Picture this: PhotoMirage creates moving images from still photographs


Animated photos are really videos in disguise — but a new tool could help photographers create moving images without video. Corel has unveiled PhotoMirage, a Windows-only software that animates a still photo to create a GIF, WMV or MP4 from a single image.

PhotoMirage works by placing animation points over the image, then telling the software which way (and how fast) to animate those pixels. There’s no artificial intelligence involved, the program just grabs and moves those pixels based on the settings the user chooses. Anchor points tell the software which pixels to leave untouched. With those tools, PhotoMirage can do things like add motion to the clouds the sky in a still photo, or animate a body of water.

The result is similar to a cinemagraph, but starts from a single photo instead of a video. The program is compatible with JPEGs, as well as RAW images and other formats like TIFF and PNG. Because the software blurs motion in the image, the program currently works best with blurred motion in images with sky or water.

Corel says the new program is designed with a simple interface to allow anyone from basic users to professional photographers to use the tool. The animation points are a drag and drop-style tool, while the program also includes more advanced options like visibility layers. Options like crops and a one-click Smart Photo Fix edit are also included in the program.

PhotoMirage’s export option is designed for simplicity too. The export allows users to choose the social media destination, then will automatically format the post to the proper requirements for that network.

The program is designed to create cinemagraphs and GIFs from a simpler process than a video. Grabbing and moving pixels won’t create the exact result as a video — grabbing and moving pixels, for example, isn’t meant to animate something complex like a person. Corel isn’t the first to try to simplify the cinemagraph — a program called Plotagraph from a startup by the same name also animates a still photo for a similar effect. Artymate is a Photoshop plug-in that also has a similar focus.

The Corel PhotoMirage is available as a $70 one-time purchase. The program is Windows only and requires Windows 10, Windows 8 or 8.1, or Windows 7.

Movies & TV

Game of Thrones episode 3 photos look ahead to the Battle of Winterfell

HBO released photos and a video teasing the upcoming third episode of Game of Thrones' eighth and final season. It will feature the long-awaited Battle of Winterfell that pits the show's key characters against The Night King's undead army.
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Photography

Earn more likes on your photos with the best cameras for Instagram

Looking to snap better Instagrams? Instagram doesn't demand high-resolution files, but upgrading your camera can deliver better bokeh and low-light quality. Here our the best cameras for Instagram.
Smart Home

Virtually walk through dream homes with Zillow’s new A.I.-powered 3D home tours

Home sellers and real estate agents listing properties on Zillow's home marketplace now can add 3D tours for free to their listings. Zillow 3D Home uses artificial intelligence to create tours with 360-degree panoramic photos.
Photography

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.
Photography

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Sony A7R III: Which pixel-shift powerhouse is better?

The Lumix S1R and Sony A7R III are different in design, but similar in performance, and both offer pixel-shift high resolution modes which pull even more detail out of their already high-resolution sensors. Here's how they compare.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Photography

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy, from GoPro to Garmin and more

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Photography

Wet or dry, these rugged waterproof cameras capture your every adventure

Rugged cameras are designed to withstand nature's elements. These waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof shooters can go wherever you take them, making them the perfect travel companions.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.