Moving photos, aka cinemagraphs, can be pretty hypnotic. So, if you’re looking to create super-engaging social content, you’ll want to know how to make these. Lucky for you, filmmaker Darren Rowlands (aka @mrdrowlands) has made a step-by-step tutorial using Adobe Premiere Pro – check it out below.

What you'll need

Tip: Shoot on a tripod to make the editing process easier. Record for at least 30 seconds so you have enough footage to choose from, and keep it simple.

Set up your project

Drag your files into the Project window and then drag this footage onto your blank Timeline to create a new sequence.

Optimise it for Instagram Stories

Resize it for Instagram by selecting Sequence > Sequence Settings. Update the frame size to ‘1080 x 1350’. Then, in the Effect Controls panel, play around with the Position and Scale values to get the right framing.

Create a still frame layer

Next, you need to duplicate the clip. Go to the Timeline and select your clip. Hold down the Option/Alt key and drag the clip upwards onto a new video layer.

Choose your hold frame

Use the Playhead to have a quick scan through the footage. When you spot the frame you want to work with, right-click and select Add Frame Hold. This will make everything after this point in time a still frame. Now trim the clip to remove the motion before this and extend your static clip by dragging its edge with your mouse.

Mask the moving layer

Click on the top clip, head to the Effect Controls panel and click the Pen tool under Opacity. Use this to draw around the section of the clip where you want to have movement and then tick the Inverted box.

Find the perfect loop

Look through the clip until you find a section that has minimal movement. Set In and Out points using I and O on your keyboard. Then press the Loop Playback icon to test out your selection. Zoom in and move around the loop to see if there’s anything that’s jerky. If you want to tweak these points, simply drag the handles that have appeared and move them as you see fit.

Trim the clips

Finally, cut down the clips so they match up with the In and Out markers you’ve created. Premiere Pro should automatically help you out with this, so it should be a straight-forward drag and let go. Now you need to move it to the start of your Timeline – simply click in the gap and hit Delete. You’ll see your In and Out markers haven’t moved. So, drag these back over to your clip to make it loop again.

Export for Instagram

You’re nearly done. Now all you need to do is make sure it’ll work in Instagram, which means making it at least three seconds in length. So, select all your clips, press the Option/Alt key and drag the two layers to the right to duplicate them. Do this until you reach (or exceed) the three-second marker. Then press Command/Control and M to open up the Export window. Choose your output folder by clicking on the blue text alongside Output Name. Then hit Export and you’re ready to post your creation.

Download my practice assets







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