‘Layer Lapse’ Video Shows Boston Using Various Time Lapses

The video uses animation to show the passing of time for various objects at different rates.


Vimeo user Julian Tryba posted a new and creative take on a time lapse video of the city, a technique he describes as a “layer-lapse,” and seems to be the first of its kind.

“A time lapse is a sped-up passing of time, a quick video,” Tryba told Boston. In comparison, a layer-lapse is a “single time lapse with the same basic structure capturing time passing, but instead you cut out different objects in the scene.” The layers overlap the assorted timings of objects on the screen, such as a building or skyscraper, which then are matched to the beat of background music.

On the video’s Vimeo page, Tryba describes layer-lapse as such:

Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein’s relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.

Tryba, an engineer at GE Aviation, and a 2013 grad of University of Vermont, says the creative work involved animation combined with video work. He used Adobe After Effects to cut out the different pieces of the video and the layers to cut out the time lapses. This video was a side project, independent from his work as an engineer.

In terms of how he selected the different locations in Boston, Tryba says he used Google Maps and dropped pins as a working map for picking his shots.

More of Julian Tryba’s video projects can be found on his Vimeo page.

Boston Layer-Lapse from Julian Tryba on Vimeo.