Create Cinemagraph in Photoshop Tutorial : How to Make Still Images Move

Create Cinemagraph in Photoshop Tutorial :

How to Make Still Images Move

Cinemagraphy Photography is a technique in still photography or video recording where images is composed in a infinite loop of sequential frames. Here we will see how to Create Cinemagraph in Photoshop Tutorial and later How to Make Still Images Move. This is done in a such a way that complete image is still and some or other part is moving in way which created a seamless motion in a still photograph. Final output of cinemagraphy can be a video file format or a GIF file format which preserves the motion details.

What makes Cinemagraphy Photography unique is, it brings back certain part of the photo to life, thus making the completed photo close to realistic feel, attractive and sometimes even thought-provoking, just like the magical newspaper from the movie Harry Potter.

How to Make Cinemagraph from Video :

Lets starts on how to achieve that amazing effect in a normal video.

Note: Screen-shots are not available due to some reason. Will be adding it soon.

Shoot Your Video :

You can shoot your video with a good standard camera or even from a high end flagship phone. It should at least a full HD resolution video with ample natural light. Use a tripod in any case either you shooting from DSLR or a camera because we don’t want any kind of camera shake which can ruin everything and editing would be almost impossible.

Import and Trim :

Now import your video in photoshop and trim it to the length you want to keep in a moving picture. Trimming of a video would help and reduces the number of frames to process. Make sure the Timeline is visible in your window by going to Window > Timeline. You should automatically see the the Frame Timeline. In the Timeline, you can set the speed at which your video will play back.

Set your Timeline to repeat Forever, so that your GIF will loop infinitely. Now, play back the video in Photoshop and delete any frames you don’t need until you have just the exact clip you want to show.

Mask Creation in Photoshop :

So now that your video is playing and repeating like a long gif file. Select the very first frame in your video Timeline, and over in your Layers panel, duplicate the layer that is visible in that frame. Drag it up on top of all other layers, and make sure it is visible. This will be your layer mask. Lets say it “Static Mask Layer”. Right now, if you play your video, there should not be any movement at all, because every frame is being covered by the mask we created. We have frozen the video, and we will only unfreeze the part of video which we want to keep in motion. Hope till here everything is clear to you.

Playing with Mask :

In the Layer panel, select the mask layer and click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon ( A rectangle with a hole in middle). Make sure this new white mask layer is selected, and not the image layer. With the Brush Tool, we are going to begin painting over the areas we want to see movement. Here We are actually erasing areas that we want to see movement in, while keeping everything else totally static like a picture. Just make sure that do not use the Eraser tool, it should be a Brush tool. Now you are done with the toughest part. Congo.

Exporting your Image:

Make sure you go to file -> save for web. Here you will see many option but just make sure you select the file format as GIF not JPEG or any other. It should be strictly GIF. Export this image in your folder and you are done.

Congrats, here is your first Cinemagraphy Photography output image, look at it, stare at it.. You will enjoy for sure 🙂

How to Make Still Images Move :

The above explained method is obviously the best way to achieve quality Cinemagraphy Image professionally. But this method could be time consuming and you need a good stabilized video to start with and Photoshop to work. It will take you some time to get going with this method, may be 2-4 hours if you are doing it first time.  So here we will try to achieve same effect on a still image using a software or application, so lets start How to Make Still Images Move.

What if I want same kind of effect in my image, NOT IN VIDEO. Is it possible ? Yes, It is Possible. There are few apps already sitting pretty in Android Playstore. You can download it and have a crack and get the taste of Cinemagraphy. Below are few images (converted video to GIF) i tried with app and it came good. Enjoy few pictures and video on which I tried, Hope you will like …

Image : ( Click on thumbnail if unable to open )

Create Cinemagraph in Photoshop Tutorial

Create Cinemagraph in Photoshop Tutorial




Cinemagraphy Photography is a whole new exciting prospect of photography or Videography, whatever one want to say. I hope you people understands whatever i tried explaining above. Do let me know in case of any help required. Its a new way to see the photography and I am sure you will definitely enjoy doing this.

If you don’t get any app, do message me on Instagram or mail me, I can share you the direct link for download. 

Instagram Handle : PixelRajeev

E-Mail –

Did you enjoy this article? Please share it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.