Create cinemagraphs on Photoshop in 5 Easy Steps


What comes in your mind when you stop by a moving object in a still photograph? A visionary illusion or some special effect? Well, technically it is called Cinemagraph. It really is a unique amalgamation between a still and animated object much more detailed than a conventional gif. In this age of computers and electronic gadgets, such techniques on Photoshop come in as a breath of fresh air which makes the entire process super efficient. A Cinemagraph emphasizes on a particular action or movement within a detailed frame.

Without any further ado, let’s get started with today’s tutorial and it is going to guide you create some unique Cinemagraphs using Photoshop.

Step 1:

Visualize how the image is going to look like. If not the complete picture at least draw a rough sketch of the final result in your mind. An example could be stirring coffee in a mug. We can keep the stirring action in motion while rest can be static. To begin with you will need a movie clip, audio is not necessary. The clip needs to be as short as possible which can mingle well with the subject of the photograph. We don’t recommend longer clips as that would pull in more frames and that can be really time consuming. Save the clip to the computer and fire Photoshop.

Step 2:

Drag and drop the file in Photoshop. The initial frame would look like a standard still image. There are possibly hundred ways to drag frames into a Photoshop document from a clip. But we would choose the Old school Control +A (select all) and Control+C (Copy). Browse to the Window Menu and click the animation panel. From the list of frames start choosing the most relevant ones. Click control+A (Select), and copy. Then, paste the frame into a new layer in a Photoshop document. Keep repeating this for all the frames you have selected.

Step 3:

Now comes the tricky part of cutting off the motion in every frame which you think is irrelevant. Select the relevant part in motion with the polygonal lasso and invert. You can use the command (Control+Shift+I) to do it at one go. If you want to refine the edge or Depth of field (DOF) of the image, use the command (Control + Alt R). This would make the edges like nose tips or finger ends soft. Once you have selected the relevant parts of the frame, simply delete the parts which are irrelevant. This needs to be repeated for every frame you chose.

Step 4:

You are almost done, as the part to be in motion is also set. Now, get into the shoes of a director and direct Photoshop to play the animation. Go to the animation panel which was earlier opened and click the frame mode button. You can easily locate it, at the bottom right corner. On doing so, the entire presentation gets down to just one frame. You need to ensure that the starting point is the first frame in the layers panel. Click the duplicate frame button found to the left of the center position in the panel, on doing that a new frame will be created inheriting attributes from the previous. Add all the frames in the process.

Next, to set the duration of the animation to anything apart from the default select the frames you want to play with and click duration. Set the custom duration for the motion you want to achieve in the frame.

Step 5:

All you want to do now is save your image. Hit the file menu and select “Save for Web & Devices”, make sure to select GIF-128 bit and off-course check animation radio box.That’s it! Pat your back on successfully creating your first Cinemagraph!

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