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Beginners Guide to Add Animation to Your Photo

Jan 21, 2021 · 3 minutes read
Beginners Guide to Add Animation to Your Photo

They can enhance a story, make for a perfect social media post, and are one of the internet’s simplest and most dynamic ways to express creativity. Photo animations, which can come in video or GIF format, have become a go-to visual tool for content creators and social media users alike.

Watch the video to see how you can add one-of-a-kind animated sparkle effects to your photos.

While creating your own photo animation might seem like a complex undertaking, it’s actually a very speedy process. All you need is your smartphone, the YouCam Perfect app, and a little bit of creativity.

What is Photo Animation?

Simply, photo animation is the process of making static images dynamic by adding moving elements. It could be as easy as adding glitter, raindrops, or even an in-motion shooting star. All of these elements can add a touch of movement and activity to an otherwise still photo.


Social media managers, influencers, content creators, blog writers, and creatives of all kinds use animated photos to illustrate a story or to grab a viewer’s attention. If you’re scrolling through your social media feed, and you spot movement within an image, you’re bound to stop. That eye-catching element is a quick and easy way to show off your personality and unique imagination. And the best part is: you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to create an animated photo.

Two Quick Ways to Animate a Photo

Here, we’ll show you exactly how to get started animating your photos.

1. Add Effects to Animate a Photo

How to Anime a Photo

In the YouCamPerfect app, photo editing is easier than ever. Once you’ve selected and uploaded your photo, click on the “Animation” editing tool to get started.

In the “Effects” animation section, you can select from dozens of fun effects to add to your photo. You can drop in-camera bokeh, glamorous glitter, shooting stars, shimmering pixels, droplets of rain, and even mark the new year. Within each effect, you can also change the speed of the movement — increasing or decreasing to create the desired look — and even use the eraser tool to mark sections of the photo where the animation effect is lighter.

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YouCam Perfect’s top effects include flowing bubbles, falling snowflakes, holiday animations (including an animated Santa flying through the sky and bow-topped holiday gifts), as well as authentic retro camera effects. Your options for creativity are endless.

2. Add Animated Stickers to Animate Your Photo

Add Animated Stickers to Animate Your PhotoAdd Animated Stickers to Animate Your Photo









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Along with the effects animations, the YouCamPerfect app also houses a library of creative animated “Stickers”. Add in individual animated stickers, including the most popular ones, like bubbles, shooting stars, strings of lights, glistening hearts, budding flowers, and even holiday-inspired accessories to animate your photos. Our favorite and most popular stickers include fluttering butterflies, shimmering stars, and even animated Santa Claus and New Year stickers.

You can place these anywhere on your photo (even layer them with the effects above) and up to 10 stickers per photo.

Change the positioning of the animated stickers, resize, rotate, and flip them, and your creative options are truly endless.

Pro tip: Always remember to make all edits to your photo before adding in the animation elements. Finalize your filter and edit the look before you apply any animations (filters and further edits can’t be made after the animation effects have been applied).

Read More: 10 Free Aesthetic Animated Stickers For Eye-Catching Instagram

Video vs. GIF: Photo Animation Formats

Once you’ve finalized adding animations to your photo, it’s time to export and get it ready to share. Within the YouCam Perfect app, there are two available photo animation formats: video and GIF. Depending on where you plan to share your image, you’ll want to choose the best format for you.

If you’re adding your image to a blog or as a social media story, consider saving as a GIF. The GIF looping means you’ll be able to add it to a page or post with ease, and users won’t have to click “play” to view the photo animation, boosting the entertainment value of the photo. If you are looking for a higher-quality file, you can export your image as a video — in 720p, 1080p, 2K, and even 4K quality. You can then add it onto your website or blog or as a feed post on social. This is a great default option if you’re looking for a blur-free, powerful visual display.

Photo Animation Formats

Pro tip: Here are the best exporting options for the popular social sharing scenarios:

  • Instagram post: save it as a video with 1:1 or 4:5 aspect ratio with 1080p quality
  • Instagram story: save it as a video with 9:16 aspect ratio with 1080p quality
  • Facebook post: save it as a video with 1:1 or 3:4 aspect ratio with 1080p quality
  • Facebook story: save it as a video with 9:16 aspect ratio with 1080p quality
  • Twitter post: save it as a video with 1:1 or 4:3 aspect ratio with 1080p quality

Publishing Your Animated Photo

Once you’ve exported your new animated photo, it’s ready to share. Share it to Instagram and Facebook (also available as an exporting option directly in YouCam Perfect) or to your personal blog. Simply upload on your go-to social platform, and share with your community.

YouCam Perfect: Your Go-to Animated Photo Editor

Ready to get started? Download the YouCam Perfect app, available in the App Store and on Google Play, for iOS and Android.

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Want to get more photo editing tips and tricks? Subscribe to the YouCam Perfect YouTube channel, and follow us on Instagram for creative editing ideas and awesome selfie tips!

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