The Prisma App and Time-Lapse Videos

Most of us are familiar with Drew Geraci’s work even if we don't recognize his name. Geraci is the owner of District 7 Media and is the man behind the time-lapse material seen in the opening sequences of Netflix’s House of Cards, PBS's Frontline, and three NFL's Superbowls. As one of the most talented and influential time-lapse producers in the industry, Geraci again pushes boundaries with “China: A Prisma Tale,” a motion time-lapse processed within the Prisma App. 

Using an iPad and a wealth of patience, Geraci painstakingly reshot an original time-lapse video as it was displayed on his 4k monitor. Nearly 2,500 images were processed in Prisma and then saved. Geraci ripped the images off of the iPad and finished processing the video on his PC. In total, Geraci spent eighty grueling hours behind the console to create a project that visually strikes more as an animation than a photographic project.

While the rest of us are still using the relatively new Prisma App to create selfies, photographers and videographers like Geraci are utilizing the painterly app to create content that makes us ask what else is possible with Prisma. To go further behind the scenes, check out a side-by-side comparison of "China: A Prisma Tale" and the original motion time-lapse here.



Andrew Faulk's picture

Andrew Faulk is an American photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. Though specializing in portrait photography, Andrew dabbles in all things photography. He is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.

Log in or register to post comments

That would have been very awesome except they did that annoying blurry sidebar thing that people do when they take vertical phone videos. I'd love to see it without that, or it would be nice if they had done some nice cropping like in the music video:

Annoying limitation of Prisma, only letting you export images in a square ratio. Would rather have seen the video as just a square without the fake widescreen blurry bars.

The work around is importing the photos into photoshop and add white/black bars to the image then add them back to edit in Prisma. (like you had to do before instagram allowed unsquared images). Then just use your video editor to set movie crop.

Sure Prisma app has the hype at the moment and some like the square ratio - but if you're not into Prisma (which has limitations) you could use Photoshop/Illustrator to get near-close-results using the "artsy effects" that never are used + full resolution to play with.

Yes, you could. But the advantage of the app is the amount of time it takes. If I'm making actual artwork I'll do it myself, but I don't always have time for that. I just did a design piece for a client where I ran 100+ images through Prisma because it was just plain faster than doing it all manually.

I'm sure you are familiar with the recording actions -function in Photoshop are you not? One manual image manipulation recorded and other 100+ photos are run with the script automatically. But if the quality is fine in Prisma app for the project then by all means use it. Its a no-brainer to use the fastest tools possible to get the job done :)

sure, I just tend to do edits like what you're talking about in source-specific ways, eg: doing a fractal graphic from a photo, so scripting that wouldn't be viable. Definitely get your point though, don't think I have the energy or desire to do that initial work though :P

Yeah I was playing with Prisma and video. Prisma's 1080x1080 output is a limitation. What I did was export a sequence in After effects as 1080x1080 with the video centercropped. Run through Prisma and the bring back into After Effects "blowing up" the center crop as 1920x1080. But have you seen the video tests on

I don't think their effects are as cool as Prisma. But these app developers should realize the potential that video would afford.