This time we explored how Photoshop can used to create simple pieces of animation in the form of GIFs. I was surprised to discover that videos can be imported into Photoshop and be edited to same degree as an image. Using this principle I attempted to create my own Cinemagraphs, a practice which is becoming ever popular.

“Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. Cinemagraphs, which are usually published in an animated GIF format, can give the illusion that the viewer is watching a video. The term “cinemagraph” was coined by U.S. photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who used the technique to animate their fashion and news photographs beginning in early 2011.”

Simple GIF animation using text, in order to establish basic principles:

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 15.50.51

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 15.57.45


Using two images:


Using the blend for an increased amount of frames in order to create a smoother transition between the two images:

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 16.50.10


Attempts at creating a cinemagraphs:

(only the top piece of wrapping is moving)

(only the pouring liquid is moving)

(only the trees and washing is moving)

My first attempt at creating a guitar playing GIF. I believe the video footage was not long enough and I had not selected the correct pixels in the mask. It resulted in a very jumpy GIF:

(only my hands/arms and the guitar are moving)

To correct I had to first create my cinemagraph selecting more video footage and a greater area selected as a mask. I then exported it as a video. Then by importing it once again in Photoshop as ‘Video Frames to Layers’ I was able to copy and reverse the frames creating a smooth transition back and forth.
Due to file being so large I had to reduce the colour palette to 64 colours as opposed to 128 or 256

sidenote: GIFs are still quite large, allow a few seconds(depending on internet speed) for them to fully load.



Although my cinemagraphs aren’t perfect, I really enjoyed making them (even if it was very frustrating at times) and think they are still quite effective. Can see myself making a lot of these in the future, perhaps even as a mini side project.

Also on a side note, it is particularly difficult to record cinemagraph video sources when you have a 2 year old running havoc, cheeky bugger!: