You may have seen a few by now; the GIF has roared back to life with a “new” art form refered to as a cinemagraph. These graphics are simply images with small (and sometimes not-so-small) additions of movement, usually just enough to catch your eye: not a video but not a still shot, either. Common examples of animation added in the image include adding wind movement to hair or fabrics, giving motion to tires on vehicles, or including other subtle changes such as in the following:
Got a still image you want to create a cinemagraph out of? No problem! Russell Brown presents an excellent tutorial on the amazing Puppet Warp Tool built into Photoshop CS5. With Puppet Warp, you can manipulate photos and create amazing cinemagraphs from still photos. Brown’s tutorial is a beginner level tutorial of the Puppet Warp Tool.
Now that you know more about the Puppet Warp Tool from Russel Brown’s tutorial, this tutorial walks you through how to go from still image to fully animated GIF. Less detailed than the previous versions, it covers a high-level walk-through of Puppet Warp Tools and how to export your final product.
Do you need to get the background out of an image so you can use it for your cinemagraph? This tutorial walks you through how to use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool to clean up your image for easy use. It covers the critical “Decontaminate” feature.
For a far more detailed discussion, we turn back to Russell Brown of Adobe to give us a complete breakdown of the Extraction Tool in CS5.
To see the master tutorial break down of an image from the beginning to end, creating the now notorious waving hair cinemagraph, check out this video. You’ll see all the tricks applied to create a completed cinemagraph.
Cinemagraphs: Useful Skills
The best part about learning to create cinemagraphs is that you will acquire several valuable skills useful for many other projects. Imagine the impression that your portfolio can give to prospective clients when it includes cinemagraphs!