how to instagram video

How to create Instagram videos (.gif style)


Stop Motion videos? What on earth are you talking about? Well, let me introduce you to the magical world of the Giphy. This format is usually used to create stupid (but hilarious) memes to send to your friends or colleagues (hooray for Slack). But it can also be used to create cute and interesting Instagram ‘photos’, for that little extra something something. So, how do you create these so-called .gif stop motion videos? Let me guide you through it. 


But first, a few examples:



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What you’ll need to create your Giphy: 


Creating a stop motion video (or Giphy) is easy. It just takes some time. But as soon as you have gotten the hang of it, you’ll be busting these guys out like… Yeah, like what? You’ll have to come up with an analogy for me. Thanks. 


Enough stalling: this is what you’ll need for your stop motion Instagram video. 


  • A camera. You can use any camera you like, just make sure it has some kind of burst mode available. 
  • A computer. 
  • Video editing software. I used Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro is paid software, but don’t worry, iMovie has a really similar interface and can probably get you just as far. Don’t have a Macbook? Windows Movie Makers works somewhat similar. 
  • Optional: Lightroom, or your prefered photo editing software. 
  • Optional: Tripod. 


Step 1: Take a lot of photos


Check your camera settings before shooting. Make sure it’s set on burst, to be able to take a lot of pictures in a short amount of time. This is needed to make your Giphy as smooth as possible. Does your camera have a setting called ‘continuous autofocus’? Great. Select it. This way, your photos will be somewhat in focus despite your subject moving around. Are you using your phone? Just lock the subject in by tapping on the screen. A yellow square should appear. 


To create a video that’s long enough, you’ll need quite a few photos. Aim for 20 pictures or more. Hold the camera in the same position and let your subject move around. Don’t have a steady hand? Use a tripod! 


Step 2: Get moving

A video is way more fun when something is happening. So, keep it moving. Maybe you like dancing in the rain? Photograph it! Try twirling around, kick your leg up in the air or blow a kiss towards the camera. Get creative and switch it up. Run in and out of frame, for example. 


Don’t worry when some images appear blurry. You won’t be able to notice after we’ve made the video. The photos move too quickly anyway. Don’t believe me? Watch that beach video again. None of these photos were in focus. 


Pro tip: want to get a preview without having to do any work? Go through your photos really quickly in one fluid motion. Has the same effect! 



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Step 3: Edit your photos 


After shooting, it’s time to edit. Choose the pose you like best, and pick up to 30 photos. Use your favourite Lightroom presets or go wild in VSCO to give all of your photos the same look. Benefit: you’ll only have to edit one pic, and copy those settings to the rest. Got something you’re satisfied with? Crop all of your photos to the same size. 


For a vertical photo use 4×5 as your dimensions (this is the maximum size Instagram allows). For square, go for 1×1. 


Step 4: Create your Giphy 


Time for the fun part: actually creating your video. I’ll try to explain this the best I can and support my words with screenshots as much as possible. 


First steps

To start creating .gifs for Instagram you might want to start a new library. This way all your future projects will be stored under the same umbrella. Click file > new > library. I named mine ‘Giphy’. 


After this, create a new event: file > new > event. Name this anything you want. For example: are you creating multiple videos for one vacation? Use the name of the country you’re in. 


After this, you’re going to create a new project: file > new > project. Want to create a vertical video? Copy the settings from the screenshot below. 


how to instagram video gif style


When you want to create a square video you’ll set the resolution to 1080 by 1080. 


Creating a sequence

Now it’s time to import your photos. File > import > media. Select your photos and import all. I ended up using 32 photos. 


Select all clips – be sure they are in the right order – and add them to your timeline. You’ll notice your video is way to long, and it takes ages to move to the next photo. That’s why we’re going to speed things up. But first, we’re going to create a compound clip.


Since you didn’t do anything yet, all of the photos in your timeline are still selected. To create the clip: select all > click right > new compound clip. 


how to create compound clip final cut


Again, you can name this anything you want. I decided to name mine: How to Giphy 1 (full forward). Full means I’m using all frames (photos), and forward means… well, forward. This clip is not in reverse. That’s something we’re doing in a bit. 


Now, we’re going to speed up the clip. To do so: modify > retime > custom > 9000%. You can play around with this a bit, and make it as fast or as slow as you like. 


What you have now, is a really short clip, that’s probably too short to post to Instagram. Mine ended up being around 3 seconds. It’s also a bit boring. We need some repetition to make it a real Giphy. One that start over and over again. 


That’s why we’re going to add another clip to the one we just created. Again, select all of the photos we selected earlier, minus the last one. To make the transition more seamless. 


Create another compound clip (How to Giphy 2 (-1 reverse)). And set it to the same speed as you did the clip before. While doing so, you might notice the box is giving you the option to reverse the clip. Do so. 


how to reverse video final cut pro


Hang in there, we’re almost there. 


Repeat this entire process. But instead of using all of the photos minus the one we didn’t use for compound clip 2, we’re getting rid of another photo again. This time you’re leaving the first photo of the sequence behind. 


Repeat, leaving one photo behind everytime you add another clip, until you’re satisfied with the duration of your video. 


Hooray, you made it! Time to save your video. Copy these settings to save. 


how to save video


The result: 



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Step 5: Share it on Instagram


Well, it’s been quite the rollercoaster. But it’s finally time. It’s time to post your video to Instagram! Tag us, to let us know you used our tutorial! We’d love to see how creative you get. 


Don’t know where to shoot your first video? Here are some option to add to your travel bucketlist: 

Top 5 beaches in Milos, Greece

Instagram Hotspots in Havana, Cuba

The most Instagrammable places in Lisbon