Tag Archives: Cinemagraphs

Super 8 Cinemagraphs

A little while ago I did a post about Cinemagraphs, animated gifs that look like living photographs. I loved how, by introducing a subtle amount of movement, they seemed to heighten the sense of suspended animation inherent in still photographs:

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At the time I mentioned I was keen to see if I could use this approach to animate sections of some old super 8 film I was working with. I’ve since had questions on how that went, and having just found a few of my early tests on my old hard drive I thought I put them up. They’re not great, I found the innate flickering nature of celluloid film that we know and love means it’s technically pretty difficult to create a seamless link between static image and animation. However, I think they were an important stepping stone in developing a body of work combining analogue film and printmaking techniques and digital editing methods which would eventually become Flicker, an analogue film/instillation piece I will do a longer post on sometime.

I’m happiest with these first two, I love how the figures spring to life briefly in a ‘blink and you miss it’ kind of way. However they need a lot of refining before they are seamless.

crowd

Crowd2

In these final two you can see the problem with trying to make cinemagraphs out of footage you have not shot yourself. You really need the stability and consistency of digital equipment to make it illusion really effective. Although maybe using footage shot it the cockpit of a WWII german bomber was being a bit ambitious to start with!

Talking-pilotbombs-away

These are from a body of work I created while looking at ways of reusing old analogue film, you can see more work in my portfolio.

It formed the basis for a film Instillation Flicker which was first shown during my MA show, and excerpt of which can be watched in my portfolio.

If you’re interested in making your own I used some of the tutorials you can find in this Inspiration Feed Article.

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Cinemagraphs

If you asked me yesterday about animated Gifs, this would have been what came to mind:

psycho gif animation

funny frog gif animation

Now I love a drumming monkey as much as the next guy but, as hard as I try, I can’t seem to justify these as serious research. However these are the predecessors to the collaborative cinemagraphs of photographer Jamie Beck and motion graphics artist Kevin Burg. Cinemagraphs present themselves as photo’s with moving elements. The results can be subtle and captivating.
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Somewhere between a photograph and a video I think what makes these cinemagraphs so effective is that it maintains photography’s innate ability to capture a moment, freezing it in time. The introduction of movement to these images seems to enhance this rather than dispel it. I believe this is in part down the the looping of the animation, whether the effect is hilarious or relaxing there  is something satisfying about seeing it over and over.

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Animated gifs have been around since the late 80’s, and are a way of combining multiple frames played in sequence into a single image file. Previously seen as a bit of an internet novelty, their ability to capture your attention and question what you are seeing could have a large impact on an area as saturated with imagery as online advertising.

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I can see this as a potential way of re-animating some of my Super 8 films, by reintroducing a small amount of repeating movement into the frames this will enhance their ‘stuck in time’ quality. here are a few of the stills I am thinking of using from a documentary film of WWI depicting soldiers in the trenches and a bombing raid on an airfield.

Still from WWI film showing Soliders in the trenches

WWI film still showing soliders going over the top into shell fire

A WWI film still showing a soldier running across an airfield

More film stills can be found on my website.
For more info see this video by PBS arts’ Off Book.

Cinemagraphs from Inspiration feed, check them out for more examples and useful links.

Also worth a look of your into  films: IWDRM (but not if you want to do anything useful with the next hour of your day!).

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