Combining Images for Better Cinemagraphs

One of the issues when creating cinemagraphs is that sometimes the point at which the clip begins is not the same as end point. While this may seem fairly normal, it becomes an issue when dealing with liquids. As you add more to the cup the level changes and thus causes an issue with the mask that you create in cinemagraph pro. Watch the video below or head to my youtube channel and subscribe for more videos like this

If you mask for the starting point, in the case of the video below, the coffee will be fine but it will miss a key element of the image (my hand). If you mask for the hand then the starting point of the coffee will be much lower than than the final point and will end up looking off. So what can you do? Combine the best of both images in photoshop.


The Best of Both Worlds

If you didn’t already know, you can drag the purple bar to any point of your video clip and export any number of images from cinemagraph pro. So the best thing to do in this case is to find the two images that you want and export them out of cinemagraph pro. Then once they are open in photoshop, choose the image that you want on top and duplicate the layer. Choose the other (bottom) image for the destination. Once you have the layers together you can close the other image as you won’t need it anymore.

The Mask

Then all you have to do is make the area that you want to show and then flatten or merge the layers to complete the process. Make sure that your foreground colour is set to black by clicking “x” if it changes to white just tap “x” again. The masking works really well here because you have shot this on a tripod and everything should be the same. Thus, masking in the same element just when a few seconds of time difference is simple and easy.

Both images are combined here, seamlessly, in photoshop


When finished, just import the image back into cinemagraph pro. The mask and any tonal changes will be still intact. So if you change your mind and want to choose a different set of images or even reset the still image, your mask and tonal edits will stay the same. This is one of the best things about this whole process.

The Final Product

As you can see here I took the cup from the beginning of the clip and added in my hand from the end of the clip. This adds a lot more visual tension that I talked about in a previous post. Don’t forget that if you want to learn how to create cinemagraphs get out my Cinemagraph pro tutorial here. I will take you through the complete process from start to finish using Flixel Cinemagraph Pro

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