What is a cinemagraph and how to utilize this newest trend to your advantage?

cinemagraphs, plotagraphs, video composites, what is cinemagraph -

What is a cinemagraph and how to utilize this newest trend to your advantage?

In your search for perfect visuals for your blog, website, or social media, you may have stumbled upon a term: cinemagraph. But what is it? Sounds like something out of a nineteenth century but it is anything but.

Cinemagraph is simply put, a still image with added animated elements.

There is a vast difference between a plain old video or a video composite and a cinemagraph though. While a video is basically a movie clip, video composite is a montage done within a movie clip environment - cinemagraph is something much more sophisticated.

Remember Harry Potter movies and those "alive" images in The Daily Prophet? That's pretty much what a cinemagraph is and - in all fairness - there truly is some magic in them.

This is video clip:

This is a cinemagraph:

Imagine looking at a beautiful, landscape picture for instance and then, you realize there is something off about it… In this still image all of the sudden, there is a subtle movement! Tree leaves gently flowing with the wind, or a creek sparkling with an evening sun. That's what a cinemagraph is - a subtle movement added to an otherwise mundane photo. These works of art have quickly gained massive popularity, due to their uniqueness and visual appealing. They catch an eve of the viewer with their subtlety and enchanted beauty.

There are two basic types of cinemagraphs: made from an image and made from a video.

Cinemagraphs custom made from an image, feature still elements made into animation.

Custom made cinemagraphs based on a video, are a bit different. The premise here is to freeze the video on a chosen frame, with the exception of a single spot that will keep moving, as the clip goes on, with the rest of the video staying still.

I will elaborate further on how to prepare footage (both video and images) for a cinemagraph in one of upcoming posts.

You see now, where I'm going with this, right? Yes, running an Instagram account, marketing campaigns, successful e-commerce websites - is all about getting your viewer, potential customer, or follower to stop, look and act. And that's what cinemagraphs do best - grab attention.

So, how do you get your hands on these beauties?

You can buy cinemagraphs online, that is easiest. You may have also seen phone and tablet applications that allow you to add movement to still image. Sure, you can use those, but remember; cinemagraphs are art, not a mass production. Those apps only allow you to do so much and also - these pieces, while nice and interesting - will lack this so much needed artistic touch, something that only a creation from the scratch can ensure.

Therefore, an advise: hire professional photo editing, photo manipulation and compositing services. Yes, compositing will play a huge role in creating your perfect cinemagraph; instead of searching endlessly for that perfect shot, you can have it created by a skilled artist.

How much does cinemagraph creation cost, you may ask? It depends on the complexity of your project, timeframe and all that; it's always on case by case basis, but first off, it's not an expensive thing overall and secondly, think about all the wows you'll get when you put your cinemagraphs in front of your audience! Priceless, isn't it?

If you're hell bent on starting to promote your content with cinemagraphs, please check my ready-made works, or ask me for a custom order.