What is a Cinemagraph?

what is a cinemagraph and how do they work

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What is a Cinemagraph?

Cinemagraphs are a magical hybrid; blending photography and video, they contain a subtle piece of motion that plays in a short, never-ending loop while the rest of the image remains entirely still. The moving part usually highlights a key element, blending seamlessly with the still photo to captivate attention.

Since cinemagraphs are photos in disguise, they surprise the viewer and maintain retention. They have become a popular choice for advertisers trying to capture and hold their audience’s attention in a sea of boring photos.

How Do Cinemagraphs Work?

Cinemagraphs nowadays can be found everywhere; however, you may often not know you’re looking at one. They are pretty magical. Making the viewer think they’re seeing a living photo. In reality, Cinemagraphs perfectly blend the two mediums, usually 90% photo and 10% looping video.

Cinemagraphs are shared as short looping videos, usually between 3-10 seconds in length. They’re created in a way that the viewer can’t tell when the video loop starts and finishes; it’s seamless by making that hidden loop as invisible as possible. The viewer is often surprised and stopped in their tracks.

Where Can I Use a Cinemagraph?

Like video, the use for cinemagraphs is endless. Businesses can leverage their novelty and challenge how they grab potential consumer attention. Combining moving and still-image make cinemagraphs a popular digital marketing tool. More specific examples of how and where cinemagraphs can be used include:

  • Digital advertisements
  • Websites, landing pages, and blogs
  • Email/newsletters
  • Social media
  • Digital displays and billboards
  • Long-form videos

The possibilities are endless. Cinemagraphs can be incredibly easy or incredibly complicated, all depending on the topic you choose.
We made a video showing how you can make a cinemagraph. We chose to animate a simple football scene to make it easier for you to follow, give it a go and create magic!


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