I am excited about this course because a co-worker of mine told me about cinemagraphs a year ago. She works primarily in film and has made a few of them. I thought they were super interesting and liked the surreal nature of a lot of the cinemagraphs I see online.
I was going to dive into making them, but the tutorials at the time were long, unclear and seemed complicated; I just didn't have the time to sit down and read through all of it. After watching the video from week one, and seeing just how simple it was I was very excited. I didn't have to reference the video much as I'm very familiar with Adobe Photoshop.
For this week's assignment, the struggle was primarily finding video that would work for what i wanted. I thought about taking a video on my phone - because I don't have a DSLR camera - but I don't have steady enough hands for that and none of the ideas I had in my mind would work. So I went over to one of my favorite royalty free images and video websites and looked for something there. There I found this video of a open door that goes onto moving plants with moving drapes on both sides. It was very close to my initial idea that I wanted to do, and I thought it had enough information that I could play with.
Setting up the video and still frame was the easy part, but the hard part was getting it to loop naturally. I focused primarily on the right sided drapes because their movement was predictable and small. Using a ruler guide, I established a point of contact and made sure that both my ending and my beginning points crossed that threshold. without this line it would jump back to the beginning quickly. I still don't think I got it seamless, but I think the ruler guides and making that point of reference helped get it as close as I could.
Another difficulty of this particular image is that the edge of the drapes are frayed, so i had to try and get as much of that frayed edge into the cinemagraph without disturbing the plants behind the window that were also moving. I think i got as close as I could, but there is some clear leftover artifacts from it. All in all, I'm happy with my first cinemagraph ever! I'm excited to see what else this course has to offer in improving upon what we learned this week.
This week's assignment was to create a cinemagraph with a liquid visual illusion. So, I headed back to my favorite royalty free video source and pulled a video of milk being poured into a glass. I pretty much used the same initial process that I did last week, but then I quickly learned there were some particularities when dealing with liquid.
I tried to get the milk in an area where it surges, then drips so that the looping aspect of the cinemegraph would be as smooth as possible. All of the areas where this happened, however, the bottle was moving too much and the stream would often be cut off by my masks. So, I decided to go with the very start of the video.
Then, I ran into my second problem. I wanted to only animate the stream of the milk but leave the glass and the bottle - for the most part - steady. The issue was, when pouring liquid into the glass there is some movement inside the glass itself which interacts with the very bottom of the stream. I tried several things to work around that, but ended up actually using a double mask. One mask was everything I wanted animated, but sitting right below that was a mask of an already semi-full glass that would hide the splashes and make it look like the stream was pouring into an already poured glass. I didn't want to animate the actual glass pouring because - again - I wanted the looping to be as smooth as possible, so this was the solution I came up with for that.
To finish, I decided to add some text and some adjustment layers to make it look a bit cooler. I still want to play more with how I can get the looping to be smoother, but I think I'd have to really actually create the media myself for that specific purpose as it would be exceptionally difficult for me to do it with this video.
Finally, after I had all the movement down, I went back and looped the final bits of the video using the looping method in the demo video. I realize I might have done this first, but I think doing it last was helpful for what I wanted to do in particular because I wanted some parts of the video to loop while others stayed the same. i wasn't looping the entire video just sections of it.
In the end i'm really happy with the way it turned out and the principles I learned this week. I'm excited to apply them to more videos to make more cinemagraphs.