GIF – the story continues…

Everyone loves a good GIF. If you’re anything like me you’ll reply to your friends via a well-chosen reaction GIF.

Over the years there have been many classic GIFs that have summed up what we were all thinking at the time.


At Happy we have our very own go-to GIF when things go wrong  – Wi-Fi on the blink, running out of milk mid-brew run, lack of biscuits in the office, that sort of thing – it’s at the top of this blog.

But lately there’s been something a bit more aesthetically pleasing on the rise. Cinemagraphs.

What are Cinemagraphs?

Technically cinemagraphs are still classed as GIFs. The file format (which stands for Graphics Interchange Format) remains the same. However it’s the content within the GIF that makes it different.


A cinemagraph is a still image with a portion of it animated. This animation is looped constantly like any other GIF would be but what’s different is how seamless the loop is. With a regular GIF it’s very easy to see where the animation ends due to its harsh transition in between the start and finish. But a cinemagraph acts as a living picture. Below are some examples of cinemagraphs I have created.

James Clock

Tick, tock, tick, tock…


And you’re back in the room…

So, why use Cinemagraphs?

Well, all the big brands use it.

Cinemagraphs have gained a lot of popularity on TV show’s Facebook pages. Networks like ABC, Netflix and Fox use it to promote their TV show’s new season. Other brands like Panasonic, IKEA, Disney and Coca-Cola have been known to use it as well for their products. There is a vast difference in the ‘likes’ and engagement that these posts get compared to static pictures.

Netflix Kevin Spacey

It tells a story 

Sometimes a picture alone can’t tell you all you need to know. Producing videos on the other hand might not be an option. Also to watch a video would require the viewers undivided attention. This is where something like a cinemagraph would be useful. Most of them are only five seconds in length and only the best part is put on display.

Need a brew, a comfy seat and a decent read?


It’s easy to create

Although it may look like hard work, creating a cinemagraph is relatively easy. All the process requires is a tripod and a subject to take a picture and a video of. Once you have these this is when you put them into separate layers on a programme like After Effects and each element is masked out accordingly. If done correctly you too can create seamless GIFs.

The popularity of the cinemagraph is only quite recent however the first one was created back in 2011 by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. But since then it’s only become more famous. Our designers at Happy Creative are working on some more cinemagraphs for future social media and future blog posts, so stay tuned.

You’ll be needing a decent drink after all that information, here you go…

Wine Pouring

Hakim Shujaee is a Creative Thinker and Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

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