Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Delivery-format considerations, part of Pictures that Move: Creating Cinemagraphs with Photoshop, After Effects, Flixel, and Cliplets.
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- A cinemagraph is not a file type. Rather, it's a style of file, meaning that we have lots of different ways to capture the motion. And the specific file types are gonna have their own limitations. You see, if you're delivering a video file, higher frame-rates, smoother motion, and greater fidelity in color is always an option. But if you're bandwidth-concerned, you may have to optimize these files. Discarding a lot of color, making the motion a little bit jerkier, all in an effort to get the file size down.
And of course, you may need to shrink the image to match your delivery space. Let's take a look at a completed cinemagraph and I'll go over some of the export options. Here I'm showing you the tool Cinemagraph Pro from Flixel. Don't worry about the application, we're gonna look at four different software tools in a moment. But, let's talk about the export options here for a second. You'll notice that this particular tool supports five different export types. For example, the H.264 is a high-quality, but highly compressed video format.
If you are looking to deliver a video file, maybe for playback in a presentation, such as PowerPoint or Keynote, H.264 is very popular. This is also useful for things like low-quality digital signage, or a lot of social networks. Particularly those where maybe a YouTube player is an easy way to share. It's just a video file, but because it's such a high-quality video file, it holds up well. Plus, the H.264 file is well optimized, because there's not a lot of movement in the shot, which will result in small file size.
This particular tool has two flavors of Apple ProRes. You may not find this in every application, but this is an example of a professional video codec. Many people are rendering out to pro-quality video codecs, 'cause they intend to hand this off to another media professional. Maybe you need to hand it off for a moving sign, a billboard, a movie poster, digital signage, things like this. The ProRes format along with other things like Cineform or Avid DNxHD, are popular codecs used by video professionals.
This means that a cinemagraph you make can easily be integrated into an existing video pipeline, which could be quite useful. You'll also see two different types of still image formats, or animated image formats. The Animated GIF, is a format that is a low-bandwidth solution. This makes it easy to load the frames in into something that's broadly compatible with most web platforms, including email, cell phones, and web browsers.
On the other hand, the image sequence can be used to create essentially a time-lapse movie. The image sequence is widely used when you need to hand off to another tool, particularly an animation tool. So, if you'd like to bring this into Photoshop and reassemble it, and add text, or you're working with a tool like After Effects, or another animation tool, this is a great way to hand off those source frames with low compression. You see, GIFs are index color. They use a total of eight bits of information.
256 colors or less, to describe the scene. But if you wanna create a series of still images that can be reassembled in the animation, and then processed further, or recompressed later, by choosing an image sequence, you can take advantage of more professional formats like PNG, high-quality JPEGs, or TIFFs. These support little to no compression, so that you can really have great looking images. Now, the export options are gonna vary by application, and we'll explore them all in depth.
But I wanted you to be familiar with what it took. Additionally, some of the tools will have their own upload capacity. And you'll see,for example, that this particular one makes it very easy to embed this on a gallery site run by Flixel, as well as share it to Twitter or Facebook with a format that's optimized for the social sites. Additionally, options like Embed Codes make it easy to re-embed this content and share on other platforms, such as WordPress or Squarespace.
In any case, having a good understanding of where you're going, is essential to know where to begin. It will also affect your choice in which tool to use. It's not just about which platform you're most comfortable in, or which software application you have the most past experience. Knowing where you're trying to output to will help you understand which tool, or in some cases as you'll see today, tools, you're going to need to get the job done.
- Planning a cinemagraph shot
- Shooting video and time lapses for cinemagraphs
- Combining stills
- Developing a cinemagraph
- Loading image sequences and video
- Creating and refining masks
- Correcting color
- Saving and optimizing GIF images and video