After watching How To Animate a Photo | The 2.5D Effect I was inspired to try the technique myself.
With the cold Canadian weather get more dismal, lately I’ve found myself fantasizing a lot about going on a Disney Cruise. So I found a photo that I took of the Disney Fantasy in the Grand Cayman Islands and decided that it would work well for turning into a parallax animation.
Here’s the original photograph (after some editing).
I proceeded to removed the ship from the foreground and painted in the missing sky and ocean. I didn’t spend too much time on the background because I knew that you wouldn’t see it behind the ship in the final parallax video.
After separating my layers I imported them into Adobe After Effects and began adjusting the depth and scale of my images. I key framed my camera to gentle zoom in motion and played the video back. Something about just looked strange. Then it hit me, I had to make the ocean waves ripple! So I grabbed the puppet warp tool and key framed away. (Now I know that the ripples are quite pronounced in the image but I was aiming for a subtle animation!) I also animated the flag on the nose of the ship to make it look like it was blowing in the wind.