If I record some video of a static scene, there is noise in the video that makes it obvious that it is video and not a still photograph. But if I add a photograph to a video in a non-linear video editor, it is obvious that it is a still photograph because of the lack of this noise. How can I add such noise? My first thought was to create a mostly transparent layer that just has low-level noise, but then I realize that this will give it more of a noisy effect that doesn't resemble live video. What are some other effects that I can use to make a still photograph look like it was shot as video?

If it makes a difference, I am using the OpenShot editor. (There doesn't appear to be a tag for this)

2 Answers 2


I suggest to use the very noise that your camera captures and blend it with the photograph.

  1. point your camera against a white object (e.g. wall, door)
  2. The automatic exposure should stop down the lens until the white becomes a mid grey.
  3. capture as long as you need
  4. In your Editor, blend the grey noise with the photo by using a layer blending mode like "multiply" or "overlay" (at least shotcut has blending modes)
  • you can also download stock footage of film grain, with or without dust and scratches if you want it to look more old school (can be a bit of a cliche though, especially if used to excess).
    – stib
    Apr 2, 2020 at 7:19
  • I would crank the ISO of the camera at max. And also defocus my lens so only the noise is present.
    – Rafael
    May 4, 2020 at 9:41

drake7 's answer is fine if you want to stick with the noise idea. You could also download some "video noise" effect from the internet.

But we have some more options.

You could overlay some flares, some film burn effects.

You could make a zoom in-zoom out or panning effect. The combination of both is the KenBurns effect.

Or you can even use some other software to twist the photo on a 3D environment, like if you were turning around the photo.

There are online tutorials on separating the photo into different elements, the subject, the background on different layers, and assembling them into a 3D scene.

  • Rafael's last point is often referred as "2.5D Parallax Photo Effect" and is a really cool technique to make photos come alive.
    – drake7
    May 6, 2020 at 11:07
  • Oh, yeap, I forgot about that. Ty :o)
    – Rafael
    May 6, 2020 at 20:07

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