With free, unlimited storage no longer on offer, Google Photos has to come up with new ways to encourage users to pay for the service. Fortunately, this latest addition works like magic.
Announced during the recent Google I/O keynote, Cinematic Moments are little animated video clips created automatically from pairs of similar images stored on Google Photos.
Google Photo’s current animations reconstruct real-life motion by merging extended bursts of photos into video. A Cinematic Moment, on the other hand, is created from just a single pair of images. Google automatically “synthesizes” realistic motion between the two photos to create artificial, but convincing, movement.
Cinematic Moments are an evolution of Google’s Cinematic Photos which take a single image and generate a short video clip with a three-dimensional zoom effect. However, Cinematic Photos, cannot animate individual objects or people within the image. The zoom is all you get.
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Google’s sample results are very impressive and can be created from any images stored on Google Photos, regardless of the type of camera that was used to shoot them.
It will be interesting to see how older photos might be “brought to life” through Cinematic Moments. A similar technology, “Deep Nostalgia” from myheritage.com, caused a viral sensation by animating archive photos sometimes over a hundred years old.
Unlike Deep Nostalgia Cinematic Moments, like Google Photos’ other automatically-generated highlights, are unlikely to offer users the option of choosing which photos they want animated.
One limitation of Cinematic Moments, however, is you cannot pick which photos you want to animate. Google Photos will choose the options it deems best so, if you have someone/something specific in mind, you may need to upload a lot of images before Google selects it.
Google wants you to upload a substantial photo library and keep it on Google Photos, so it prevents you from using the service to simply upload individual pictures and churn out cool animations on demand.
Cinematic Moments alone won’t be enough to convert free users into paying customers, but regular innovations like this that generate sharable content that can’t currently be created in any other way it will ensure Google Photos remains a compelling option.
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