Animating photos is a technique used in many different areas of filmmaking, from commercials to documentaries. The process includes separating the background, mid, and foreground, and animating individual photo elements to create a parallax effect that effectively turns your simple 2D still images into moving 3D images.
It's really cool, and surprisingly simple (though tedious) to do because it requires a ton of rotoscoping. However, the team over at Cinecom shows you a different approach for pulling off this 3D freeze frame effect that may reduce your time in post.
The Cinecom team was inspired by the music video for DJ Khaled's "Celebrate" (featuring Post Malone and Travis Scott).
And no, A-list music video director Joseph Kahn didn't use this technique in the "Celebrate" video. It looks as though he simply directed subjects to remain still while the camera roamed freely, effectively creating a gritty tableau vivant...or like...a Mannequin Challenge full of hip-hop royals.
Both are cool in their own way, but just understand that you're not going to recreate the effect in the music video with this tutorial because you're pretty much stuck with moving your camera along one axis.
However, there are tons of applications for this "animated photo" effect...or freeze frame effect...still-motion effect...whatever you want to call it. You can use it to animate stills in your documentary, title sequences, intro sequences, and pretty much anything else your lovely, creative brain can come up with.