How to Shoot (and edit) a Cinemagraph (Updated!)

On this short video filmmaker Valentina Vee and Ted from Aputure take a look at shooting a Cinemagraph.

Cinemagraphs are a combination of stills and videos in a GIF format – think about them as partially moving images – most of the image is frozen like a still image however a specific part has motion. Cinemagraphs are usually saved as GIF files and displayed online as unique artistic looking media. We have mentioned that in the past but in recent years this field evolved and you can find more and more Cinemagraph artists (you can check out some interesting ones on Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg website).

The first thing you need to decide is what part of the image is going to be changing and what parts won’t. Next you need to choose whether this is a Cinemagraph that repeat itself by going forward-back-forward and repeat (bounce) or by a simple forward and repeat (loop).

Lighting is important for a Cinemagraph – you want the lighting to be mostly fixed so it is much easier to shoot in a studio with lighting than outdoor with ambient lights. Vee has some good tips for the actual shoot – make the Cinemagraph as short as possible (these are much easier to make and usually turn out better), use things that will help you create movement for your shoot – like a fan for example.

You subject needs to me 100% still except for the one key feature you want to move (hair is a common and popular subject but water, fire or basically anything that you think might actually move in the real world).

Second Part of this video – How to edit a Cinemagraph (with flixel or Premiere Pro)

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Bonus video: Ted from Aputure talks about the company’s lighting modifiers and accessories in NAB 2017

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This is not the first time we are looking at creating a Cinemagraph. Howard Pinsky demonstrated in a super short tutorial how to create a Cinemagraph so if you want a 2 min short guide – check it out here.

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