Using Motion webcam software to capture an image every 30 seconds

Sometimes I use a webcam to capture images that I then use for time lapse videos. Other times I use my old Canon camera with CHDK and an interalometer script.

I have been trying to find a simple and robust webcam tool for this for years but all packages are too complicated and anoying. I just want to take an image every 30 seconds and be done with it. No HTTP server. No fancy scheduling. Nothing more than getting my images from the camera.

In Windows I have tried webcamXP and that’s pretty good. In Linux I have been running Motion. It’s a full featured motion detection package. Capable of much more than I want.

I adjusted the config file for Motion to only save one image every 30 seconds. Just as I want it.

My Motion config file (~/.motion/motion.conf)

# Motion is a webcam software that is designed for doing motion detection.
# I made the most simple config I could to disabled all motion detection
# features. Instead I just use it to take one picuture every 30 seconds.
# It's configured for giving the hightest quality possible with a
#   046d:0992 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam Communicate Deluxe
#
# Visit the web site for more information about Motion
#   http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome

snapshot_interval 30
width 1280
height 960
quality 95
text_right ""
target_dir /home/ola/webcam/capture
snapshot_filename %Y-%m-%d/%Y%m%d-%H%M%S

process_id_file /var/run/motion/motion.pid
output_normal off
v4l2_palette 1
framerate 2