I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Animation of a year of Global Cloud Cover

Animation of a year of Global Cloud Cover

Here's an animation showing a year of global cloud cover (from July 2017 to July 2018) :

The clouds are sourced from the free daily download at xplanet. I run a Google apps script that saves a copy of the image to Google Drive every day (basically the same as this script to save Nest cam images). The hard part was waiting a year to get enough frames. Xplanet combines GEOS, METEOSAT and GMS satellite imagery with some reflection near the poles. Although I didn't need to for this project note that you can subscribe to higher quality / more frequent downloads.

As well as the clouds you can also see the terminator between day and night change shape over the course of the year. This video starts and ends with the Summer equinox when days are longest in the Northern hemisphere.

Where it's nighttime the image is based on NASA's Black Marble. The daytime is based on Blue Marble, but blended with a different older image which has better ocean colors and interpolated daily between twelve monthly Blue Marble satellite images. The result of this is that you can see snow and ice coverage changing over the course of the year. If you look closely you'll also notice vegetation growing and dying back with the seasons.

Rendered in a slightly modified build of Catfood Earth (the main release doesn't know how to access my private cache of xplanet cloud images). As well as combining day, night and cloud images Catfood Earth can also show you earthquakes, volcanoes, US weather radar, political borders, places and time zones. It has been enlivening Windows desktop wallpaper for fifteen years now (as shareware back when that was a thing, these days it's a free download for Windows and Android).

Star Trails

Star Trails

Here's a different take on the timelapse I posted yesterday (Jupiter from Casini Ranch):

For this version each frame is built from the cumulative maximum pixel value for all the previous frames. So it's like a long exposure with nice star trails (and Jupiter, and at various points a couple of satellites and a plane).

Jupiter from Casini Ranch

Updated on Saturday, May 19, 2018

Jupiter from Casini Ranch

A short 4K UHD timelapse featuring Jupiter rising over the Russian River:

Shot from Casini Ranch near Duncan Mills, California. It's a shame it's not Saturn and Cassini Ranch.

Painted Lady Butterflies Eclosing

Updated on Friday, January 5, 2018

Butterfly ecloses from chrysalis

Four Painted Lady butterflies eclose (emerge) from their chrysalises. The video has a timelapse and then realtime video of each butterfly in turn.

Sutro Baths Timelapse

Sutro Baths in San Francisco

Timelapse of Sutro Baths in San Francisco, CA.

Backyard Visits

A spider glows in infrared

I have a Nest camera in my backyard. So far it has caught zero criminals. It's not completely useless though as it has captured many raccoons, several skunks, eerie spiders glowing in the infrared lights, a couple of rats and one cat. Parkside police say I can stop calling now.

Stars over Lake Tahoe

Updated on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Timelapse of stars over Lake Tahoe, California

4K timelapse of stars and the Milky Way over Lake Tahoe, California.

Drone School

Updated on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tam Pan

Updated on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Tam Pan

Time-lapse panning over the San Francisco bay area from the Gardner Lookout at the east peak of Mount Tamalpais.

ASCII Sunset

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ASCII Sunset

A sunset timelapse rendered as ASCII art. Music from JukeDeck.