Creating Cinemagraphs using your Nokia Lumia smartphone is a whole heap of fun. However, it takes time and practice to create a truly amazing Cinemagraph. If you want to be a Cinemagraph pro, follow these simple rules.
Because Cinemagraphs are a combination of still and animated images, you can’t just pull your phone out of your pocket and snap away. To wildly shoot anything that passes in front of your camera lens will almost certainly leave you with a disjointed, wobbly result; and that’s not a great Cinemagraph.
To create the perfect Cinemagraph, a little bit of planning is recommended! Think about what you want to achieve and imagine it in your head. Do you want something to vanish from screen, or do you only want one part of the screen to move?
Remain as still as possible
In order for a Cinemagraph to look its best, the sections of the image that move must be in the right place. Otherwise, you’ll have hair that seems to detach itself from the head, roads that rise and fall, or buildings that appear to warp – again, not a good look.
Ideally, grab yourself a tripod with a phone mount such as the HH-23, or ‘ground’ yourself against something solid.
For instance, if you’re filming outside you might want to lean against a wall, or a tree. If you’re indoors, find a table, or even lean against the doorframe. Whatever it is, it must be stable.
Take your time
Creating the perfect Cinemagraph may take a few attempts, so don’t give up if you don’t get it right on your first try, especially if you’re outside and using things you can’t control, such as birds, people or even clouds moving across the sky.
Focus on the area and start your Cinemagraph. If something wanders into view, it might add a little action to your animation, but if it doesn’t, take your time to film again.
Edit, edit, edit
When it comes to picking the part of the Cinemagraph you want to animate, choose carefully.
Don’t animate the entire screen; otherwise you might as well have filmed it. Instead, pick a small part of the screen and fine-tune the movements.
Use the add animation option to increase the area, while removing the animation in others. It’s hugely important that you get as close to the subject as possible using these tools.
If you want somebody to focus on the hair blowing in the wind, make sure that there’s nothing else moving, as it’ll distract people.
It’s all about the timing
The animated sections of Cinemagraphs play on a short time loop. You can either have it play to the end and then reverse, or play continuously from start to finish.
Whichever method you choose, time it perfectly by using the loop slider at the bottom. If you need to, snip some of the ending or beginning to ensure that whatever is on screen moves smoothly and naturally.
While you can just save the Cinemagraph on your phone, it’s always fun to share it with all your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Twitter is especially great for sharing as it shows your wonderful creations with people who you’re not necessarily friends with and amongst the Cinemagraph community.
Cinemagraph is free to download and is a great app for creating truly unique memories. Download it today and start creating.
We often search Twitter for Cinemagraphs taken with Nokia Lumia smartphones and RT the good ones we find. Will we be sharing yours next?
Image credit: Adam Fraser
Updated October 1, 2015 4:10 am