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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photo Effects
Design

How to Create a Cinemagraph Photo Effect Action in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an amazing cinemagraph effect in Adobe Photoshop. I will explain everything in so much detail that anyone can create it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time. 

The effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create in this tutorial. If you would like to create the even more advanced, animated cinemagraph effect shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Cinemagraph Photoshop Action.

Action final result

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating an Action

First, open the video that you want to work with. To open your video, go to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers, choose your video, and click Open. Then, set the Range To Import to Selected Range Only and adjust the slider as shown below:

Importing video

2. How to Crop the Video

Step 1

In this section, we are going to crop the video. In order to get a seamless looping animation, the first and last frame need to be as similar as possible. In this case, the 8 and 64 frames are very similar, so we need to make sure that the 8 frame is the first, and the 64 frame is the last frame in the Timeline panel. To do that, we are going to delete the frames outside this range.

Firstly, we are going to delete the layers that are included in these frames. Select the Layer 1 layer and Shift-click on the Layer 7 layer to select all layers between. Then, Right-click on any of the selected layers and choose Delete Layers.

Deleting layers

Step 2

Select the 1 frame and Shift-click on the 7 frame to select all frames between. Then, in the Timeline panel, click on the top right-hand menu icon and choose Delete Frames.

Deleting frames

Step 3

Now select the Layer 65 layer and Shift-click on the Layer 77 to select all layers between. Then, Right-click on any of the selected layers and choose Delete Layers.

Deleting layers

Step 4

Select the 58 frame and Shift-click on the 70 frame to select all frames between. Then, in the Timeline panel, click on the top right-hand menu icon and choose Delete Frames.

Deleting frames

3. How to Make Only a Specific Area Animated

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make only a specific area animated. Select Layer 1 and name it Base.

Naming layer

Step 2

Now select the Layer 9 layer and Shift-click on Layer 64 to select all layers between. Then, go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers and name it Active Area.

Creating new group from layers

Step 3

Select the 1 frame and Shift-click on the 57 frame to select all frames between. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All to add a layer mask that hides the whole layer group.

Adding layer mask

Step 4

Now set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush over the area that you want to stay active.

Brushing into layer mask

Step 5

Hide the Base layer and then show it again in order to make this layer visible through all the frames.

Hiding and showing layer

4. How to Save the Cinemagraph

In this section, we are going to save our cinemagraph as a looping animation. Go to File > Export > Save For Web and use the settings below:

Saving cinemagraph

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! Here is our final result:

If you would like to create the even more advanced, animated cinemagraph effect shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Cinemagraph Photoshop Action.

The action will create professional cinemagraph effects from your videos with no work at all from your side! You simply brush with a color over the area that you want to stay active and just play the action. It’s really that simple! The action will do all the work for you, leaving you fully layered and customizable results that you can further modify.

The action comes with a detailed video tutorial that demonstrates how to use the action and customize the results to get the most out of the effect.

Action final result

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