McDonald's Restaurant Time Lapse with the Brinno Construction Cam

I have started a retail web site devoted to Brinno time lapse camera solutions with a focus on prepurchase customer eduction and project support. All of my current Brinno related content is at the new site. Please visit us at www.TimeLapseCameras.com. Since you have an interest in this article you should check out our Brinno Learning Series.


I have wanted to do a time lapse construction project everybody could relate to and finally all of the pieces came together. With permission from the general contractor, Alvin E Benike, Inc and the McDonald's franchisee, Courtesy Corporation this video features four months of construction condensed into three minutes. Work took place in Rochester, Minnesota from April to August, 2014.

Using the gear icon on the player, select 720 for the best quality.

The exterior portions of the video were created using the Brinno BCC 100 Time Lapse Construction Camera. This is a great, inexpensive ($270.00) camera which comes with a weather proof housing and is suitable for construction projects of all sizes. Whether laying brick or building a skyscraper the BCC100 is perfect for long or short term project documentation.

I mounted the camera, using one of my custom brackets, to a board, held in place on top of the job site trailer with sandbags. The camera was set to capture one frame every 10 minutes and the timer was utilized to only have the camera run during working hours. Over the course of four months, I only checked the camera once, downloaded the card and changed the batteries. I am quite confident the camera would have run for the full duration without any intervention.

I did not have too many opportunities to film the interior work. However, on the next project I will make it a point as I feel it added interest and variety to the final video.

The interior was captured with a Brinno TLC 200 Pro time lapse camera, also mounted in the weather resistant housing. I used a suction cup and ball head to affix the camera to a window above the door. This camera was set to capture a frame every five to 10 seconds, depending on the day.

At the end of the project I had about six minutes of exterior footage and five minutes of interior. With a long term time lapse the amount of editing work needs to be considered at the start of project. I want more footage than I need but not too much creating excessive editing work. At one capture every 10 minutes, played back at 30 frames per second (FPS) a full day of work is shown in three seconds. At the start, this may not seem like much, but over the course of four months, three seconds per day turns into six minutes. Since the camera was on a timer, all of the days could have been easily combined to make a longer, albeit, less interesting video. We removed weekends, down time and portions where rain obscured the lens.

The final edit, included the addition of music, logos, title and credit screens. The Brinno cameras create AVI movies, so much of the work is already done. Editing really only involves removing content you don't want and adding whatever you want to finalize your video. You can accomplish all of this with software already on your computer, Mac users should have iMove and PC users Windows Movie Maker. With a little patience you can create a polished time lapse movie of your project. If you are excited about the low cost and simplicity of creating your own time lapse but don't want to deal with editing we would be happy to provide you with a quote for the assistance you need.

Anyone in the construction industry should consider a time lapse camera for both marketing and project documentation. Whether you are a general contractor, a house builder, bricklayer, painter, counter installer, etc. what better way to show off your work than a time lapse. The Brinno cameras make this so easy and people watch time lapse movies to see what unfolds. The unique marketing opportunity alone makes purchasing a $270 camera an easy decision. Create videos for your web site, post them on Facebook, Instagram or Tweet them. People watch time lapse videos just to watch which builds awareness for you business. I have mentioned before, time lapse videos are great at a home show or trade show and serve as an ice breaker with visitors often asking the first questions.

In closing, I leave you with a photo I took the night before the grand opening.

McDonalds-Restaurant-New-Exterior-Night