An Animated Photo

Animated Alex

After seeing Jamie Beck's pretty cool animated photographs (basically carefully planned animated gifs) a few weeks back, I wondered if I'd be able to recreate the effect myself. Armed with a tripod, a video camera, iMovie and Photoshop, I discovered that I could.

The above image, while not groundbreaking, represents a fun wee hour of problem solving that I'm really happy with. It turned out pretty good, eh? Now that I understand the process a bit, there's a few ideas I'd like to try out that could work out great. When I find the time to go on a wee photo hunt, I'll post them up here. Isolating animation in a clip like that is a really peculiar effect. I guess we've HD video to thank for making these things possible - when a still frame can pass for a photograph, you can do a bunch of cool stuff.

These 'animated photographs' are kind of interesting. They elevate the humble gif - an old, mainly forgotten, format, with its 256 colours and grainy feel, to something new. Sure, there have always been a ton of gifs generated from funny video clips, but pre-planned and considered gif photoshoots? That's a little different. I've a feeling that Beck might've started a wee trend here - we might be seeing these things in site mastheads and accompanying 'virtual' magazine articles before long. That is if the lengthy post-production editing isn't too off-putting.

Also, I mainly like my photo because it captures Alex drinking tea, playing on the computer and listening to music on a great wee day-off we had. She thinks it's creepy, but I dunno, I think there's something nice about it. Like one of those magic Harry Potter photos made real.