We often get asked the question "Can I create a cinemagraph from a still photo?" The answer to that question is yes; you can create a cinemagraph from one of your existing photos.

To create a cinemagraph in Cinemagraph Pro, you import a video recorded on a tripod and select a frame for your still image. Instead of selecting a frame in-app, you can import an image to bring one of your existing photos to life! You then paint a mask on the areas where you want the motion from your video to appear to reveal your cinemagraph. 

  1. Import a video recorded on a tripod on the Cinemagraph Pro for macOS welcome window. Alternatively, you can select New under the File menu or use the keyboard shortcut ⌘N (Command-N). Check out the Video section below to learn which kinds of videos tend to work best for this technique.
  2. Import your still photo under the Still Image tab or File menu in the app. For best results, ensure that your still photo has the same aspect ratio as your video to prevent stretching.
  3. Use the sliders to adjust the size, hardness and opacity settings of the brush. The hardness tool will adjust the edges of the brush to be softer or harder. The opacity tool will adjust the transparency of the brush; a lower opacity is ideal for double exposure cinemagraphs.
  4. Use the brush to paint a mask where you want the motion from your video to appear. Toggle between the brush and eraser tools using the keyboard shortcut X and adjust the brush settings as required to paint a precise mask on your cinemagraph.
  5. Define your loop, make adjustments, and continue editing your cinemagraph
  6. When you're done editing, export your cinemagraph and upload it to flixel.com to share on the web


In this tutorial, we used the same stock video of waves to create two very different cinemagraphs. You'll notice that most of the videos that were used to bring still photos to life in this tutorial show consistent motion occurring throughout the entire frame. Some examples of videos that'd work well with this technique include water, trees, flowers, lighting effects, clouds, smoke, and timelapses. If you want to look for stock videos, check out VideoBlocks!

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