Category Archives: Motion Stills

New AR stickers in Motion Stills

My team has just added some fun new characters to Motion Stills for Android. 9to5 Google writes

A dog (clear favorite), UFO, heart, basketball, and spider join the dinosaur, chicken, alien, gingerbread man, planet, and robot. The latter six stickers have been slightly rearranged, while the new ones are at the beginning of the carousel.

Enjoy! And let us know what else you’d like to see.


Motion Stills gains a fun new AR mode on Android

Hooray! My first real project to ship since joining my new team is here:

Today, we are excited to announce the new Augmented Reality (AR) mode in Motion Stills for Android. With the new AR mode, a user simply touches the viewfinder to place fun, virtual 3D objects on static or moving horizontal surfaces (e.g. tables, floors, or hands), allowing them to seamlessly interact with a dynamic real-world environment. You can also record and share the clips as GIFs and videos. 


For the nerdier among us, we’ve put together a Research blog post about The Instant Motion Tracking Behind Motion Stills AR, and on CNET Stephen Shankland gives a nice overview (and has been tweeting out some fun animations):

The Motion Stills app can put AR stickers into any Android device with a gyroscope, which is nothing special these days.

I’ve long been a longtime fan of Motion Stills, posting about it for years. I’m so glad to get to work with these guys now. There’s more good stuff to come, so please us know what you think!

(BTW, the 3D models are among the many thousands you can download for free from

My new team’s new page: Check out Google Machine Perception

“So, what would you say you… do here?” Well, I get to hang around these folks and try to variously augment your reality:

Research in Machine Perception tackles the hard problems of understanding images, sounds, music and video, as well as providing more powerful tools for image capture, compression, processing, creative expression, and augmented reality.

Our technology powers products across Alphabet, including image understanding in Search and Google Photos, camera enhancements for the Pixel Phone, handwriting interfaces for Android, optical character recognition for Google Drive, video understanding and summarization for YouTube, Google Cloud, Google Photos and Nest, as well as mobile apps including Motion Stills, PhotoScan and Allo.

We actively contribute to the open source and research communities. Our pioneering deep learning advances, such as Inception and Batch Normalization, are available in TensorFlow. Further, we have released several large-scale datasets for machine learning, including: AudioSet (audio event detection); AVA (human action understanding in video); Open Images (image classification and object detection); and YouTube-8M (video labeling).


[Via Peyman Milanfar]

New Live Photos hotness in Google Photos, Motion Stills

Motion Stills lets you make stabilized multi-clip movies, animated collages, loops, and more from Live Photos. Now version 2.0 for iOS adds 

  • Capture Motion Stills right inside the app.
  • Capture and save Live Photos on any device.
  • Swipe left to delete Motion Stills in the stream.
  • Export collages as GIFs.

The app’s available on Android, too. Android Police writes, “It’s is essentially a GIF camera, but the app stabilizes the video while you’re recording. You can record for a few seconds, or use the fast-forward mode to speed up and stabilize longer videos.”

Not to be outdone, Google Photos on Web, iOS, and Android now displays Live Photos as well as Motion Photos from the new Pixel 2, giving you a choice of whether to display the still or moving portion of the capture. Here’s a quick sample on the Web. Note the Motion On/Off toggle up top.

I’m thrilled to have joined the team behind Motion Stills, so please let us know what you think & what else you’d like to see!

Google Motion Stills gets upgraded


  • Motion-tracked text
  • Sharper exports
  • Automatic loop creation

I’m a big fan of Google Motion Stills for iOS, and the team has just added a bunch of awesome, machine-learning-powered tech that you can read about on their blog. It enables stuff like this:

And it lets me easily make stuff like this:


A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) onDec 15, 2016 at 9:25pm PST

And this (by stringing together a bunch of Live Photos, letting me get a movie I’d never otherwise have shot):


Motion Stills adds text, gets faster, more

Following its tech’s inclusion into Google Photos, is the standalone stabilization tool going away? Nope: it remains a great way to combine multiple Live Photos into short movies, and the app has just gotten some nice enhancements.

  • You can add text in a variety of styles
  • You can make clips ping-pong back and forth
  • The app runs roughly 2x faster & uses less local storage

Enjoy! Let us know what else you’d like to see, and please share your creations with #MotionStills.


Motion Stills tech arrives in Google Photos

This is rad: Your Live Photos are now automatically stabilized & made more sharable in Google Photos for iOS thanks to direct integration of the Motion Stills app technology that debuted this summer:

Using advanced stabilization and rendering originally used in the Motion Stills app, Google Photos can freeze the background in your Live Photos or create sweeping cinematic pans, turning your Live Photos into beautiful, captivating moments. Easily save it as a looping video and share it with anyone.

This update also includes the ability to sort photos in albums chronologically or by recently added (fear not – this is coming soon to Android and web as well). And, based on your feedback, you can now choose a new thumbnail for faces in People.



Raw processing, DNG support coming to iOS 10

Yay! CNET reports,

As Google did with Android, Apple will package the raw data in Adobe’s Digital Negative (DNG) format, a move that makes it easier for software such as Photoshop to view the files.

Third-party camera apps will also be able to take Live Photos — Apple’s technology for taking a short video clip, currently available only in Apple’s camera app. And on supported hardware, cameras will be able to record a wider range of colors, too, for more vivid photos.

I was happy to see that iOS will evidently auto-stabilize Live Photos. If you want that capability today, grab Google Motion Stills, and if you want to do raw editing on mobile, grab Snapseed for Android.


[Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes, who came up with the term “DN(e)G” as we were BS’ing on a road trip to San Luis Obispo long ago]

Got an iPhone 6s? You’re going to love Motion Stills.

Get much more useful Live Photos (those 3-second clips that the iPhone 6s shoots alongside still images) thanks to Motion Stills, a new app from Google Research. The team writes:

We use our video stabilization technology to freeze the background into a still photo or create sweeping cinematic pans. The resulting looping GIFs and movies come alive, and can easily be shared via messaging or on social media.

I’ve been using the app for months & find it absolutely indispensable, both for making multi-shot compositions like this…


Pinewood Dervishes

A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) onJan 17, 2016 at 6:57pm PST

…and for making stills where only the subject is moving:


The ol’ disappearing lion trick

A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) onMay 29, 2016 at 2:57pm PDT

 I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!


Crazy(eyebrow)train <<:-)

A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) onJan 10, 2016 at 11:08pm PST

Honda’s epic new hand-drawn animation

Another year, another example of Honda creating some of the most interesting ads in the game. 

PetaPixel shows a number of stills from the ad & writes,

Honda recently enlisted [animator Adam] Pesapane’s services to create the ad above, titled “Paper.” It runs just 2 minutes, but it took 4 months of work to create!

The hands you see in the ad are real people who were placing roughly 3,000 unique illustrations in front of the camera, allowing the animation to be created one frame at a time.

Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

[YouTube 1 & 2]