When I checked out the “best blog posts” category for the Lucky FABB awards last month, this “Here’s to Fridays” post was among the nominees. OK the lights are moving. It was kind of mesmerizing, actually. But best blog post? Come on! Being a writer, I thought it needed more words.
But after seeing more “cinemagraphs” collected in this Mashable article, I’m rethinking. Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who coined the term cinemagraph, have invented what appear to be the first non-tacky gifs. You know gifs, those usually ridiculous-looking animated images that people use on message boards and crappy websites.
But Burg and Beck’s are not just non-tacky, they really are gorgeous. The duo seems to have a knack for choosing just the right aspect of an image to animate, like in the one above with the couple gently swaying with a steaming kettle in the background. Here’s how they do it:
To create a cinemagraph, Burg and Beck focus on animating one object: a swinging chain, for instance, or a spoon moving around the rim of a coffee cup. In a studio setting, the pair will employ pinpoint light to create sparkle, and fans to tousle hair and garments. Beck directs the camera, a Canon D5 Mark II, while Burg controls the props that produce the animation.
Beck and Burg will then import and edit the files in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. The number of frames they use depends on the medium. For Gilt Taste‘s website, they were able to create much longer loops and embed their work on the site using HTML5 video layers. A cinemagraph that appears on their Tumblr will end up being between 25 and 100 frames; a banner ad is even more constrained.
For more, check out their From Me to You Tumblr blog.