In the original video for the above cinemagraph, the kids were walking around at the side. Initially I wanted to keep their movement and freeze everything else, however due to the moving sea background, it was just too complicated to mask the movement without having to interfere with the sea. To makes things easier, I masked parts of the shoreline so that the movement is still considered subtle, leaving out all the incoming wave. As for the sky, I had to mask the part where the bird flies and not the whole area to avoid the moving clouds. I also adjusted the opacity of the mask at the right side to create an illusion that the bird was at a further distance.
Animated GIF- From Still to Moving Image
For the second set, I tried to convert a still to moving image instead of capturing a video. I masked the smoke area using different opacity and then cropped it out as a new layer. In the timeline tab, I added keyframes and adjusted the size of the smoke (Command + T) accordingly. Additionally, I also added Fade effect into my smoke layers to smoothen the transitions.