Photo Animation Filter example from tiktok showing a woman's drivers license photo moving her eyes and smiling.

Photo Animation Filter

Part of a series on TikTok. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jul 12, 2021 at 04:13PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 12, 2021 at 10:46AM EDT by Phillip Hamilton.

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The Photo Animation Filter or Dynamic Photo Filter is a visual effect on TikTok that animates the faces of people in photographs, making it appear as if they're moving. Deepfake filters like this became popularized in 2021, examples including Deep Nostalgia and Wombo AI. TikTok's Photo Animation filter became increasingly widespread on the platform in July 2021.


Before the Photo Animation filter was released on TikTok, a number of similar filters that animate old photographs using deepfake technology started going viral online. The two most popular of these were the MyHeritage Deep Nostalgia program and the Avatarify program, both of which inspired viral videos showing off their technology on TikTok[1][2] (examples shown below, MyHeritage left, Avatarify right).

In July 2021, the Photo Animation filter was added to TikTok, trending that month. The filter animates blinking, moving eyes and a smile over any photograph of a human face it's pointed at, as well as some drawings also including faces. TikTokers[3] began experimenting with it as early as July 5th of that year, many trying it on deceased family members (example from that date shown below).


The filter continued to grow in popularity over the course of the next week, being used in over 19,000 videos as of July 12th.

On July 9th, PopBuzz[4] published an article on the filter, describing how to access it. On the same date, TikToker[5] @lildroopynip posted a video animating an image of their dead mother set to an emotional version of the I'm Getting Ripped Tonight sound, garnering over 680,000 views in three days (shown below).

One of the most popular ways to use the filter sees TikTokers[6][7] point it at themselves or friends, allowing it to realistically animate their faces (examples shown below, left and right).

Deep Nostalgia

Deep Nostalgia is an AI service that generates animated portraits based on still photographs by adding facial movements, similar to facemorphs. The service animates photographs based on a number of preset sequences.

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External References

[1] TikTok – MyHeritage

[2] TikTok – avatarify

[3] TikTok – this was kind of cool

[4] PopBuzz – photo animation filter

[5] TikTok – lildroopynip

[6] TikTok – onemancult

[7] TikTok – its_rust13

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