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How to Create a Cinemagraph; Still Photos with Moving Elements

Cinemagraphs, still photos with moving elements, are quite a trend in photography circles. Unlike jerky animated GIFs, they’re much more fluid and subtle. Learn how to make them with this tutorial.

At Photojojo! they have a detailed tutorial outlining how to create a cinemagraph that covers the planning and execution of your image.

If you’ve never heard of the process before it’s pretty neat. You take a series of photographs and then, using image editing tools, mask off only the parts of the photo you want to move (like the eyes in the photos sample seen here). Then you blend the photos together and create an animated GIF where in only the small portion of the image actually moves. This is quite different than the jerky animated GIFs that result when people try to turn full motion video into an animation.

Hit up the link below to see how you can create your own cinemagraphs.

How to Make Cinemagraphs — Still Photos that Move Like Movies!

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/20/11

Comments (5)

  1. Hatryst

    The thumbnail for this post should be animated (on the homepage, that would be cool !!)

  2. Jason Fitzpatrick

    That would be cool (and slightly creepy for the unsuspecting reader!)

  3. vistual

    “slightly creepy for the unsuspecting reader” LOL! ….
    wow!
    meanwhile my comments get blocked.

  4. vistual

    Oooops – i take it back – my comment went through, and i see they did make it animated. Cool.
    the how-to in the link, lists Adobe Photoshop as an ingredient. last i heard thats a pretty serious piece of software just to make an animated gif.

    i have a lot of fun with these and i can tell you all you need is vlc if youre using a video file to take snap shots of the frames you want to use and a little app called microsoft gif animator.

    theres actually ways to achieve this without ever installing anything onto your computer. theres online sources as well. i think this should have been simplified a bit or at least broken down to show all the ways that one can make these.

  5. JDHH

    @vistual
    Which are those online sources??? I have used GIF Animator to create GIFs, in fact i created a “cinemagraph” but my moving object was a TV in the background, I used several pics each with its own TV. It is quite simple to use the MGA, however these online resources simplify this even more ???

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