Your Mac’s built-in iSight can do more than just let you play with Photo Booth and allow your friends to see you when you’re chatting. With the right software, your webcam can transform from merely being a toy to a useful tool.
Gawker is a free application which your iSight uses to create time-lapse movies. As with all time-lapse movies, it uses a collection of photos taken within an interval (every 10 seconds, for example) and combines them to form a video.
Gawker’s party piece is: it does it all for you! Upon running Gawker, it searches for your iSight; and using Bonjour, it will also locate other shared iSights on your network! Yup, it allows remote webcam viewing (I’ll come back to that later).
Using Gawker is pretty easy once you figure out what it can do. Within its main application window, it lists the iSights which you can connect to. Shared remote webcams located via Bonjour will also be listed here. Clicking on them will bring up a preview window showing you what is going on through the iSight.
Here’s where the fun begins. If you click on ‘More’, you will find some interesting options. You may set a particular time for Gawker to start and stop recording, so that it won’t need to run the entire day – only at the specified times. You may also choose to share your iSight with someone else running Gawker, set the broadcast interval and a password in order to connect to you (optional). After you’re done setting up, hit ‘Record’ and let the magic work.
Like I said, Gawker’s party piece is it automatically creates a time-lapse movie. It doesn’t just take a picture within the preset interval – leaving you with a folder full of images, having to click through them individually. After Gawker is done recording, all you’re left with is a video file. Quick and hassle-free! Gawker is also powerful enough to record streams from up to four separate webcams and combine them in the final time-lapse video.
Possible usages for Gawker:
Another useful application is EyeSight. It also allows you to take time-lapse pictures between an interval from seconds to days. You can choose the output format of the images (from PNG, JPG, TIFF & BMP) and its size (640 x 480 and below).
Besides that, EyeSight provides you with the option of uploading your pictures to an FTP server, so that you gain access to them from anywhere instantaneously.
Gawker and EyeSight are both available for free to run on Mac OS X.
What else do you do with your Webcam? Have you found other uses for them? Let us know in the comments.