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Create an Animated Photo Sparkle Effect Video

26th July 2023

Jacob Woolcock



Inspired by the fantastic idea from fellow ADE Karen Irwin, the #LiftSubjectSparkle technique lets you turn the cool animated glow that appears when you long press on the subject in your photograph into an animated video where that subject appears to glow against the background.

This technique is really effective and simple to recreate – this short and easy-to-follow tutorial will get you up and going in no time at all.

In recent versions of iOS you can now extract the subject of a picture from its background, but when you do that you get a really cool effect which is like this kind of sparkle that goes around the subject of your image.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could capture that effect and perhaps save it as a video or a gif to use somewhere else?

Well, we can!

When you go into your photo and you tap and hold you get that effect on the subject of your image, but the trick here is to actually start a Screen Recording before we do that.

So let’s just pull down into Control Center and tap that Screen Recording button on.

Now we’ll go back to the photo, we’ll tap it once to hide those annoying toolbars at the top and bottom, and then we’ll tap and hold on the subject to select it.

You’ll know it’s worked as you get that light that traces around the image – and you want to keep that Screen Recording going until the light is done at least one whole loop of your subject.

That’s because we’re going to crop it down later to make it a perfect loop.

Okay, we’ll tap the Screen Recording icon in the top toolbar and then we’re going to go to that recording in the Photos app itself.

Now from here we need to edit it slightly.

The first thing to do when you tap Edit is to actually crop that video down to size.

We’re doing a Screen Recording of the whole iPad, not necessarily just the photograph, so we’ll pull in the edges like this.

We’re also going to take this opportunity to get rid of that annoying call out menu bar that Apple have given us on the image, and we’re going to do that unfortunately by cropping in from the top as well.

This does change the size of your photo quite a lot (as you can see), but for now there really isn’t a simple way around it.

When you’ve done this we’re going to go onto the video editing options and we’re going to use the little side arrow bars to move the beginning and the end point of that video to the same place on that golden sparkle effect.

I’m going to choose the tip of Pudding’s tail as my start and end point, so I’ll pull in the beginning of the video until that light is light at the tip of Pudding’s tail – and then I’m going to go to the end arrow as well and I’m going to pull that one right in until the lights returned to the same place.

That means when I press Done and my video plays that it will then play as a perfect loop if I uploaded it to social media or shared it somewhere else.

And that how you get this Subject Sparkle Effect saved as a video on your device.

And don’t forget if you want some more tips for your iPad you can Subscribe down below, or you can find my other channels for iPhone Tips and Mac Tips as well.

I’ll see you next time.

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