Create Cinemagraphs in a Snap with Photoshop and Adobe Stock

Image source: Adobe Stock / oneinchpunch / Serghei Velusceac.

One of the biggest challenges in creating a cinemagraph is making a seamless video loop. This is where Adobe Stock can save you a ton of time. Search for “looping” videos on Adobe Stock, along with a 10-15 second duration, and discover a whole new world of possibilities for quickly assembling eye-catching cinemagraphs in Photoshop.

Searching for seamlessly looping videos on Adobe Stock

Begin your search on Adobe Stock with the main filter set to videos. Type “looping” and “clouds” into the search field to begin a keyword search.

The Adobe Stock search engine, powered by Adobe Sensei, can distinguish between the two types of keywords entered in order to provide accurate results. The keyword clouds refers to the content of the video, whereas the keyword looping refers to the technical technique applied to the video. What’s more, additional filters become available on the search results page which allow you to further refine your search.

Since most cinemagraphs are under 15 seconds, setting the duration filter to 15 seconds will retrieve videos that are 15 seconds or less in duration. Finding a short looping video will save you a lot of time in Photoshop when compositing your cinemagraph.

Combining video with a photo in Photoshop

Begin with a photo that will be the still portion of your cinemagraph. The photo below, found on Adobe Stock, will work great with a looping cloud video.

Start by adding a layer mask to the photo in Photoshop and applying black to all areas of the sky. Once the sky is completely transparent in the photo layer, it’s time to import the Adobe Stock video. From the File menu in Photoshop, choose Place Linked and locate the looping clouds video downloaded from Adobe Stock.

Using the Place Linked feature will convert the video into a smart object and place it on a layer in your composition. Having the video in a smart object will allow you to apply transformations to the video layer — including scaling. Scale the video down to match the sizing of the original clouds while completely covering all areas of transparency on the photo layer.

Open the Timeline panel from the Window menu, and make sure the duration of the photo layer matches the smart object video layer. Then, render a video by choosing Render Video from the File > Export menu.

Quick and easy licensing

Once you are happy with your cinemagraph, licensing is a snap! Download a licensed copy of the video from the Adobe Stock website to your computer.

Double-click the smart object that contains the video to reveal the original video layer. Right-click the video layer and choose the Replace Footage option. Locate the licensed video on your computer and click Open. Once the video is replaced, choose Save from the File menu, then close the file. Your original Photoshop composition will be updated with the licensed video — without the need for reapplying layer masks or adjustments.

The final result!

Watch a step-by-step demo of this workflow in the e-learning webinar

Combine video with your photographs to create a mesmerizing experience for your brand. Use video from Adobe Stock or your phone to enhance and brand animations for all of your social media channels. You’ll learn how to work with video in Photoshop, combine video and photos with masking techniques, and create a looping animation.

Watch the recording of Creating Living Photographs with Photoshop, which includes:

Adobe Creative Cloud e-learning series

Creating Living Photographs with Photoshop