Time lapse alignment : A comparison of Futura Photo and Futura Time Lapse


Alignment of time lapse members can be necessary for different reasons:

  • Wind can shake the tripod,
  • For “long term time lapse” (weeks if not more), someone/something can bump into the support of the camera,
  • Time Lapse can be shot handheld.

Example of Time Lapse aligned with Futura Photo

Same Time Lapse, images not aligned

I have already written a blog post about the different tools that can be used to align time lapse members and I would like today to give more details about two of these tools:

Both Futura Photo and Futura Time Lapse can align the members of a time lapse. This article is comparing both applications.


Both apps are developed by the same company, Camera Futura and the algorithm behind both apps for aligning the members is very similar.

However, there are several differences as we will later.

Futura Time Lapse Overview

This app is doing only one thing: aligning the images located in a source folder and creating a copy of these images after alignment into a destination folder. If some images can’t be aligned, a copy of them is created as well in the destination folder into a subfolder “Not Aligned”.

There is no option, and the user can’t interact with the app. This means it is super easy to use the app, but also either you are pleased with the results, and if not, you can’t change anything.

Futura Photo overview

First, Futura Photo can detect time lapse members into a photo shoot. You can define the time span between images and the threshold to trigger the creation of a time lapse in terms of number of images.

But if the time span is not the same, you can flag images manually as members of time lapse.

It also means you can manage in the same photoshoot the alignment of several time lapses whereas Futura Time Lapse is aligning one time lapse per analysis.

With Futura Photo, the user can select the parts of the image useful for the alignment and has more options available

But the biggest difference lies in the possibility to choose:

  • How you align images (against only 2 translations x and y for minor shakes like wind on the tripod, or 2 translations + one rotation against z for handheld shot time lapse or bigger shakes like bumps on the camera’s support)
  • The size of images used to align the members: either a thumbnail or the full-size JPEG file. The former providing the fastest analysis, and frequently the best alignment, the latter can be useful especially for small shakes but will take more time,
  • The choice of the location of the patches used to align members:

In both apps, the algorithm tries to find parts of the images that won’t move in every member. Like houses or mountains. This is very important as clouds, or vehicles, can’t be used to align the images together. But in Futura Photo, the user can override the choice of the app.


Futura Time Lapse is easier to use and if it fits your need, it is a light and simple tool to use to align time lapse members. But if you want to go further, Futura Photo can propose you additional features like auto-detection of time lapse members, alignment of several time lapses at the same time, and better alignment for some corner cases.

Short demo of Futura Photo

Time lapse alignment with Futura Photo

Disclaimer: I am the founder of Camera Futura.