It's not Photography, It's a Plotagraph!

Plotagraph Pro, a new technology released at Photoplus, brings still images alive with controlled motion and imagination!

It's not Photography, It's a Plotagraph!

What happens when you take a still image and create movement within it? It's not quite a video, it's a Plotagraph.

Plotagraph Pro, a new technology released at Photoplus, brings still images alive. The powerful software allows any still image to include movement in multiple ways, all at the artist's discretion.

My first attempt with Plotagraph Pro

Developed by Troy Plota, co-founder and CEO of Plotagraph Pro, the software is available both in an online version and a desktop standalone version.

In the late 90's, Troy started experimenting with alternative Digital Photography processes and created the Plotagraph® Technique over 10 years ago. He recently gave a Ted Talks titled "The Future of Photography" in which he talked about matching photography and technology to create things that were at one time not possible.

Co-founder, Sascha Scheider, is the granddaughter of actor Roy Scheider and a painter. She will be developing the tutorial videos for Plotagraph Pro.

Plotagraph Pro is the result of a year of development for a process that Troy began using in the early part of the decade. It took five different softwares and hours of work. The new set of algorithms automate the process and can give four different animation results - Infinity, Circular, Blend, and End-to-end.

The effects are a true game changer for the still photographer who just does not want to be a videographer. It opens up an entirely new market for the hybrid still / animated photographer. Anywhere there is a video display, your image has the opportunity to challenge the use of a video. Your image has movement, an item that draws the eye quicker to the display screen.

Who are the industries taking advantage of this new technology? How about anyone using digital screens or displays.

I decided to try it with my downhill ski photos, Jay Cochrane's skywalks in Niagara Falls, and a total solar eclipse image. My deciding factors were all about usage. The ski photos could be used on the display monitors at the ski area on race days. Jay Cochrane's skywalk with the horseshoe falls of Niagara are a logical animation choice and hey, there are lots of hotels there with display screens at their checkin counters. Lastly, an eclipse image is a logical choice to animate for a website I'm building about the total solar eclipse in August 2017.

The first usage of the software was a little scary. There were only two tutorial videos available on their support site. The software was in BETA right up to its launch at PhotoPlus. Troy told me that would change quickly now with the launch of the product.

"We were literally making changes to the software right up to the launch," said Troy. "Now we will be working on the community."

George Redhawk featured on Plotagraph Facebook page

And the community is already responding.

The selection of Plotagraphs grows on their website and on their FACEBOOK feed. Marc Tule's Plotagraph of water pouring into a glass is a great example of the use of movement for an advertising image.

George Redhawk, whom I met at PhotoPlus, has become one of Plotagraph's contributing artists. According to his Facebook page, George Redhawk began to lose his sight while studying medicine. After only four years he was forced to give up his trade as he was suffering from visual distortions created by his mind. Rather than submitting to his condition, and even though he's legally blind, Redhawks started to experiment with a photo morphing software, merging identical photos together resulting in unique movement and what he defines as "The World Through My Eyes".

The images he is creating with Plotagraph are amazing even before you consider his visual challenges. I have become a huge fan.

And I have definitely become a fan of Plotagraph. It is a powerful tool. But like so many others, always remember that sometimes less is more. Use it to enhance your work. And it definitely will.


Jay Cochrane skywalks in Niagara Falls, Canada, in 2005 with the Horseshoe Falls flowing behind him.
Animated with Plotagraph Pro by Mark D Phillips. ©Mark D Phillips


Taken in Aruba in 1998 and animated with Plotagraph Pro.
Animated with Plotagraph Pro by Mark D Phillips. ©Mark D Phillips


Matt Masciadrelli speeds down the slalom course during U19 USSA Race at Blandford Ski Area on
January 30, 2016. Animated with Plotagraph Pro by Mark D Phillips. ©Mark D Phillips