How To Make Still Photos With Moving Background Or Object

Last Updated: October 23, 2018

People are coming up with new creative social media posts every day. Sometimes they are hilarious memes and sometimes a short clip or just an image which just blows your mind. What if I told you that you can also make that one kind of video or animation where the foreground or subject stays still and the objects in the background move, just like Peter Mckinnon. Although we won’t be using Lightroom like him.

We have used 3rd party apps available for Android and iPhone which help you to make moving photos. These photos are not really photos but animated GIF or so-called Cinemagraph. So, let’s cut to the chase and start with the procedure.

Method 1: Steps To Make A Cinemagraph

This method includes the steps to create an image with a moving background. We will be using Cinemagraph app to make still photos with a moving background. So download this app before we begin this tutorial.

Play Store Link

Step 1

Launch the app and you will see an interface just like any other Camera app. Now press and hold the shutter button till the counter goes to 50. After that, it will automatically stop recording. You can stop the recording before 50 by just simply releasing your fingers from the shutter button. But I will recommend you to wait till 50 so that you can enhance those movements during the editing part.

How to make a Cinemagraph - step 1

Step 2

Now comes the editing part. Do not touch on those parts of the image which you want to remain still.

Simply swipe in the direction where you want the objects to move. It can be any direction like upward, downwards or sideways. This will start moving those areas where you have swiped and in the same direction. For this tutorial, I am swiping downwards. You can go with any different direction with your image.

Cinemagraph - step 2

Step 3

You are almost done at this point. Now just provide a nice and appealing finish to the photo. Tap on the brush icon on the top of the app. That will open the brush bar through which you can increase or decrease the brush size. Decrease the brush size according to your own preference.

Cinemagraph - step 3

There is also an opacity icon beside the brush icon. This icon will increase or decrease the opacity or in simple words, the intensity of the movement. Lower it down as per your choice.

Take your time and provide a smooth effect to the photo with smaller brush size and lower opacity. Make sure to go carefully around the edges of the still subject. That is why I asked you to lower both brush and opacity.

Step 4

After giving the perfect finish, simply tap on the right click icon on the bottom of the app.

Cinemagraph - How To Make Still Photos With Moving Background Or Object

You can either share this as an MPP4 file on Facebook and Instagram or as a GIF file on Google+ and WhatsApp.

Method 2: How To Make Moving Photos

This method includes the steps to animate still photos. For this tutorial, I have used VIMAGE app which is present for both Android and iPhone users.

Link: Play Store & App Store

Step 1

Choose any of the moving filters from the effects tab after launching the app. For this tutorial, I am using Falling leaves Close effect.

VImage - Adding motion to still images

As soon as you choose the effect, the app will start downloading that effect.

Step 2

After that, you will be prompted to either choose an image from the gallery or just click a photo. Select according to your own choice.

VImage step 2

Step 3

In this next screen, you can perform basic editing on the image like crop, rotate, brightness, saturation, colors, and contrast. After doing editing, tap on the next icon on the top.

VImage step 3

Step 4

Here, choose the filter which you have already downloaded. The moving effect will be automatically applied once you tap on the filter.

VImage - How To Make Moving Photos

Again touch on next icon to save or share the image to social media platforms.


So, these were 2 easy methods with the steps and apps to add motion to photos. iOS users can go for the second method while Android users can choose the any of the methods to make still photos with moving background or object. Let us know if you face any problems while following this tutorial.


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