How to Create a Cinemagraph
Cinemagraphs are ultimately still a photograph but with small areas that are replaced by a matching video clip. When blended correctly, they create a pattern of repeated motion within the photograph to give the effect of an action stuck in an eternal loop.
Creating one of these never-ending clips is fairly straightforward but it does require a little bit of planning and thought. Therefore, there are certain compositions and structures that you will need to adhere to.
Plan Your Cinemagraph
Although this may sound easy enough, as you can see from the example on the left-hand side, the action needs to be subtle and repeatable. Fast, erratic action will be inconsistent and unloopable so will not form a cinemagraph efficiently.
We would recommend avoiding busy surroundings behind the subject since it’s going to be difficult to mask out afterwards. Working in a controlled environment is best – which is why this is such a great technique to try at home!
Here’s a few ideas we’ve put together to inspire you;
Stirring a spoon in a cup of coffee
Ferris Wheel spinning
Pouring water in a glass
A dripping tap
Throwing a Yo-Yo
Tapping a keyboard
Create a Video Clip
If your camera has a video function, then use it but don’t worry about the resolution you are recording (when we come to save our cinemagraph shortly, you’ll see why).
You could even use the camera on your smartphone too, which means it’s even more accessible.
Keep your camera on a tripod whilst you film, everything needs to remain steady during recording. Repeat your action a few times so you can trim it down to the perfect starting point in Photoshop.
Your video clip only needs to around 15 seconds long at most. The final cinemagraph will only feature 2-3 seconds of movement so it doesn’t need to be a Hollywood epic!
Once you’ve got your video clip uploaded to the computer, this is where the photoshop fun begins!
Editing Your Cinemagraph in Photoshop
Above all, the success in making an amazing cinemagraph comes from the planning. Be sure to sit down and really think about what could make an eye-catching finish. Furthermore, research online and have a look at some examples to see what others have done and see how to build on these examples.
We’d love to see your efforts in the gallery so when you’ve saved your final GIF file then upload it to the iPhotoshop Student Gallery.
Enjoy creating your cinematic masterpieces, we can’t wait to see them!
The iPhotoshop Team
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