Articles, Blog

How to ANIMATE a Still Image in Photoshop

January 25, 2020

Today I’m gonna show you how to animate
a still image in Photoshop by using some simple techniques. The result is very simmilar to the Plotagraph
effect, and If you’re not familiar with it, you can check out, where
you can find amazing photo animations. It’s really impressive how you can bring
your photo to life using this method so if you’re excited about the video, hit the
LIKE and let’s start the tutorial. Hey guys I’m Criss from Eye Stocker and
welcome back to the channel. Here we are in Photoshop and If you want to
download this amazing photo to follow along with me, the link is down in the description. And before starting this tutorial, what do
you think about this new trend of animating still images? Leave a comment below. So, make sure that you have the image set
as a background layer and the first thing I’m gonna do is to select the crop tool
and set the aspect ratio. And I will go with a 16:9. After I cropped my image I also want to resize
it to 1920 by 1080, this is just to work faster and it’s also a good resolution if you want
to use the final animation on Facebook, Instagram or any HD video project. Next I will enable the quick selection tool
by pressing on Q or by clicking on this icon. I hit B for the brush, choose a 50% hardness
and a medium size brush and then paint over the image on the parts that I want to animate. The selection doesn’t have to be perfect
from the first time because I will refine it after the animation is ready. When I finished painting over the clouds,
I hit Q once again and Photoshop will create my selection, but I will need to invert it
so I go to select and choose Inverse and now only the clouds are selected. With the active selection I press on CTRL
+ J to duplicate it on a new layer. I hold down SHIFT and move this selection
to the left because I want to make some room for the movement of the clouds. This layer is now out of the frame on the
left side so I will stretch it back until I reach the right margin of the photo. And just to make it more clear for you, I
extended this layer so that I can move it to the right in the next step. I go to Window, activate the Timeline panel
and I click on Create Video Timeline. I want to have a 2 second animation so I adjust
my work area accordingly. I’m doing the same thing with the clouds
layer, and I make sure to activate the Loop option by clicking on this wheel and checking
the Loop Playback option. Great, now I can create some keyframes. I make sure that my cursor is at the beginning
of the sequence, I click on this arrow here and add a Position keyframe at the start. You can see it here, it’s like a yellow
diamond. I grab the cursor, bring it to the end of
the sequence and add another Position keyframe. Now I hold down SHIFT and use the right arrow
on the keyboard to move the clouds layer. And I move it just until the left side of
the layer reaches the margin of the photo. So I made the movement of the clouds, I hit
the spacebar to start the animation, it looks good but when it’s looped and it jumps back
to the start it’s very harsh so I need to fix that. The only way to fix this is to add at least
2 more cloud layers to make this animation much smoother. So first I would like to duplicate the clouds
layer, but if I do that right now, you can see that first of all it creates a long layer
on the timeline, and secondly it doesn’t duplicate the keyframes from the previous
clouds layer. However, there’s a nice trick to solve this,
let me undo some steps, and with the layer selected I press CTRL + G to group this layer. Now, when I duplicate it, the new grouped
layer is the same size as the original one, and also if I open the group, I can see the keyframes like on the previous clouds layer. I drag the second layer to the right, until
I reach exactly the half length of the layer below. Then I go to the transitions, drag the fade
effect and place it on the first half of this second layer. You can see that the sequence just became
longer than 2 seconds, but I will fix that in the next step when I will adjust the loop
to be seamless, because I still have a hard jump to the start here and it doesn’t look
good at all. I make sure the second group is selected,
press again CTRL+J to duplicate it, open the group, and add again the fade transition,
but this time, on the second half of the layer. After this step, I can click on the fade transition
from the first half and hit delete, because I don’t need that. To make the loop seamless, I push the third
layer backwards and make sure it ends at the 1 second mark. This way it will play only from the second
half and it will fade out. Also I reposition the end of the sequence
at the 2 second mark. Now, the second layer will fade in and play
only until the half of it and then the animation will jump to the start where the layer plays
from the half to the end. And this will make my animation seamless. Let’s hit play. I have a seamless loop now, the animation
looks good, the clouds look good as well. Now, you can have some weird parts during
the animation like these ones for example. You usually see this when the animation jumps
back to the start of the sequence. How can you fix those parts? Very simple. You select the background layer, you make
a duplicate with CTRL+J and you position it above all the layers. It needs to be layer number 1. You take the layer in the timeline, you drag
it to the start of the sequence and you adjust the end of it to stop at the 2 seconds mark. With the layer selected, hold down ALT and
add a negative layer mask. Hit B to choose the brush, make sure white
is selected as the foreground color and start painting on the areas that don’t look good
when the animation is looping. This is not a hard step at all but it should
be made just because small details always make a big difference in the end. And if you want to be a professional editor,
you need to take care of the small details, right? This is how the final animation looks like,
I think it’s pretty good and it’s a fun way to bring photos to life. Guys, I am very active on my Instagram account
lately, I post travel and nature photos so make sure you follow me there if you like
what you see. And also, some while ago I created a group
on Facebook where you can join, feel free to post your best photos, ask questions about
Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere and also give feedback on other photos. You can join the group at Make sure you give a like on this video, subscribe
if you aren’t already for more cool photo and video editing tutorials. I’m Criss, have an awesome day and see you
next time.


  • Reply Cristi Kerekes November 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    PS: If you want to export your animation just go to File – Export – Render and export with h.264 codec.
    Here are some other cool Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere tutorials:

  • Reply rkmartha94 June 7, 2018 at 6:53 am

    This is great. Thank you. Can you make one tutorial on Startrail Plotagraph ?

  • Reply Andrew Marcott June 18, 2018 at 2:00 am

    I used h.264 as format when exporting but its still 2 seconds long not allowing me to post onto instagram, please help

  • Reply Cristian Escobar June 25, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    slow down

  • Reply Prakhar Bansal June 28, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Thanks a lot man this tutorial really helped

  • Reply Nikos Golias July 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    hey,great video!Thanx a lot!
    I was wondering ,how could we export it as a GIF on ''save for web'' and not get the colors changed ?
    I triyed it and a had really different colors.The turned out brown yellow …

  • Reply what'sapp status July 4, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Give me your whatsapp number?

  • Reply MORBID July 7, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    It doesnt select what i painted…. it just selects the entire image… it took forever to paint what i wanted :/

  • Reply Anvita July 7, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    After following this tutorial properly I literally felt like "YAAAY I DID SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE! I ANIMATED A STILL IMAGE! WOOOW"
    I'm so happy 😀 thanks!

  • Reply Danny Ray July 11, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Everything was going Great you had to start duplicating the layers. How many steps did you go back? How do you duplicate a group? Why would you even tell us to start at a big highlight if we had to go back a few steps group and duplicate layers?

  • Reply Jacob Christian Glover July 15, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Just found your channel by accident, but so glad that I did! Very nice tutorial… I thinks I'll be hanging around for a while. "Like & Sub" Be well, stay encouraged, and Encouraging!!!

  • Reply KingMadeMusic ClayBlack July 17, 2018 at 12:59 am

    How much do you charge to animate a photo. I've been watching tutorials on photoshop and aftereffects to lock in the process, however, I don't have time to sit and figure this out at the moment. I think you need a basic crash course in the foundation tools of photoshop and aftereffects to understand exactly what you're doing.

  • Reply Kgee Labs July 18, 2018 at 1:32 am

    you just got a new subscriber bro. Keep it up!

  • Reply Kgee Labs July 18, 2018 at 1:33 am

    how about a different animation? Lets say wheel turning?

  • Reply Rozli Yusof July 22, 2018 at 7:05 am


  • Reply Yulia Millenni July 27, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Does the link below to download this program does it give you viruses?

  • Reply Dal L July 29, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Great video..are you able to do a video on waterflow using Davinci Resolve? Appreciate

  • Reply MrElika50 July 29, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Went very well until I hit ctrl j… doesn,t duplicate layer

  • Reply Venu Sagar August 1, 2018 at 9:03 am

    sir ver avalable photoshop cc

  • Reply Venu Sagar August 1, 2018 at 9:04 am

    super sir iam seeing firt time

  • Reply Senta G August 13, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    If you try this with an apple computer this guy will just piss you off and waste your time.

  • Reply Avinash Singh August 15, 2018 at 7:46 am

    watched a lot of videos but your one is best for me among all. Liked it

  • Reply stylefeliz isingtry August 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

    what versıon of photoshop you use cs6??

  • Reply haiqqal maizan August 28, 2018 at 11:26 am

    thank you.

  • Reply blackwellxiii August 30, 2018 at 1:46 am

    This music is awesome! Where'd you get it?

  • Reply DEDWAKE September 3, 2018 at 11:19 am


  • Reply AH-6 Jigot September 15, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    nice video

  • Reply agnese kalnina September 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    i cant activate it because i dont have it, its not show me options please help me in min 2:23 thank you

  • Reply Quantum Kayos September 18, 2018 at 5:14 am

    ive done the keyframes and literally it doesnt move

  • Reply Luis Estupiñan September 26, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Nice tutorial

  • Reply Hot Videos September 27, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    love you bro from pakistan.

  • Reply Kris Farrant September 29, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Is it possible to create an action for this ?

  • Reply David Zamorano September 29, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Wow this was so simple and i don't even use Photoshop all the time i only use it for my song covers

  • Reply April Lyn October 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I followed everything but it is still not moving

  • Reply Flávio Tiago October 20, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Thank's – Grato

  • Reply Alan Vandever October 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    This is the first time I've ever had something not work. When I move the selection to the left then try to stretch it, it simply moves the selection back to it's original spot. This doesn't work at all.

  • Reply Ravindranath Menon October 21, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for the video. Very well demonstrated.

  • Reply Mark G Carpio October 28, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Thank you Sir 🙂

  • Reply Lauren Bailey November 6, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    This is great but way too fast to keep up with. Do you have a written step by step for this tutorial? I think you’re working with apple, where as I am using windows so some of the shortcuts aren’t the same 🤦🏻‍♀️

  • Reply FreZzy November 6, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Cristi, I used this tutorial but when I was using position thing it wasn't doing anything then I made it to small object and got the transform thing after that it worked does it make big difference?

  • Reply carlos vasquez November 9, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Hey Chris Can't seem to duplicate layers with the timeline keyframes help help help

  • Reply shubhu barve November 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Pleaz tell me about speed of still photo after edit my edite photo is to slow …. pleaz help me out can i increase speed .
    Pleaz help me .

  • Reply OMG_itsnadia December 4, 2018 at 3:32 am

    U move extremely to fast

  • Reply Muhammad Iftikhar December 11, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    you are really good Cristi.

  • Reply Abdi Dahir December 16, 2018 at 7:32 am

    how i can make two or three photos changing each other

  • Reply We Are Smart Believer UmmaH December 18, 2018 at 12:46 am

    BRO i cant save this as a picture its only a video after exporting.. help me plz

  • Reply MVisuals December 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Why the hell the video timeline gets locked when I stretch the photo………….So f**** annoying…

  • Reply Emily Trenk January 11, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial Cristi! <3

  • Reply blackbird163 January 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial Cristi! <3

  • Reply gaming channel February 7, 2019 at 12:56 am

    this is a poor demonstration why u not showing how to get thoes grid bars when u move the photo???

  • Reply sue andrews February 10, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Thank You I learnt a lot very interesting and easy to follow

  • Reply Dim Condeza February 12, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Hey so I also got some problems in terms of stretching the image I cropped that will do the animation. There's no option for me to stretch it. I also got CS version. Save me lol

  • Reply PhixonFire February 16, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    This didn't quite cover what I was looking for but the tutorial was so amazingly good that I just had to like and subscribe

  • Reply Kids FamilyShow February 25, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    I love this job!

  • Reply Kids FamilyShow February 25, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you very much!

  • Reply Kids FamilyShow February 25, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Hi, can anyone help me, make animate affects in kids videos?

  • Reply Kate Michelle February 28, 2019 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for this tutorial!

  • Reply agthaog1986 March 8, 2019 at 7:02 am

    the movement is weird n mysterious..definitely not a natural movement but it works

  • Reply Officially TZ March 12, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Amazing, thank you so much!

  • Reply Mary Lubat March 21, 2019 at 1:49 am

    hi! i tried saving it as gif file. but when i opened it it doest move. what kind of file should i save it as?

  • Reply Addiction CTH April 17, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Bro how to create this effect in photoshop cs6…Please help me

  • Reply Giovanni Favretto April 26, 2019 at 2:12 pm


  • Reply Nest M April 26, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Could you give me the version Adobe that you are using please.

  • Reply Melissa Turner April 27, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    great tutorial! I have tried this, and somehow the whole picture moves, so somewhere on the selection I missed a step

  • Reply Mr. Quiet May 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Hi,great video but i have a problem about timeline,it start in mode frame animation and i don't know how to change it to video frame.If u can help me i will appreciate.

  • Reply Andrej Kelčík May 12, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Mine looks like shit haha, I tried to do flames tho which is prob very hard to start with

  • Reply Mr. BolB8 May 13, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Nice life saver i prefer on our school have a good computer

  • Reply OWB GRAPHICS May 20, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Would it be possible to render with transparency?

  • Reply Moona Echols June 2, 2019 at 4:17 am

    Can you do one for iPhone please

  • Reply Abdelslam Shehab June 16, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Very helpful thanks <3

  • Reply Nathalie June 25, 2019 at 3:52 am

    What version of photoshop cc are you using? I can't seem to make my quick selection tool work the same way as yours =(

  • Reply Nathalie June 27, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Okay, thanks. I have 2018 as well and I found how.

  • Reply Dan Kost July 6, 2019 at 6:47 pm


  • Reply Noah Taylor July 15, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    doesn't work for me, I put the first key frame in at the start move the scrubber to the end, drop another key frame then resize and nothing works, literally been trying to do this for 3 hours.

  • Reply Maria Luísa July 20, 2019 at 12:11 am

    dude, I love you for this

  • Reply Rakshit July 20, 2019 at 9:45 am


  • Reply kazi paji August 13, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    hello, Create video timeline option is not available in my timeline. Please help?

  • Reply Ali Rathore August 24, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    does it work with CS6? my timeline only shows thumbnails, not the create timeline video button. im stuck.

  • Reply hakam soufan August 28, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Clear .. fast … easy …care about all small detail .. great work .. thank you

  • Reply Imaginary Pages September 8, 2019 at 6:50 am

    This video is 7 minutes long and I had to keep rewinding because it is so fast. This is not a tutorial for beginners and advanced photoshoppers already know how to do this so who is it really for smh. I’m still on 3 minute and refuse to watch anymore.

  • Reply Jlfitnessmiami September 14, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    Really nice job man

  • Reply Ahmed O.A September 21, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    It is a great tutorial! Many thanks ! I just have a small issue. After I render the video at H.264 and upload it on Instagram, there is a small pause at the end before the loop starts again. How I can solve this please?

  • Reply Bernardo Montes de Oca September 25, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    beast. Great video

  • Reply Vladica Maleska September 26, 2019 at 11:48 am

    help! in the first part when i hit Q it selects the whole image!!! WHYYYY 🙁 🙁 ?!?!??!?!

  • Reply Joseph Coming September 27, 2019 at 2:17 am

    i just followed all of your instruction, but when i setting my position to my animation it doesn't move like wtf.

  • Reply Photo Rhythm Film india September 30, 2019 at 5:16 am

    export setting ?

  • Reply Pasta gang October 1, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    The image isint streaching help me out

  • Reply kakudmi October 5, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Why doing this in Photoshop when you can do it in Premiere in just a few steps.?

  • Reply Kokin YT October 26, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    bet you 1000 that above me is a bot^

  • Reply warockplayer October 26, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    When I move my selection I do not get the square to go around the whole border of my picture so I do not know how much to move it back by when shifting it to the left

  • Reply ritzy periwinkle October 28, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks again. I have been back multiple times when a project called for this. Your method is the simplest so far and creates such a smooth transition.

  • Reply Daniel Zeino October 30, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Can you do this on CS5?

  • Reply Aadil Yousuf November 8, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Thank You, for this information.

  • Reply Historys Storyteller November 18, 2019 at 5:50 am

    very thorough. I'll need to watch a few more times and practice a lot. Thank you for the video.

  • Reply Carol Dickinson November 19, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Hi Cristi… what version of photoshop is this? Thank you.

  • Reply ame ryousuke November 21, 2019 at 6:30 am

    I cant find the create video timeline on my photoshop

  • Reply LouLou November 22, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Do you have a tutorial on how to animate a logo using photoshop? I don't have adobe after effect.

  • Reply WTF gamer 445 November 23, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Respect from Portugal. Thanks for the tutorial by the way

  • Reply DJ VEKTOR December 16, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    how do you add a negative layer mask?

  • Reply Joseph Tiraco December 31, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Very well done, Thanks and Happy New Year to you and family

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