We’ve been revamping our Instagram feed to be more interesting than the endless sea of lifeless photos. Always trying to be different, George suggested we experiment and make a cinemagraph.

This is a step by step guide to how I made our first cinemagraph.

Step one: Figure out what the hell a cinemagraph is.

I had the same question. Turns out it’s basically just a photo with a small amount of movement. Halfway between cinema and a photograph: Cinemagraph. Mind blowing I know.

After some brief googling I found a couple.

This sort of thing seems to be pretty common:

This one’s neat:



There are some pretty funny ones:

You get the picture, just sweet little gifs. A little bit of movement adds some spice to a photo.


Step two: How do I do this?

So after seeing a few I had a good idea of what to aim for. I wanted to take the idea and find something new I could do with it. There is a little lamp in the office that folds up in an interesting way. Why not? We took some footage of the lamp opening:

The plan was to leave the hand on top as the lamp shade rolls open. So I chose a still frame, masked out the hand, and...


It looks super creepy.

Determined to make this work I spent a few hours re-editing the footage. I went through every frame and masked out the hand. After a while of progressively creepier cinemgraphing, I decided to cut my losses. At least I have spooky ghost hand.


Step three: Cat wrangling

I was looking around and then I spotted the perfect target. My cat Sophie looked like she had always wanted to become a cinemagraph celebrity, so I decided to make her dreams come true. She, however, was not as grateful as I expected. After about a half hour of hide and seek, she calmed down and managed to sit still long enough for me to get a decent video.

I wanted to get her tail wagging, but she didn’t really move it. Looking at the footage I thought that I could get her pupils dilating or some head movement.  

Step four: Down to Business

So the pupils didn’t really work out because Sophie’s head moved too much. I needed the movement to be isolated. At one point she did that semi-confused-semi-annoyed ear movement that cats do. You know the one. So I masked out the movement, reversed the gif to make it loop and viola:


What a beauty.

There you go. Just follow these steps to make a great cinemagraph, and a very creepy one. Happy to share my experience with you. If you want to know more about cinemagraphs, visual art, or just want to hear me talk about my cat, shoot me an email at!

P.S. I indulged myself the classic tea steam cinemagraph.

Alina KorotkovaNyx Labs