Animating a still photograph in After Effects

I was looking through some of the pictures on my phone from last summer and decided to have a go at creating a short animation from a still photograph. Here's the result:

Here's the original photograph:

speckled wood butterfly for animation

The photo works quite well as the natural background lends itself nicely to the animation technique.

The method I used to create the video was to first cut out the butterfly in photoshop & cover over the space in the background using the patch/healing tool. Importing the PSD into After Effects I could then place the layers in 3D at varying distances and animate a camera round the two.

I'm pretty happy with the result & I find the effect in general is a really nice way of showcasing photographs.

After Effects Motion graphics Personal