Animating still natural images using warping

Thi-Ngoc-Hanh Le, Chih-Kuo Yeh, Ying-Chi Lin, and Tong-Yee Lee

CGVSL - National Cheng-Kung University


From a single still image, a looping video could be generated by imparting subtle motion to objects in the image. The results are a hybrid of photography and video. They contain gentle motion in some objects, while the rest of the image remains still. Existing techniques are successful in animating such images. However, there are still some drawbacks needed to investigate, such as the demand on a huge computation time in retrieving the matched videos, or the challenges in controlling the desired motion not only in terms of a single region but also in terms of consistency in regions. In this work, we address these issues by proposing an interactive system with a novel warping method. The key idea of our approach is to utilize user's annotations to impart motion to certain objects. With two proposed phases in terms of preserve-curve-warping and cycle warping, a looping video is generated. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method via various experimental results and evaluations. We show that with a simple and lightweight method, our system is able to deal with the animating still image's problems and achieves realistic motion and appealing videos. In addition, our proposed system is easy to create plausible animation using simple user annotations without referencing to video database or machine learning models and allows ordinary users with minimal expertise to explore compelling results.

Keywords -- animation, still images, cycle warping, warping, preserve curve warping


@article{le2022animating, title={Animating still natural images using warping},
author={Le, Thi-Ngoc-Hanh and Yeh, Chih-Kuo and Lin, Ying-Chi and Lee, Tong-Yee},
journal={ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMM)},
publisher={ACM New York, NY}


This work was supported in part by the Ministry of Science and Technology (under nos. 108-2221-E-006-038-MY3 and 110-2221-E-006-135-MY3), Taiwan, Republic of China and the Key Area Research Program of Universities in Guangdong Province (Nature science), China (under no. 2020KQNCX095)

Demo video


Still image - Waterfall

Still image - BanGioc Waterfall

Still image - Abstract painting

Still image - Body of water

Still image - IguazeFalls

Still image - Cross river

Still image - River at night

Still image - Starry night

Still image - Roma

Still image - Nature Scene

Still image - Tahquamenon Falls

Still image - Artist Splash

Still image - Cycle Splash

Still image - Women Splash