The Complete Timelapse

Putting together the final timelapse was a lot more difficult than expected. Since the construction cam was snapping one shot every five minutes and saving it to my server, there were 288 shots for every one of the 335 days of the project. That’s 96,480 shots. At 30 frames per second, that would be a 53 minute long timelapse movie! Not only is that way too long, but the file would be huge and filled with a lot of night shots and days with no interesting activity.

Via some unix command-line magic, the first thing I did was systematically delete all nights and weekends. This eliminated about 75% of the images producing a 13 minute movie. It was still, however, too long, too big, and filled with too many stretches of marginal exterior progress. At that point, I opened up my FTP program and started going through all 22,000 of the remaining images and deleting any stretches of time that lacked exterior activity. The end result was a final movie consisting of 5929 images and lasting a little over three minutes… and here it is:

… and with that, A House By the Park is essentially concluded! It’s been fun writing this journal, and hopefully if you’re about to start a new project of your own, you’ll get as much out of it as I put into it. One final thanks as well to my friends at Build, without whom, this project wouldn’t have gone nearly as smoothly.

At long last, it’s time to stop neglecting my main blog and begin writing over at Mike Industries again.

Thanks for following along. It’s been fun.

There are 3 other sites referencing this entry:

  1. So Here’s What Happened (on November 19th) : Andrew Flynn
  2. Day 3
  3. Nod to A House by the Park |

26 Responses to “The Complete Timelapse”

  1. Rachel Says:

    I’m glad they eventually removed that shipping container :) Thanks for sharing, I’ve enjoyed following along.

    All the best.

  2. tiffehr Says:

    I’m glad hot tub delivery evening made it in there for a split second. The cloud patterns are almost more interesting than the construction, watching fronts swirl around over the Bay.

  3. I guess the guy with the old-school mid-80’s Suburban was only working on framing – didn’t see him again in the second half.

    Excellent video – I’ve enjoyed the entire series, and saved several posts for when we look to do upgrades ourselves.

  4. Rob L. Says:

    It’s a very very very fine house. Enjoy it, and thanks for sharing the project.

  5. Jay Says:

    Thanks for documenting the process Mike. It was fun to see the house take shape, and I appreciated your transparency of the whole process.

  6. Lou M Says:


  7. It really went that fast didn’t it!?

    Great work on that timelapse- the skilled editing really tells the story.

  8. Andrew Says:

    Nice work Mike – it’s rare to see a construction timelapse of such high resolution. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the house go up (twice).

  9. Jim Says:

    My favorite part is, right near the end, a white pickup is being loaded with something, you can watch the back end of the truck sag with the weight.

  10. Hmm, apparently the timelapse video has no fallback if you have Flash uninstalled
    (Yes, I’m drinking the Gruber kool-aid in which everyone in the world owns MacBook Airs and iPads). Worked just dandy in Chrome though.

    Cheers for the chronological insight throughout this project. The laser-like focus on one specific topic is why I believe blogs should exist in the first place, and I’ve pointed to this site as an ideal example many times.

  11. Mike D. Says:

    Devon: Yeah, I think I’m going to further edit the timelapse down at some point and maybe output it at higher resolution too. When I do that, maybe I’ll output an MP4 version. For now though, put down the kool-aid. :)

  12. Ryan Says:

    Sweet. I remember when this blog was just about to launch.

  13. Kauri Says:

    I followed this blog for almost three years. Congratulations on completing this project. I hope this will not be a last post, for it is very important to know how you as a user of the house feel about the house by really living inside it.

  14. So great to have this as a lasting memory. Thanks for sharing the process Mike :)

  15. Scott in NYC Says:

    Looks fantastic, congrats. Have the Prodema panels held up to the weather so far?

  16. Mike D. Says:

    So far so good on the Prodema.

  17. lindy Says:

    I thought you were trying to do something sustainable?

    the first 2 minutes of the video (all I got through) only shows demo, demo and more demo. I counted four dumpsters.

    this seems more wasteful than anything. couldn’t your building ‘designers’ figure out a way to use some of the previous structure?

  18. Mike D. Says:

    Lindy: You might want to read this post. The old house was not “demolished”. It was painstakingly deconstructed. 90% of it was resold or recycled. Only 10% was sent to a landfill. I challenge you to find a more environmentally friendly removal of an old house than that.

  19. MikeT Says:

    I plan to show this to my daughter tonight. She’s 3 and has been asking how they build houses. I just wish it was on Youtube instead of Flash so I didn’t have to sit down at the PC with her to watch it. But thanks for putting this together; it’s fantastic.

  20. This is great work. It flowed really well, and it was kind of neat how the last part was in sunshine, while the rest was kind of stormy looking.

  21. Aaron Says:

    A great resource for all people looking into building sustainably, and to be able to document the whole process with a blog and a time-lapse movie is brilliant. Well done.

  22. Alex Says:

    I googled what it takes to build a house in Seattle and i made it here in about two clicks . This was about 4 hours ago. In the process not only did i take a mental note of the entire process you went through but i also made some innovative ideas of my own to my game plan. Though i must admit i don’t see myself embarking on a seven figure project any time soon this blog has provided me with an source of reference or starting when considering any one part of building a house. I want to personally thank you for that and for all the effort you put into this. It may not mean a whole lot but in my particular it is not often that i take the time to write something like this online, i usually find out what i need to know and move on to the next step. This however is by the far the most down to earth resource i could ask for when even contemplating such a feat.

    PS: You never mentioned what the cost of acquiring the property was, which in my eyes should be entered somewhere in the bottom line of the entire cost of the project.

  23. Mike D. Says:

    MikeT: You’re right… I should put it on YouTube. I believe I may have put a version of it on Vimeo, but good idea.

    Alex: Thanks. Glad you are enjoying it. I didn’t include the cost of the land because it wasn’t really part of the construction process… although, admittedly, there is other stuff that isn’t part of the construction process either.

  24. Jen Says:

    Hey thanks for this blog. My husband and I are about to start our own construction project and the information you posted here was invaluable.

  25. Mike-
    Thank you for making known to all your journey of building form the ground up. Would you recommend a particular camera available for filming video if you were building another home? I’m breaking ground on my first project with a couple partners and your construction blog gave me the idea of filming and sharing our project as you did.

  26. AH HA! I just found your post on tech & install: