapse


Read the Octolapse wiki. It’s full of good information.

Q: How do I take higher resolution stills with Octolapse?
To take higher resolution images for your timelapse, you can edit the /boot/octopi.txt file in your Octoprint installation.

I use PuTTy to connect to my Raspberry Pi so that I can edit the /boot/octopi.txt file.
Read through the comments of the octopi.txt file, they explain how it works and how the settings will influence the camera.
The specific setting that I use is: camera_usb_options=”-r 1920×1080 -f 3″
This takes stills at 1920×1080 resolution, and the stream preview is at 3fps. A higher framerate will result in a smoother preview stream within Octoprint, but it increases the strain on the Pi.

Q: How do I adjust the image quality, white balance or focus?
To get higher quality timelapses out of your camera, you need to manually adjust your camera settings inside of the Octolapse tab within Octoprint.
You need to enable the default mjpegstreamer control.htm page.
Instructions here: https://github.com/FormerLurker/Octolapse/wiki/Troubleshooting#why-cant-i-change-contrast-zoom-focus-etc

Manual focus, white balance and manual exposure are the most important options to enable.
Things like contrast, brightness, focus level, etc all depend on your specific setup. You will need to spend some time adjusting these to get the best results.
Put something on your print bed, and use that as a reference while adjusting your settings.

Q: Why does Octolapse reduce print quality or cause performance issues?
It is helpful to match your printer settings in Octolapse with the printer settings in your slicing software. Go through the settings, and make sure that all of your Octolapse and Octoprint settings match your slicer settings.
If you run into issues with stringing, try increasing your retraction and reduce the snapshot delay in Octolapse.
Try increasing non-print travel speed in your slicer.
If you get stuttering/jittering in your timelapse, then you most likely need to increase your snapshot delay and adjust your exposure.

Q: What settings should I use for exporting?
It depends. For my needs, I find that a fixed 30FPS MP4 at 24000K bitrate works well. Then I do color correction and scale the video during editing.

Q: I get flickering in my timelapses. What can I do?
Adjusting your manual exposure setting, as well as your snapshot delay can help. It’s important to have very consistent lighting and printer positioning through the entire timelapse. Try not to walk around the camera, lights or printer while it is recording the timelapse to get the best results.
This video by Blue Mantle Films shows a very helpful trick for reducing flickering in editing: Video Link

Q: What hardware do you use?
Camera: Logitech C920 or the PiCamera V2
Lighting: Softbox Photography Kit
Tripod: 60-Inch Tripod
Camera slider: OpenSlider XYZ