What Are Plotagraphs?


The term Cinemagraph has been around for a little bit now and popularized by popular companies like Flixel with Cinemagraph pro and sites like Giphy.

You usually start with a short video, isolate one frame,  let other elements of the composition continue to move and publish either as an animated gif or movie file.

The process tends to have the image maker either keep there camera in a video mode or composite various parts in a program like Adobe After Effects (AE ) or even Photoshop.

While I love AE and use it almost every day, when I am out with my camera, I am thinking of moment and not thinking as a cinematographer. I might be shooting for High Dynamic Range, timelapse, experimenting with shutter speeds, or looking for different angles for depth of field. It is just a different mindset. 

There are times though a single image, no matter how much tweaking, just doesn't give the feel of being there and very rarely can you recreate the experience the moment and capture on video.

In 2017 I came across a midway solution. Enter Plotagraph Pro. Take a single image. Anchor areas you don't want to move and make directions to what areas you want to move.  I am simplifiying the process, but not really too far off. Using some complex algorithms parts of the image can animate and loop appropriately. It works great for landscapes with elements like clouds, water, smoke, and fire. The process can very simple but finesse creates excellent results.

The process is not fool proof and nor is it inexpensive if you want to have access to all the possible tools. If you can gain enough followers on their platform you can use gamification to gain access to better tools. Follow me on the platform and lets animate!