How To Animate your Book Cover

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Hi SErs! Harmony here. Animated book covers have become all the rage for social media promotion. So, today, I’d like to show  you how to animate a book cover. I’ve discovered both free and fairly cheap Apps to achieve this. At first, I found it a steep learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, I could come up with a great graphic in minutes and have fun into the bargain.

What You’ll Need:

  1. Tablet or Smart Phone
  2. Pixaloop App
  3. Canva App (or any other app where you can generate and save an Instagram-sized PNG.
  4. Video Editing Software (Optional)

On your tablet or smartphone, download both the Pixaloop and Canva Apps. Canva has both free and paid options. The free option offers plenty of scope, so you don’t necessarily need to go for the paid option if you’d rather not.

Pixaloop costs me £17.99 per year at the moment.

For this tutorial, I’ve used screenshots from my iPad for you. The layout may change slightly depending upon which device you use for this.

Step One:

Open Canva and select ‘Create a Design’. I use the Instagram Post option because this works best across all of my social media platforms.

Click on Uploads. Then click on Upload an image or video. Once your image has loaded, drag it across to the blank square canvas and size and position to what you need. If any white areas show, you can always use the Background option.

Save as PNG >>>

Step Two:

Open your Pixaloop App. Choose the add photo icon on the top left.

You will see all your editing options at the bottom of the screen (or the top, depending on the device and App version you’re using).

Click on Animate. You will have the option to freeze certain parts of your image. Also, you can set the play speed here. Make sure to choose the ‘loop’ option. You can also set how long the video will play for before it loops. I choose 6 seconds as this seems to give a nice timeframe before the image repeats.

Top Tip: Once you upload your video to Twitter, it will play the video on a continous loop, so the six-seconds is ample here. (My blog also allows media to be embeded and played on a loop, but not all blogs have that facility.)

Additionally, you can save as a GIF from Canva instead of an MP4 video format.

Have a play with the many different effects available. In the image above, I added sky and sparkles. I used the freeze option to keep the writing in one place as well as the image of the meditator.

You can use your finger (or tablet pencil, etc.) to draw the direction of animation you would like, such as bottom to top, side to side, circular, etc.

When you have the animation you want, click on Export. (In this screenshot, it’s on the top right.) Save as ‘original’ to keep your Instagram sizing and shaping.

The resultant video will be a large file. Because of that, I import it into my video editing software. On my MAC this is Final Cut Pro, but you can use whichever sofware works for you.

Alternatively, you can upload your Pixaloop video into Canva. And then you can add text or anything else you’d like. When you have what you want, you can save as video, and it will be a smaller file than what Pixaloop gives you. The video of the image above comes out at about 4MB using Canva.

Once I’ve made my edits, I save the video from Final Cut Pro as a masterfile MP4v. It will shave a video from 20 or 30 MB to a mere 1 or 2 MB.

You can find the resultant video on my YouTube channel HERE. When played on Twitter, the video will loop on a repeat without stopping. For comparison, here is the original static book cover:

That’s it from me for today. I hope you find this post useful. And I’ll see you again on Friday, February 5th, where we take a look at creating a video using Canva 🙂

Harmony Kent

©2021 Harmony Kent

66 thoughts on “How To Animate your Book Cover

  1. Pingback: For New And Indie Authors: Helpful Information I’ve Learned While Reviewing Books So Far – Bonnie Reads and Writes

  2. I can see why the learning curve was a bit steep, Harmony. So thank you for the tutorial! I popped over to youtube to view the result. Nice! I’m too cheap to invest in Pixaloop, but I wonder if I can create something on powerpoint??? Sizing might be the biggest challenge. Thanks for sharing your expertise and for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Ever wonder how all those animated book covers you see on Twitter, etc, are created? Well wonder no more. Stop by Story Empire today and let Harmony Kent show you exactly how it’s done, step by step. Then, if you will, pass the post along so others can learn, too. Thanks, and THANK YOU, Harmony, for such a helpful post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great post, Harmony! I’ve been thinking about doing some of these “when I have time,” as though I’m not already light years behind in my writing and other work. But after seeing your results, I know it would be worth it to give this a go as soon as I can. I love creating graphics anyway, so an animation would be super fun. Saving this for future reference, and sharing it, too. THANKS for the tips! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: How To Animate your Book Cover | Legends of Windemere

  6. Pingback: How To Animate your Book Cover | Story Empire | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

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