Yesterday, Google Research released Motion Stills, an app that turns Live Photos into movies or GIFs. There is heavy-duty computing going on behind the scenes to separate the foreground from the background, stabilize the video clip, and loop it, which is one of Google’s strengths. Here is a taste of Google’s explanation:
We pioneered this technology by stabilizing hundreds of millions of videos and creating GIF animations from photo bursts. Our algorithm uses linear programming to compute a virtual camera path that is optimized to recast videos and bursts as if they were filmed using stabilization equipment, yielding a still background or creating cinematic pans to remove shakiness.
There’s much more to what Google is doing to create Motion Stills clips, so I recommend reading Google’s entire post if you’re curious.
In my limited tests, creating clips was fast and easy, but I also had some trouble with Live Photos not properly displaying in Motion Stills. Occasionally, Motion Stills would seem empty or skip recent Live Photos, showing old ones instead. Hopefully Google will get those issues resolved in a future update because when it works properly, Motion Stills makes fantastic video clips.
Motion Stills is free on the App Store.