1. Photo & Video
  2. Video

Easy Pieces: 10 Ways to Animate a Photograph in Adobe After Effects


Video is the big opportunity: photographers have been hearing this for years! But we have a library full of photos and far less video footage. What do you do when you need to produce a video, but don't have the time or experience to shoot hours of footage?

With some clever After Effects projects, you can easily take your still image and bring it to life as a video. These projects do far more than create simple slideshows; instead they often provide depth and movement to images in a way that makes them feel like native video.

Each of these affordable projects are a shortcut to creating video from your images. Let's take a look at some of my favorite projects from VideoHive and how to use them.

Bring Your Photographs to Life: 10 Projects to Add Motion

Check out these ten amazing After Effects Projects below to see more ways to create an animation from a photograph:

1. Photo Animator Pro

Photo Animator is one of the most robust and easy-to-use projects; you can even animate water and wind effects to really make a scene come to life.

2. Mosaic Photo Animation Pro

This amazing mosaic project lets you combine many still images into a single image effect. A project like this would be ideal for a project celebration video where you combine the members of a team into a mosaic.

3. Living Stills - Looping Photo Animator

Livings Stills is an impressive project that really brings an image to life by animating specific details of an image. Combined with a zoom effect, the photo really feels like a video.


4. Live Photos 3D

Live Photos 3D

I love Live Photos 3D because of the focus on depth. As in the example image, the woman feels to be moving through the scene as the depth effect makes her feel as if she is on a separate layer.

5. Blueprint to Photo Reveal

Blueprint to Photo Reveal

Take one of your images and transform it from blueprint to real-life with this effect. Ideal for construction projects or showing an idea from concept to completion.

6. Photo Opener - Dynamic Photo

Part slideshow and part animation, Dynamic Intro brings just enough motion to the scene to set it apart from still images.

7. Wedding Photos

Focused on Wedding Photos, this project has a dramatic feel to it thanks to the particle effects that are animated on top of the image layer.

8. VoluMax - 3D Photo Animator


VoluMax has one of the best user experiences of any project in this round-up. With easy to-use-sliders and visualizations, this could be a good choice as your first project.

9. Photo Motion

Photo Motion is also another simple project that is an upgrade over a boring slideshow, combining text with motion.

10. Photo Projector Pro

Photo Projector Pro

With excellent instructions and an intuitive interface, Photo Project Pro is another solid choice as your first animation experiment.

More Projects and Tools for Adobe After Effects

In the past, I avoided After Effects because I thought it was too complex, that it would take too much time to learn. While I knew that it could do almost anything I wanted with the program, it was hard to find out how.

What I've found is that I can use these projects from Envato Market to help me skip the learning curve. There's truly a project for every video. Let's take a look at other projects you can use to become proficient in After Effects:

Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.