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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.

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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.

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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.
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Mentioned in This Tutorial

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