Craft & Design Photography & Video
How-To: Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraph animated GIF
While animated GIFs have been around for a while, they’ve recently been adopted by photographers to add small amounts of looping motion to otherwise still images. It’s no wonder they’ve been seen all over the web lately, as the result is often a quite entrancing moving photograph. If you’re interested in making your own, Photojojo offers a detailed write up of how to make these so-called “cinemagraphs,” from planning the right motion to the final assembly in Photoshop. And if you’re looking for a little inspiration, check out the work of photographer Jamie Beck and motion graphics designer Kevin Burg, who are responsible for popularizing this trend. According to Jamie, “There’s something magical about a still photograph—a captured moment in time—that can simultaneously exist outside the fraction of a second the shutter captures.”

8 thoughts on “How-To: Cinemagraphs

  1. (meh…)imagemagick>  convert -delay 17 -loop 0 dog_jumping*.jpg animated_dog.gif

    but who’s to blame for all the GUGA (gratuitous usage of gif animation)?  harry_potter?  4chan?  madison_avenue?  someone must be blamed!

    1. imagemagick isn’t going to properly isolate the area of interest all on its own.

      It’s a completely different effect if the entire frame is animating. (You don’t think she held that book pixel-perfect still while she blinked?)

      That said, I don’t really see the appeal of these.  They’re just creepy.

  2. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great! | 

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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