How to make looping videos (for cinemagraphs, looping GIFs) using Davinci Resolve

The challenge: Loop a short video clip seamlessly so that it appears to go on forever.

Let’s take this drone footage*:

It’s not terribly interesting or noteworthy but it’s good enough to demonstrate the concept.

If we simply repeat the same video multiple times, there will be a noticeable jump (repeated 4 times below):

If we reverse the video, the frames will match but the direction of the movement won’t, which makes it look rather goofy (this is what Instagram does with Boomerang):

The solution: Blend the video onto itself

I have used DaVinci Resolve for the following steps (a powerful free version is available),  but the concept is the same, regardless of the software. I first cut the video down to a shorter clip (which cannot start at the very beginning of the original footage). As far as the length of the clip is concerned, this is up to your artistic vision and experience. If there’s a discernible repeating movement in your video, you can use this for orientation. I picked a one-third rotation of the wind turbine in the upper left corner:

Wind turbine

The looping playback control can be very useful during this step:

loop playback

The resulting clip was just a little over 2 seconds long:

Clip

I then copied it to another track and moved both to the right for demonstration purposes:

clip copied

Next, I lengthened the clip on the upper track by dragging the “in” point to the left:

in point dragged to left

Note that the upper clip starts earlier in time and contains footage which is not a part of the lower clip.

I then shortened the upper clip by also dragging the “out” point to the left. The end of the upper clip now perfectly matches the beginning of the lower clip (because it is the part of the original video that comes just before it):

Out point dragged left

So far, this looks like a needlessly complicated way to split a clip (and yes, you could do it on a single video track). Things got more interesting as I moved the entire upper clip to the end of the lower clip (and moved both of them to the beginning of their tracks):

upper clip moved to end

Obviously, yhis resulted in a clearly visible jump at the point where the upper clip starts. However, this jump can be made a lot less noticeable by slowly fading the upper clip in:

blended onto itself 1

The video had now been blended onto itself and I had ensured that the frame at the end was a perfect match for the frame at the beginning.

Here’s the result, repeated 10 times:

If you know what to look for, you can see the blending happening (particularly in the water). To make it less obvious, I lengthened the upper clip and the blend:

video blended onto itself 2

This is the result (again repeated 10 times):

This is the basic concept. You can improve the result in DaVinci Resolve by freezing everything except for the parts where movement should be visible (and also by stabilizing and color grading the video):

If you want to learn more about DaVinci Resolve, I recommend reading the extensive user manual or watching some video tutorials (like the ones made by Casey Faris or Ripple Training). Should you have any questions, I recommend posting them in the official DaVinci Resolve forum (and not in the comments below).


* The video was recorded on a DJI Phantom 3 Standard. The ruin of the mill you see on the left is located in the Luxembourgish town of Moersdorf. The drone was launched from the German side of the river.

 

 

How to connect a 10BASE-T device to a FRITZ!Box 7390

Problem

You cannot communicate with a 10BASE-T (10 Mbit/s half-duplex) device connected to one of the Ethernet (LAN) ports of  a FRITZ!Box 7390.

Solution

  1. Use a crossover Ethernet cable (not a patch cable) and
  2. connect it to port “LAN 1” or “LAN 3”.

See: FRITZ!Box 7390 Service: LAN connection to FRITZ!Box cannot be established

Are there alternatives to Patreon?

Update December 13, 2017: Patreon is sorry and will not roll out the fee changes.

Services provided by Patreon

Patreon is an intermediary between content creators and consumers (“Patrons”). The value-added functions provided by Patreon are:

  1. Payment processing and management (subscription / per creation).
  2. VAT handling.
  3. Low fees for micropayments (through payment aggregation).
  4. Content hosting and access regulation.
  5. Social networking.

Patreon has recently announced changes to their fee structure which will make it significantly more expensive to support a large number of creators with small amounts, effectively eliminating the third point. For further information, read this discussion on Reddit, this blog post or head over to Twitter to witness the shitstorm. There’s also an interesting theory that financial regulations might be the true reason why Patreon suddenly shot themselves in the foot .

Patreon alternatives

The only alternative providing all of the 5 functions listed above appears to be Drip (by Kickstarter). However, Drip is currently “invite-only” and not yet open to all creators.

All other alternatives I found may fulfill some of the functions, but not all of them. Nevertheless, they often charge higher fees than Patreon.

Snowdrift.coop maintains an excellent overview of crowdfunding and fundraising services  (there are several lists on that page, be sure to scroll all the way down). However, many of them won’t solve the micropayment problem (notable exceptions are Flattr and Liberapay).

You could also have a look at marketplaces for digital goods, particularly if your supporters expect to get something in return for their payments. Here are two lists to get you started:
12 Platforms to Sell Digital Downloads
Sell Product Online

The majority of creators I used to support on Patreon offer direct donations through PayPal or via bank transfer. Obviously, this only satisfies the first point on my list, but it might still be an acceptable solution to many small donors who removed their pledges on Patreon in protest against the new fee structure.

Updates (chronological order):