Ever heard of cinemagraph? So what is it – a video or a picture? We’d say neither. It’s an animated picture, where a part of the image is moving and the rest remains still. Like flying clouds, or steam coming from a cup of hot tea. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? And you probably think that it takes some profound skill to make a cinemagraph. Well, given the right software it’s not that hard. Keep on reading and see how you can create this wow effect in a few simple steps.
1. Cut out the Area that You Want to Animate
The first step to make a cinemagraph from a still photo is to cut out the piece of the picture that will be moving and save it with a transparent background. Any photo editor will be suitable for this task. But let’s see two ways to do it in two different programs. You can do it in Photoshop with several tools. Either use the Magic Wand tool and select an area with it, then right-click with the mouse and choose Layer via Copy. Then turn off the visibility of the main layer, and export your image in PNG format. Or use the Eraser tool to erase the part of the picture that will remain still and then save the rest. Another way to make a photo with a transparent background is to use PhotoWorks. It has a special tool to change the background in a few clicks. Use the Object brush to mark the object that will remain. And mark the area that you want to get rid of with the Background brush. The software will remove the background automatically. Click Next and hit Save with a Transparent Background button to save your picture in PNG format for further use.
2. Combine Two Images Together
Next two steps we’ll be doing in SmartSHOW 3D – a user-friendly slideshow maker. This software has the possibility to apply masks to your images and create animation for different layers. First, we need to blend the main picture and the photo with a transparent background. Once you’ve opened the software, add your main picture to the Timeline. If your photo has black bars, go to the Photo Position and choose Stretch All Photos. Then hit the Edit Slide button. Click Add Layer and select the picture with the transparent background. Place it over the main image. For a perfect blend of two images apply a mask to the layer with the transparent background. We suggest choosing a mask with a gradient for a seamless blend.
3. Animate Your Image
And the last step to create a cinemagraph from a still image is to animate the part that will be moving. While in the Slide Editor goes to the Animation tab. Add a keyframe at the end of the timeline. Use the arrows to move the second layer where you need it to be. Add more keyframes for more complex animation. Hit the Preview button to see the result. If you want to make the motion smooth and slow, play with the duration of the slide. That’s all! Your cinemagraph is ready. Now you can save it.
SmartSHOW 3D also has another option to liven your picture. It’s called Live Photo and you can find it in the Animation tab. Just select the photo and double-click on the Live Photos icon. There you’ll find the demo images that explain how the feature works. First, you will need to draw the animation paths. You can draw as many paths as you like. Then set the borders for the effective application with yellow markers. If you misplaced a path or a border, just click the Delete Path or Border button, select it and confirm the action. There is also an option to freeze a part of the image, for example, if there is some spot that needs to remain still in the animated area. Hit play to preview the result. You can also increase or decrease the animation speed by dragging the slider. Once you’re satisfied with the result, click Apply and save it.
Now you know how to animate a still photo, but if you look for more tips and tricks then follow the link and find more info on how to make a cinemagraph. We hope that this article was useful, and now you can liven up your own pictures with ease.