Artymate turns Photoshop into a cinemagraph-creating machine for photos

Photoshop’s built-in tools make it possible to turn short videos into cinemagraphs, or moving pictures but what if you only have a single still photo? Artymate is a new Photoshop plugin that creates animated GIFs from still photos.

The Artymate plug-in adds several tools to animate specific elements of the image, with a different tool for each type of motion. The assortment of animation tools include options for floating, falling, floating, flying and even flapping for a more realistic flight for birds and butterflies.

Along with tools for animating what is already there, the plug-in also includes tools to add animated presets. For example, adding fire, light rays, fire, making bokeh, or even flowing hair. The tools include adjustments to change the color of the animation to match the rest of the image, and the hair tool has both curly and straight options.

The plug-in walks users through the steps, which often includes creating a layer, adding a mask to that specific object, then controlling the animation. The cinemagraphs can then be exported as GIFs for sharing on websites and social media.

Karen Alsop, a photographer from Australia known for creating dream-like edits in Photoshop, created the program for her own work and is now sharing Artymate with the rest of the photo community.

While cinemagraphs are traditionally made from videos, Artymate is not the first program to bring that capability to still photos through animation tools. Plotagraph is a program designed for creating cinemagraphs, available on desktop computers and the iPad. Users can pay a monthly subscription fee, or unlock free features by trying out the platform’s social media app, which is in public beta testing.

Artymate may not be the first to animate still photos, but the Photoshop integration could likely simplify the workflow for photographers that already use Adobe’s photo editor. Along with having all the Photoshop tools still accessible, the plug-in uses Photoshop layers and masks to help create those animations. The one-time price could also be an advantage over Plotagraph subscriptions.

Artymate is compatible with Photoshop CC versions; the plug-in sells for $50.

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