How to Create Cinemagraph Video Profiles for Facebook


We’ve been waiting for this — Facebook’s rollout of their new video profile feature. As Mashable first reported back in September, profile videos are the biggest update to Facebook profiles since the rollout of Facebook Timeline. Facebook’s video profiles allow you to replace your static profile photo with a 7-second looping video.

California and the U.K. were the first to see video profiles and now it appears Facebook is rolling them out around the world. Since the Flixel team has offices in Toronto and NYC we were excited to see them roll out across Canada and the rest of the U.S. last week. The possibilities are endless. A once static image, transformed into something unique, something with personality, something with a hint of movement that tells a much better story about a Facebook user. Instead of adding a video, why not get creative and replace your profile photo with a cinemagraph? It’s the perfect way to bridge the gap between photo and video, and add visual interest to your profile.

With all of these possibilities bouncing around in our heads, we decided to create our very own Facebook cinemagraph profiles. A classic profile shot from the waist up, with a little pizzaz. Magical and Harry Potter inspired, they were also a ton of fun to create. In one day we made unique cinemagraphs for each Flixel team member. Check out our behind the scenes video to see the full experience. Beer, glitter, ping pong and bubbles; what more could you ask for?

With friends and family going bonkers over our updated profile cinemagraphs, (literally, I’ve never had so many comments on one post before), and some people even asking us to create one for them, we decided to share our tips with the world. It wouldn’t be fair if only Flixel had super-cool Facebook profiles. We like the positive attention and minor fame that comes along with being the first to do anything, but we think it would be even cooler if everyone had really rad Facebook profiles, too!

In our quest to conquer the world, we’ve compiled some quick tips to get you started. Now you too can surprise and mesmerize your friends on Facebook. Seriously, prepare for the influx of comments and likes. You’ve been warned.

Step 1: Decide What Moves In Your Cinemagraph Video Profile – then Record!

When setting up your shot, choose what you want to have moving, and what you want still. Make sure you frame the scene like you would a photo. Then, record a short video clip on a tripod. Record a few clips, just like you would snap a few selfies — you want to get the best version possible.

Think of elements that will work nicely in a loop, such as bubbles, or hair billowing in the wind Beyonce-style. See our team cinemagraphs at the top of this post for some inspiration.

Step 2: Edit Your Video Profile

Edit in Cinemagraph Pro for iOS or Mac. Cinemagraphs are looping animations, where part of the image is still, while the other is in motion. Comparable to GIFs in the sense that they repeat over and over, it’s important to choose the right element to “bring to life” in your cinemagraph.

Cinemagraph Elements

  • Trim your video to the desired length, looking at the motion you want to repeat in a loop.
  • Mask the portion you want in motion using the paintbrush tool.
  • Set the loop type, speed and crossfade. You can choose between a bounce or repeat loop.
    • Bounce loop will play the cinemagraph from the begining to the end, then bounce back to the begining in an endless loop.
    • Repeat loop will play the cinemagraph from beginning to end, then start at the beginning again. With a repeat loop, you will set the crossfade to determine how much you want to blend the end of the cinemagraph into the begining.
  • Add a filter for some extra effect.
  • Export at 6 seconds so that the video fits in the 7 second time-frame.

Step 3: Share Your Cinemagraph Video Profile on Facebook

From your smartphone, upload your finished cinemagraph to your Facebook profile.  When you click on your profile it should look like the image below with a photo and video icon flashing.

facebook video profile cinemagraph

For the full tutorial, check out the video below! And watch this tutorial on how to create a cinemagraph in Cinemagraph Pro for iOS. Start creating your own video profile cinemagraphs today.

(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.


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