Time-lapse video by Singapore-based artist captures 3 years of change in the city's landscape

Besides buildings and landscapes, the movement of traffic is captured in The Lion City II - Majulah.
Besides buildings and landscapes, the movement of traffic is captured in The Lion City II - Majulah.SCREENGRAB: KEITH LOUTIT
Artist Keith Loutit's video shows changes in the Singapore landscape over three years, including the construction of Housing Board flats.
Artist Keith Loutit's video shows changes in the Singapore landscape over three years, including the construction of Housing Board flats. SCREENGRAB: VIMEO/KEITH LOUTIT

SINGAPORE - In less than five minutes, viewers of the latest time-lapse video to go viral can see three years of changes in Singapore's cityscape.

The short film by artist Keith Loutit captures buildings going up, cars winding through Housing Board estates, changes in light and weather, and even trees growing in many parts of Singapore in 4min 42sec.

As of Friday (June 10), The Lion City II - Majulah has been viewed more than 50,000 times after being on video-sharing site Vimeo for less than 24 hours.

The Melbourne-born Singapore permanent resident told The Straits Times that he wants to help people see places they are familiar with in a different way.

"People who live in HDB estates may miss the inherent beauty in these landscapes," he said, as he enthused about the symmetry and architectural beauty of HDB flats.

His favourite part in the film is that of a single car winding through an HDB estate. In the time-lapse, the vehicle is reduced to two streaks of light careening down a narrow road.

"I wanted to make people feel that it could be them," he explained.

Mr Loutit, 43, said he started working on the project in January 2013.

He spent six months experimenting and developing a technique and process that allowed him to go back to a place multiple times, and position his camera at the same spot with pinpoint accuracy.

He also used geographic data to ensure that his transitions between the shots are seamless, he said.

Most of the footage in the film was collected from June 2013 to June this year.

Other than commercial film projects that took him overseas, he spent most of the year in Singapore traipsing around the island on public transport filming.

"The heat in Singapore is exhausting when you're lugging camera equipment up and down buildings. I could feel how hot construction workers get," Mr Loutit said.

He ended up with 10 terabytes of raw data, he added.

Mr Loutit is best known for a series of "tilt-shift" time-lapse short films that miniaturises the landscape and subjects while speeding up the action. The videos, taken around the world, give the illusion of a miniature "toy world".

One of Singapore titled The Lion City using this treatment was produced in 2012.

Time-lapse videos have grown in popularity and Mr Loutit is not the only artist or photographer to use Singapore as a backdrop.

Though not a video, a composite photo of a lightning storm in Sembawang that layered 12 images of lightning flashing across the night sky was featured in international media, including the BBC and the Telegraph, in May.

The image by photographer Darren Soh, 40, was shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook.

Other time-lapse videos have shown Singapore's night scenes, Changi Airport, SG50 celebrations and more. Here are some of them: