7 Quick Tips for Creating Mesmerizing Cinemagraphs

With Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, creating a cinemagraph is easy. The hardest part is conceptualizing your scene and shooting the desired footage.

Follow these 7 cinemagraph quick tips so you can get started on your mesmerizing living photos today.

1. Frame like a Photo

The key is to frame your scene like you would frame a photo. Since a cinemagraph is a photo with small elements moving in a loop, it is crucial that the captured video is shot with clear artistic direction. If you’re a videographer, you will be familiar with this style of framing. Each scene needs to tell a story. Capture the video, and through selected motion, tell the unique story.

Cinemagraph by Jason Teale

2. Create a Smooth Loop

Cinemagraphs are all about illusion. Think of it like a magic trick; if your loop is not smooth or seamless, then the illusion will be broken. To achieve this, play with minor adjustments in the trim/timeline, speed, crossfade and type of loop (bounce/repeat).

Cinemagraph by ixhumni

3. Be Different

Flowing hair, rushing water, and blinking eyes; there are a few common cinemagraph genres that continue to reappear. These are all great examples of the medium, but if you want to stand out, try to create something different. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Be bold and use your imagination. The possibilities are endless.

Cinemagraph by By Petra Å vajger

4. Tell a Story

You bring the talent and creativity, we produce the tools for magical, visual storytelling. Every cinemagraph has the potential to tell a story, endlessly looping as if time has stopped. By highlighting certain elements in the photo, tell your unique story.

Cinemagraph by Ali Kabas

5. Engage

Whatever the content of your cinemagraph may be, make sure it is engaging. For optimal engagement, think about these few questions:

  • What is the purpose of your cinemagraph? Is it an advertisement?
  • Who is your target audience? What are their interests?
  • Where will this cinemagraph be viewed? Social media? A digital display?

Like any other artistic medium, there are many different questions to consider when creating an impactful cinemagraph. Plan ahead and you will succeed.

6. Less is More

When it comes to cinemagraphs, less is (usually) more. If you’re masking over more than 2/3 of the image, you’re probably not doing it right. Of course, depending on the cinemagraph, some require more movement to create an impact; such as grass whipping in the wind with still clouds above. For the most part, you want to highlight subtleties in the scene. Too much movement will end up looking like a video, and not enough movement will go unnoticed. It’s up to you to find the right balance.

Cinemagraph by Travel Alberta

7. Use a Tripod

We say this all the time, but, please use a tripod. Whether it’s a pocket tripod for your iPhone, or a standard tripod for your DSLR, use it. A steady surface is essential for creating cinemagraphs. You CANNOT make a cinemagraph with handheld video. Set up your scene, use a tripod, capture the footage, and the editing will be easy.

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.


  1. This feels like it stopped suddenly. Where's the rest of it? Is step 8 'magic'?

    • Well cinemagraphs do have that sense of 'margic' to them! These are 7 intro tips when you're just getting started with cinemagraphs. We also have lots of other blogs that detail specific tips and tricks. You can find those here: http://blog.flixel.com/category/flixel-tips-and-tricks/

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