Hello and Welcome!
I made a special portfolio, dedicated to my animated photos. I'm fascinated by this new technique where you can take any single photo and create a beautiful animated version of it. I'm using some special software that is available now called Plotagraph Pro. It was made by my friend Troy Plota and you'll love it! It's easy and so fun, and the results are crazy. I have some categories (Burning Man, New Zealand, Travel, Landscapes, Cityscapes, and more) over on the left you may want to check out.
First, let's start with an example of an animation made from a single photography!
What is a Plotagraph?
It's a moving photograph, kinda. I suppose that's the best way to say it! Even better, it's incredibly easy and fun! You can simply upload any photo you like and then use some really fun options to animate it.
This is a great way to breathe new life into any photo you've ever taken. It works great in so many conditions... clouds, moving water, grasses, hair, flowers, water, fire, etc. When you look at the rest of the portfolio, you'll see how fun it is. Note that because these are all multi-framed, it may take a moment or two for the whole thing to load before you see it flow smoothly.
Isn't it just a Cinemagraph?
No, not at all. This works with a single JPG and does not need any additional JPGs or movie files. The final result looks the same, but this is easier because you can use any JPG you've ever taken.
Works on any computer/OS
It's completely web-based software, so it doesn't matter if you are Mac / Windows / Linux, whatever. It's also extremely fast because everything is happening on remote blazing servers.
How does it work?
You upload any photo then you use the online software to define the areas that you want to keep static and the parts you want to move. After that, you use cool directional arrows to describe where and how you want the motion to flow. There's also options to set the speed, smoothness, and more. You can get a live preview in the web browser and then export it as an GIF, MOV, or MP4. Easy as pie and supa fun!
Below is a good example of a JPG I uploaded. You can see how I masked out most of the tree and ground and added animation vectors to the sky. This one is very simple in that I have everything going in the same direction. As you can imagine, you don't always have to make it this simple and you can have animations go in many directions and different speeds in various bits of the picture.
Quick Tutorial Video
Q: How do you get the GIF on Facebook?
A: First, I export the GIF at about 750 pixels across. That seems to be just about right for Facebook. Then, go to Giphy.com and upload it there. Then go to the Advanced tab and get the URL for the GIF. Paste that into Facebook.
Q: How do you get the Plotagraph on Instagram?
You have to take the video and get it on your mobile device where you have Instagram. Inside Plotagraph Pro, I currently export an MP4 with a loop of 20. This results in a video file that is 40-70 seconds long and loops the ~3 second animation multiple times. Make sense? Then, I download that then use Airplay to get the video to my iPad and then upload that with Instagram.
Q: How do you get the GIF on Twitter?
Oh that's an easy one. You can upload the GIF right to Twitter like a JPG... no issues!
Q: How do you say "GIF" out loud when talking to other humans?
Hard G. The G in GIF is short for Graphics, which is a hard G, unlike, say, Giraffe or Gacking off to webcam jirls.
Q: Any other Social Media sharing tips?
Yes! Funny you should ask!
1) I've learned that Plotagraphs look "different" when smallish on Facebook/Insta/Twitter versus full-screen on your computer. Because they are smaller, the more subtle animations you create may not even be noticeable. So, to combat that, I go to the animation settings and speed up the animation (by dropping the default "3" to "2" or lower) so that it looks silly-fast full screen. But, when seen smaller, it looks good.
2) Export the social media GIF at 25 FPS. It looks the same and makes the file size smaller.
3) Hashtag #Plotagraph to help other plotagraphers discover you!
4) When I post on my Wordpress blog at StuckInCustoms.com (example page), I upload a GIF that us under 15MB right into WP. I've found that hosting the GIF other places doesn't really work.