Fun with 360-degree time-lapse video

Who doesn’t love a great time-lapse video? They’re a staple in TV shows – at least one shows up in every single episode of Breaking Bad and HGTV’s Fixer Upper.



At Cabana VR, we love, I mean looooooooove, producing 360-degree time-lapses. They are fairly easy to set up, they look amazing, and we always have fun selecting some cool background music to accompany the final product.


Recently we received a micro-grant from CreativeMornings/Charlotte to produce a time-lapse of the Charlotte skyline at sunset. Our fixed costs were minimal, so we were actually able to make two videos from two separate hotel rooftops.


The video from the Le Meridian hotel shows the Charlotte skyline in the distance, and overlooks their rooftop bar when you scroll to the right. One of my favorite features of this video is that the headlights from the cars turn the streets into a river of flowing golden light.


The second video was shot from the top of the Aloft hotel in Charlotte’s Epicenter district. I love this one because it’s surrounded by interesting buildings on every side. At one point (cue to :12-:15), you see the sun reflecting golden light off of the Bank of America Corporate Center building. As the sun goes down and darkness sets in, the lightshow really kicks into high gear. 

As you can see, city skylines work great for a 360 time-lapse, but don’t forget about the natural beauty of a rural setting. We shot a sunset video on a beach overlooking Lake Wylie that’s just as gorgeous. 

Time-lapse also works well for capturing crowd scenes. Here is one we did at the Charlotte Christmas Village when ESPN GameDay was in town. Can you tell which teams were playing?


Insider tips for shooting a time-lapse in 360:

  • As with all 360 videos, make sure your viewers have something to look at in all directions. Our video of the skyline from the Aloft was more effective than the one that shows the skyline in the distance.
  • For the perfect sunset video, set your time-lapse to take a shot every 10 seconds. Start the video at least an hour before sunset, and let it run for several hours after the sun goes down. You can always edit for length.
  • Our go-to music source is AudioJungle from Envato Market. We’ve found some amazing royalty-free tunes for less than $20.


Have fun trying your hand at 360 time-lapse! And if you need someone to create one for you, don’t hesitate to contact CabanaVR!