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How to Make Living Still Images With Looping Photo Animator for After Effects


You have probably noticed some cool animated photos on Instagram and Twitter lately. Photos with minimal animated movement are usually called cinemagraphs, generally. Photos with more dramatic morphing-like movement are often referred to as plotagraphs or photomorphs. In this tutorial you will learn how to make a plotagraph in Adobe After Effects using the Living Stills Looping Photo Animator template from Envato Market.


What You Need

The Living Stills template template isn’t free, but at $29 it is a cost-effective to Plotagraph Pro—subscription-based, at the time of publication around $300 a year.

How to Make a Plotagaph in After Effects

Creating nice animations with this template takes some practice. The right type of photograph also helps. I find that it works best on water, clouds, smoke, and fire. But particularly water and clouds.


Top Tips for Getting the Best Results

  • Don't apply a mask to your image. Instead, let the control points act as a mask on your image.
  • Use plenty of control points. To duplicate a control points, select one, then push Control-D (-D).
  • Really exaggerate the movement with the control points. I found that I got the best results when I moved the points quite far. Not moving them far enough will make the animation too minimal to see.
  • Use an animation length between 100 to 200 frames.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with your photos. Most of the animations I did took around 2-3 attempts each, before I settled on the right look.
  • Once you are done, upload your video to Youtube, then use the video link on Imgur: Video to GIF.

Mentioned in This Tutorial

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