If you have never heard of a cinemagraph, it is a stills photograph that has an animated element into it. They are essentially animated GIFs. Usually, the animation is subtle, but done effectively, it just adds this little kick of surrealism to the image. It can even be a little haunting, to see a still image all of a sudden move, but that is part of the attraction. It is a term coined by fellow artists Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck.

According to Business Insider, the use of cinemagraphs in photography may become more and more popular as we see more convergence happening between film and stills. Some online commercial advertisers have already added cinemagraphs in their advertisements. In this article, we’ll show you two great videos that teach you how to create a cinemagraph in both Photoshop and After Effects.

How to Make a Cinemagraph in Photoshop & After Effects

If you are curious as how you can make cinemagraphs, check out this video. It’s worth the watch.

You can see more examples of cinemagraphs here:

How to Create a Cinemagraph Using Photoshop in Under a Minute

Cinemagraphs are photographs that are partially animated or in motion. Most of the time, they are created by taking a series of photographs and only putting a part of each image in motion, leaving the rest of the picture still. By doing this, you can avoid movement of elements on your image that would distract the viewer when being put into motion and achieve a partially moving timelapse video.

Photoshop-expert Howard Pinsky explains how to create awesome cinemagraphs using Photoshop in under a minute:

  • First, you import your footage, which should be completely in motion.
  • After you have done that, you duplicate your video layer, drag the duplicated layer to the top of your layer list and pull the duplicated video on top of the original footage, then rasterize it.



Now, you just need to add a layer mask to your rasterized layer and select a soft, black brush. Then you simply paint the areas of the image that you want to be in motion and export your video.


It is as simple as it sounds. Tell me in the comments below whether this worked for you and if you got any further advice for people that want to create great cinemagraphs by themselves.