How to Create Cinemagraphs on an iPhone or iPad

Video is driving social media and digital advertising. Video helps photographers, marketers, and agencies tell vivid stories that capture the limited attention spans of their audience. Consumers are watching more video as well; video content is projected to drive 80% of global internet traffic by 2020.

Social media platforms are adapting for video. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all auto-play and auto-loop micro video content, which means that these short, digestible visual stories can live continuously and instantly in a users feed. But there’s one major key that businesses, both big and small, marketers, and creatives can use to take advantage of the upward swing in video content: cinemagraphs.

What is a cinemagraph?

Cinemagraphs are a new medium that blend photography and videography together; composed like a photo, then brought to life with a subtle hint of motion. In a sea of social media feeds, cinemagraphs stand out with perfectly looped motions that mesmerize audiences and hold their attention. Businesses, photographers, and marketers can all use the thumb-stopping power of cinemagraphs to engage with audiences, drive results, and lower costs. Check out how cinemagraphs changed Microsoft and Toronto startup inkbox’s Facebook advertising.

The best part: you can now create beautiful, engaging cinemagraphs that will transform your visual storytelling from the palm of your hand using your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how you do it.

Tutorial: How to Create Cinemagraphs with an iPhone or iPad

Creating cinemagraphs used to be a long, time-consuming process. Using Flixel Cinemagraph Pro for iOS, you can now create perfectly looped cinemagraphs fast, without the high-costs of equipment and video production.

What You’ll Need:

  1. An iOS device: either an iPhone or an iPad that shoots at least high definition quality footage.
  2. A tripod: Cinemagraphs are based in perfectly still footage shot on a tripod. This allows you to create a cinemagraph with a clean blend between photo and video.
  3. Cinemagraph Pro for iOS: available on the iOS App Store. Download here.

Follow this tutorial series to learn how to create cinemagraphs on an iPhone or iPad using Cinemagraph Pro for iOS.

Getting Started Cinemagraph Tutorial

What you’ll learn in this tutorial:

  • What is a cinemagraph?
    • Cinemagraphs are an exciting medium that blend photography and video together in amazing new ways. They are composed like a photo, and then brought to life with a subtle hint of motion.

  • Tools you need to create cinemagraphs
    • It takes 3 tools: an iOS device (either an iPhone or an iPad), a tripod to shoot perfectly still footage, and Cinemagraph Pro for iOS.
  • How to compose a cinemagraph
      Creating a great cinemagraph is like composing a great photo. Your lighting, framing, and setting all impact your output. When creating a cinemagraph, you want to show a clear separation between what’s moving, and what isn’t.
  • How to use Cinemagraph Pro for iOS
    • In this tutorial, you’ll receive a full walk-through of some of the fundamental functions of Cinemagraph Pro for iOS, from import to export. Once you’re comfortable with the timeline, trimmer, loop and crop tabs, exporting and uploading your cinemagraphs, you’ll be ready to move on to the next instalment of this tutorial series.
  • How to create a bounce loop
    • A bounce loop means that the motion will play from the start point to the end point, then from the end point back to the start point. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a seamless, perfect bounce loop.
  • How to use presets for cinemagraphs
    • Presets are a series of video filters that you can use as a quick fix to style your cinemagraphs. Add one to your cinemagraph to make it truly your own.
  • Exporting and uploading your cinemagraph
    • Export your cinemagraph in an MP4 format so that you can use it instantly across your social media channels and in digital advertising. Select the number of loops, which determines the length of the file, and hit export. You will also learn how to upload your cinemagraph to your Flixel gallery, which is the best way to display your living photos on the web for millions to see.

Intermediate Cinemagraph Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to adjust the brush/eraser size, hardness and opacity for precise masking
    • We cover cinemagraphs that involve liquids in motion. To create the perfect mask, you’ll learn how to use both the brush and eraser tools to seamlessly blend the still image into the video component of your cinemagraph. You’ll also see the impact that adjusting the hardness and opacity of your brush and eraser have while masking your cinemagraph.
  • How to create a repeat loop using the crossfade
    • A repeat loop means that the motion will play from the start point to the end point, then replay from the start point again. Learn how to use a repeat loop to create a fluid, continuous motion when using liquids. You’ll also play around with the crossfade, which blends the beginning and end points of your Repeat loop to help create a fluid, perfect loop. 
  • How to stylize your cinemagraph with presets and colour correcting adjustments
    • You’re already familiar with the presets that you can apply to your cinemagraph. Take your colouring and styling process one step further by using a combination of the presets and colour correcting adjustments under the Adjustments tab to colour correct your cinemagraph.

Advanced Cinemagraph Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to create cinemagraphs with a body part in motion
    • A cinemagraph that involves a body part in motion relies on both the production and editing processes. Your subject needs to stay still while moving the one body part, which will make your masking much easier during the editing process.
  • How to precisely mask
    • You’ll further your masking skills by learning how to adjust the brush and eraser hardness, opacity, and size elements and blend the still component of the body part into the part that’s in motion.
  • How to create the perfect loop
    • You’ve learned a bounce loop, and you’ve learned a repeat loop: now it’s time to dig deeper into perfect loops for your cinemagraphs. We’ll teach you about the importance of in and out points so that you can reach your cinemagraph goals.
  • How to edit using the tone curve adjustments
    • You’ve worked with presets and colour adjustments; it’s time to take matters to your fingertips, and colour correct from scratch using the powerful tone curve adjustments in Cinemagraph Pro for iOS.

Want more help on your cinemagraph journey? Check out our YouTube channel and let us know what other tutorials we can create for you!

(Marketing Specialist at Flixel)

Mehek crafts words, content, events and more for Flixel. She firmly believes that life is not life without a little spice, which is why she adds Sriracha to everything.