7 days of unlimited video, AE, and Premiere Pro templates - for free! Unlimited asset downloads! Start 7-Day Free Trial
  1. Photo & Video
  2. Video

13 Top Photo Animation Tools and Templates for After Effects

Read Time: 4 mins

How to Bring Your Photographs to Life

What do you do when you need to produce a video, but don't have the time or experience to shoot hours of footage? In this round-up, you'll see the top templates you can use to animate your photos.

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 video.

Let's take a look at some of my favorite project templates and how to use them.

After Effects Tools and Templates from Envato Elements (Unlimited Download)

Tired of paying for templates one-by-one? Thanks to Envato Elements, you can download as many After Effects projects as you need for a single flat rate. If you're a frequent video producer, Elements is an incredible value.

Photo Animation Templates Envato ElementsPhoto Animation Templates Envato ElementsPhoto Animation Templates Envato Elements
A single subscription to Envato Elements unlocks all of the After Effects templates in the library.

A single subscription gives you access to thousands of templates that you can use to save time when producing your next project. Let's check out three of the best photo animation templates on Envato Elements. 

1. Live Photos 3D

Just mask your subject and run this template to bring your photo to life. You'll transform your still imagery into eye-popping animations with your subject featured prominently.

2. Stomp 3D Photo Opener

Perfect for setting the tone of an exciting video, use a "stomp" effect to animate your subject easily. You can use this effect to create a sense of depth and layering in your otherwise flat imagery.

3. Fire Explosion Logo & Photo Animation

This project doubles as an introduction animation and a photo animator. Either way, you'll bring a sense of fire and danger to your project with it!

Top Templates from VideoHive to Add Motion to Your Images

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 3DLive Photos 3DLive 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 RevealBlueprint to Photo RevealBlueprint 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 ProPhoto Projector ProPhoto 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:

And you can also learn how to use After Effects in our free course. Master compositions, layers, keyframes, motion tracking, and so much more.

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Photo & Video tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.