Subtly Beautiful Animated “Cinemagraphs” of the World Around Us

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The humble graphics interchange format might have long since passed into history, replaced by more efficient formats like JPG and PNG, were it not for its capacity for rudimentary animation. In the 21st century, this capacity has seen the GIF make a comeback as a vehicle for digital art. These images, by French artist Julien Douvier (which we spotted on Faith is Torment), are more staid than the extravagant, surreal GIFs of net artists — they play like Harry Potter-esque animated photographs, giving the impression of a single animated image rather than a short loop of film. Douvier calls the resultant images “cinemagraphs,” and they’re like staring through a window into another world; the animations are so subtle that it takes a moment to realize the water you’re looking at is rippling, or that the corn is swaying softly in the breeze. There’s more of Douvier’s work at Behance.

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier

Photo credit: Julien Douvier