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.