(Editor’s Note: We welcome this guest post from Ed Wrzesien, an artist based out of Missoula, MT. His photography has been published by Simon and Schuster, the US Department of the Interior, Eastern Washington University, the University of Montana and Washington State Magazine. Learn more at resinstudios.net.)

I recently acquired a new app called Plotagraph Pro which allows you to create flowing and realistic animations from your single still images. I have not yet explored all that can be done with this software (including the FX and morphing features) because right now, I am really excited about the animations I get with rivers, waterfalls and clouds!

At first I wasn’t sure the software would be a good fit for my photography style. After messing around with it a little I was totally hooked. It’s incredibly easy to turn a static image into a living scene, taking only minutes to get amazing results.

It’s like you were there

Below, I drew animation points over the water. Then I added anchor points over the branches to prevent them from moving. This made the river “flow” as if you were viewing it in-person.

To add to the realism, you can adjust the speed of the animation so things don’t move too fast or slow. For example, the default speed of this waterfall was much too fast from my actual experience, but after slowing down the animation speed it became very lifelike.

I had a more difficult time with the below photo of the Lochsa River, as it turned out my animation points were too long. Once I shortened the moving lines, the movements started to look really natural. The more I played around, it became clear that when it comes to adding animation points, less is more (and you always have the option of adding more, which is much easier than deleting them.)

Exploring more

I wondered if Plotagraph could be used to animate things like 360-degree photos. If so, it could be a great way to create engaging VR experiences using only still images and a few animation points.

As a test I imported this 360 degree panoramic photo and animated the clouds. Much to my delight, Plotagraph had no trouble processing the photo despite its abnormal dimensions. Very cool.

I’m looking forward to experimenting more with VR content using Plotagraph, but I’ll save that for another post.

If you want to check out all the things you can do with Plotagraph and try it for yourself, visit plotaversepro.com. It’s a great way to make your images come to life. Plus, it’s super fun … and addictive!

Want to learn more about Plotagraph and try it for yourself? Click here to get started!