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PhotoDirector

How to Animate Photos

Last Updated on May. 27, 2021 – by David Morgan
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animate photos with a parallax effect

If you want to grab someone’s attention on the Internet, you should know that videos fare far better than photos, especially on social media. For instance, more people tend to view and comment on Instagram posts when they’re animated.

However, if you have a particular picture that you want to work with, you may be wondering how to add animation to a photo. Good news! It’s totally possible to create photos that move. In fact, several of the best photo editing software options out there come chock-full of handy animation tools.

You can even turn your photos into GIFs. Short for “graphics interchange format,” a GIF is a looping animation similar to a video. You’ve likely encountered several memes in GIF form, but have you ever made one of these animations yourself? Fortunately, it isn’t that hard.

All of that said, some photo editing software requires you to have advanced editing skills in order to create animated photos. CyberLink’s PhotoDirector, on the other hand, makes the process of animating photos accessible even to newbies. The photo animation feature will help you turn your photos into captivating animations within mere seconds.

Download PhotoDirector today to start animating your photos.

  1. How to Make an Animated Photo on PC or Mac
  2. How to Make an Animated GIF from Photos
  3. How to Make an Animated Photo on iPhone
  4. How to Make an Animated GIF from Photos on iPhone
  5. Conclusion: Add Life to Your Photos by Animating them with PhotoDirector

1. How to Make an Animated Photo on PC or Mac

To add animation to a photo on your computer, follow these steps:

1. Import photo

Under the “Library” tab click on “Import” and choose “Photos…” Then select a photo.

2. Go to the photo animation workspace

With the photo selected click on the “Guided” tab at the top of the screen, and click on the “Animation Effects” toggle. Then select “Photo Animation.”

3. Draw animation arrows

Draw the arrows in the directions you want the animation to go. Wherever you draw an arrow, that area of the photo will move in the direction you’ve indicated. To change the length or direction of an arrow, drag it by the tip. To create curved arrows for more nuanced animations, click on the curved arrow tab. If you want to remove an arrow, right-click it and select “delete.”

4. Add anchor points

Click on the pin tab to the right of the curved arrow tab. Put an anchor point anywhere you want the animation to stop, and anything on the other side of that point won’t be affected. If you want to remove an anchor point, right-click it and select “delete.”

5. Brush freeze

Click on the snowflake tab to the right of the pin tab. Drag the slider to choose the brush size. Draw on areas that you want to keep still during the animation. To erase part of the mark you made, go to the left sidebar and click on the brush icon with the minus sign. Then hold and drag the eraser over brush areas you want to remove.

6. Adjust speed

Drag the slider in the left sidebar to adjust the speed.

7. Export

Click “Produce” in the bottom left corner, and select your preferred video file format. You can also select the aspect ratio, video quality, and duration.

Note: While editing the photo animation, you can hide the animation marks at any time by unchecking the box in the left sidebar.

For a visual tutorial, check out the video above.

2. How to Make an Animated GIF from Photos

There are several scenarios when you may prefer to use a GIF instead of a video, especially given its smaller file size. Maybe you want to react to a social media post, make sales stand out in your email marketing campaigns, or break up blocks of text in an article.

To create a GIF from an animated photo, follow these first six steps the same way you would in the process described above:

  1. Import photo
  2. Go to the photo animation workspace
  3. Draw animation arrows
  4. Add anchor points
  5. Brush freeze
  6. Adjust speed

When you get to the export step, simply save the animation as a GIF rather than a video. Then select the aspect ratio, quality, and duration.

3. How to Make an Animated Photo on iPhone

If you want to know how to animate photos on iPhone, it follows a similar process to the one we outlined above for PC or Mac. Of course, the mechanics will work a bit differently. You also need to keep in mind that the PhotoDirector app will look slightly different on an iPhone than an Android device.

One tip before we continue: If you don’t have a smartphone stylus or pen, getting one would make animating photos—and photo editing in general—easier. When drawing animation arrows or making brush freeze marks, using a stylus will give you much more control, especially if you want to apply them to a small area. As a result, you’ll speed up your workflow.

Without further ado, let’s look at the steps to animate photo on an iPhone:

1. Choose photo

Click “Edit,” and select the photo from your camera roll.

2. Draw animation arrows

Click on the “animations” tab at the bottom of the screen. Draw the arrows in the directions you want the animation to go. Wherever you draw an arrow, that area of the photo will move in the direction you’ve indicated. If you want to remove an arrow, drag it to the trash icon in the bottom right corner.

3. Add anchor points

Click on the pin icon to the right of the arrow icon at the bottom of the screen. Put an anchor point anywhere you want the animation to stop so it will not affect anything on the other side of that point. If you want to delete an anchor point, drag it to the trash icon in the bottom right corner.

4. Brush freeze

Click on the snowflake icon to the right of the pin icon. Drag the slider to choose the brush size. Draw on areas that you want to keep still during the animation.

5. Adjust speed

Click on the speed icon to the right of the brush freeze icon. Drag the slider to make your animation slower or faster.

6. Export

Click on the check mark in the top right corner, and save the animation as a video file. You can also select the aspect ratio, video quality, and duration. Finally, click on the export icon in the top right corner.

Note: While editing the photo animation, you can press “play “in the bottom right corner at any time to preview it.

To see these steps in action, watch the video below.

4. How to Make an Animated GIF from Photos on iPhone

Who among us hasn’t communicated with our friends in the group chat using only GIFs? When the inspiration for the perfect GIF strikes and you want to send it in the moment while it’s still relevant to the conversation, the PhotoDirector app will help you create GIFs in seconds.

Follow these first five steps the same way you would in the process described above:

  1. Choose photo
  2. Draw animation arrows
  3. Add anchor points
  4. Brush freeze
  5. Adjust speed

When you get to the export step, simply save the animation as a GIF rather than as a video. Then select the aspect ratio, quality, and duration—and click on the export icon in the top right corner.

5. Conclusion: Add Life to Your Photos by Animating them with PhotoDirector

Making your photos move is something you can do right now when you use PhotoDirector. Jazzing up your photos with animation will captivate users on social media or your brand’s website in a way that basic stills simply won’t do. You can also create the best GIFs for inside jokes with your friends when you use your own photos.

No matter the purpose of your animated photo, PhotoDirector makes the process of creating one a cinch. In no time, you’ll be churning out animated photos.

Now that you’ve learned how to make animated photos in PhotoDirector, let’s take a moment to review some key points:

  • Animating your photos increases social media engagement.
  • To create an animated photo in PhotoDirector, you need to choose your photo, draw animation arrows, add anchor points, brush freeze, adjust speed, and export.
  • The process of creating a GIF from a photo in PhotoDirector remains largely the same as creating a video, whether you’re on a desktop or the app, until you get to the export stage. Then you simply save your animation as a GIF.

Do you need more help editing your photos before you animate them? Check out our 10 easy photo editing tips.

Download PhotoDirector from CyberLink for your desktop or the PhotoDirector app for iPhone or Android today!

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