How to Save and Export Photo Animations

How to Save and Export Photo Animations

PhotoMirage has a number of Export Presets that make it really simple to share your animations on a variety of social media sites. In this tutorial we’ll first show you how to save your animation projects in the PhotoMirage file format (.cpm) for future editing, so you can pick up where you left off on your works in progress. Next we’ll explore the Export Presets, which will save your animations with the proper dimensions and loop durations specific to each social media site like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more. You can also set your own export parameters for file type, image size and loop duration to fit your needs, or share as an animated GIF via email. It’s time to start sharing your animations with the world!

Download a printable copy of the written tutorial to follow along with the video below. (PDF, 329 KB).

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How to Save and Export Photo Animations in PhotoMirage

As you work with an image in PhotoMirage, it’s a good idea to save it regularly before you export. But what’s the difference between saving and exporting?

Saving your project creates a .cpm file, which is a file format specific to PhotoMirage, and lets you open up the project another time and make changes to your animation setup. Exporting makes all those changes permanent and creates a gif or video file containing your animation.

In this tutorial, we will go over how to both save project files, and export finished animations.

Saving Project Files

Note: saving a project file is currently only possible in the full version of PhotoMirage. If you are using PhotoMirage Express, this menu option is not available. You are still able to export animations however! Skip ahead to Exporting Photo Animations to see how this is done.

To save a new project, click on File > Save As… then navigate to the folder where you want to save your project, type in a name in the File Name field, and click Save.

To save an existing project, all you need to do is click File > Save to update the file with your latest edits.

Exporting Photo Animations

Once your animation is complete, click the Export icon  in bottom Control bar or go to File > Export.

In the Export window there are a number of settings that you can adjust, including File Type, Image Size, Loop Duration, Quality and more. PhotoMirage has several preset export options for you to choose from, optimized for different social networks. Each preset has a fixed loop duration and size.

Using a Custom Export

There is also a Custom option at the far right if you need more control. Use this export option to select the output format, image size, loop duration, framerate, Codec, and final image quality. It also gives an estimate of the file size you will end up with using these settings.

Matching Export Resolution

If your animation does not already match the export resolution, you will see the error message below. This means PhotoMirage will automatically crop or stretch the image to fit whatever option you select.

There are two ways to avoid this. The first option is to uncheck the ‘Size image to fit frame’ box (found in all export presets). If this box is unchecked and the resolution is not a match, PhotoMirage will add black bars to the sides or top of the image rather than cropping your image.

The better option is to make sure the crop resolution and export resolution match. Select the Crop Tool and use the dropdown menu to select the same social media preset that you want to export to.

Let’s prepare an export for Facebook. Select Facebook from the Crop Preset dropdown list.

The cropped region of your image will change shape slightly. Reposition it as needed to make sure you are exporting the right part of your image.

Now go back to the Export menu and select Facebook. The warning message is gone, meaning that when we click OK, PhotoMirage will export exactly what we see in the cropped region.

Exporting Photo Animations

Now that the crop and export resolutions match, click OK to export your image. Navigate to where you want to save the finished animation, give it a name in the File Name field, and click Save.

Export Via Email

If you are planning to share you file via email, click on the Email icon (just to the left of the Export icon), or navigate to File > Email.

NOTE: This sharing option will only work if you have Microsoft Outlook or another email client that supports the MAPI standard.

From the email menu, select whether you would prefer to embed the animation in the body of the email, or include it as an attachment.

Then, use the dropdown to select your preferred image size for the animation. These are all smaller than files exported using the social media presets, as size limits on emailed files can be quite restrictive.

That’s it! You now know how to save project files for future edits, and export finished photo animations using Corel PhotoMirage.

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Tools You Need


Creating captivating animations with PhotoMirage! With a few simple steps you can effortlessly transform any photo, digital design or artwork into an animation in minutes.

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PhotoMirage User Gallery

Visit our PhotoMirage user gallery and upload your amazing animations today! Browse the gallery for inspiration and see what other users are creating.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Shave time off your most frequently performed tasks with keyboard shortcuts. This cheat sheet has all the keyboard commands you need for PhotoMirage.

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Comments (24)

  • Mr Bill Neale Reply

    Hello, I have just downloaded the free version and I want to do face animation. Is this available in the full program? I am able to convert the basic options such as clouds moving and water moving and it does add an exciting element. How do you enable rain drops when its not raining? I do want to do face animation so if you have a program I would love to know what it is, Many thanks Bill

    March 15, 2021 at 5:47 am
  • Prof Reply

    I am using the free version of PhotoMirage and all is well except I cannot find the exported file in my computer . It exports ok but I do not see it in my file afterward . Is it not for the free version but only able in the purchase version ? Tks for adv


    December 14, 2020 at 12:31 am
  • Sarah Reply

    hello i would like to know if the mirage logo stays on any picture i transform…for now i am using the trial version…but i would like to maybe buy it if i can post to any where i would like

    May 8, 2019 at 3:37 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Sarah,

      That’s correct – the trial version of PhotoMirage adds watermarks to exported images, but the full version does not!

      Discovery Center Team

      May 8, 2019 at 6:41 pm
  • Steve Tanzer Reply

    I am trying the 15 day trial. I created a couple of animations (could be better but I assume comes with experience). The issue is I am trying to send one to my web designer and it constantly fails.

    Two questions: 1, How do I change the email that will be used? Any thoughts on why it is failing using a POP 3 typr email service.

    February 25, 2019 at 4:59 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Steve,

      Which file format are you looking to export? We’d recommend the GIF format for sharing via email! Very lightweight, reduces the risk of an error based on attachment size or upload timeout.

      As for the email address, sharing via email from PhotoMirage supports any MAPI-compliant email application (Microsoft Outlook, for example)!

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

      February 26, 2019 at 8:56 pm
  • vadymmykh Reply

    I have a suggestion. Many pictures on Instagram are in the standart square format (1080*1080px), but there is no option to export my animated picture as square movie or GIF. There are even no options for this in the crop section, though I selected 128*128 px crop and enlarged it, maintaining Ctrl key. Yes, I know I can export it as 16:9 video/GIF, and cut it in Instagram while uploading. But in this case, pictutre weights significantly more Mb! In addition, sometimes you want to select different part of the image, and standart instagram cropping just centers it.

    Could you add square export options, please? And add crop square parameter too. Thanks!

    December 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Vadymmykh,

      Thank you for the feedback! We have passed your comments on to the PhotoMirage team for their consideration.

      In the meantime, if you have the full version of PhotoMirage you can use the Custom export option to set a different resolution and quality level!

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

      December 31, 2018 at 6:47 pm
  • teknocom Reply

    Hi,I do not find the option of customization concerning the export of the video, only the social networks are available ???

    September 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Are you using the trial version of PhotoMirage? The Custom Export option is only available in the full version of the program.

      Discovery Center Team

      September 19, 2018 at 9:45 pm
  • Art Tejeda Reply

    I purchased the program because I wanted to use my creation as a screen saver on my own computer. Don’t care much about social media. Can the program do this or do I have to purchase some other program to enable it to play the animated “photo mirage” images on my own computer?

    August 26, 2018 at 12:45 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Art,

      It may depend on your version of windows, but in Windows 7 and 10, you certainly can! The easiest way would be to use the Custom export options to export a GIF image either at your screen resolution or in the same aspect ratio. Export all the animations you want to be in your screensaver to the same file. Then set your screensaver to be a photo gallery display of that folder. You can adjust whether it sets the images to fullscreen, or leaves them as is.

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

      August 27, 2018 at 12:22 am
  • Vlad Reply

    The tutorial video refers to a Save As item under File. I cannot see it in Photo Mirage Express. Is this a limitation of the Express version?

    August 11, 2018 at 8:21 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Vlad,

      That is correct – PhotoMirage Express does not include the Save As function, but all projects can be exported as described in the video.

      Hope this helps!
      Discovery Center Team

      Note: we have edited this comment, as it originally contained incorrect information “all of the save and export options can be found in the Share menu”

      August 13, 2018 at 5:17 pm
      • canuck Reply

        So where do you find the Share menu in PhotoMirage Express? There are no options to save a project? Without those the program is essentially useless.

        November 30, 2018 at 6:47 pm
        • Adam Reply

          Hello Canuck,

          Thank you for the feedback! While PhotoMirage Express does not have the save functionality described in this tutorial, you can still export finished projects for general use. Express was designed as a simplified version to be used with PaintShop Pro, with the intent of letting users take their completed photos from PSP and really make them pop with the added effects in PhotoMirage.

          Discovery Center Team

          December 3, 2018 at 6:40 pm
          • canuck

            Then your statement from above
            “In Photo Mirage Express, all of the save and export options can be found in the Share menu.”
            is false! This does not help!

            December 3, 2018 at 7:19 pm
          • Adam

            Good catch! Sorry for the confusion.

            We issued a correction for that comment, to keep anyone else from trying to find a setting that isn’t there!

            Discovery Center Team

            December 5, 2018 at 7:08 pm
  • Cindy McCravey Reply

    I see no way to save the animated image back to your computer where it came from…

    August 2, 2018 at 1:55 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Cindy,

      All of the export options save locally to your computer, and you can then upload to the social media platform or web service you selected whenever you prefer. The export presets are simply there to make sure you export in a format that fits the requirements, wherever you want to share your work!

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

      August 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm
  • Jonathan Reply

    I was hoping that there was an option to save as an image sequence and PNG options for use in other software. I still might buy even though it is an extra step to convert and modify the video file. I have most of Corel Products and support between Corel Motion studio and other corel products would be apreciated in the futre. other than that Nice products and good demo video thanx

    July 21, 2018 at 5:48 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Johnathan,

      Thank you for the feedback! We have passed your comments on to the development team for their consideration.

      Discovery Center Team

      July 22, 2018 at 8:51 pm
  • Bernard Craven Reply

    I was not able to get realistic results with images showing clouds at sunset or with waves breaking on shore. With complicated cloud formations large 45 degree lines moved across the animated image. All in all a disappointing result.

    July 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Bernard,

      Thank you for the feedback! PhotoMirage can be a complex tool to get used to, and we are looking forward to adding more tutorials on it. We have passed on your comments to our tutorial team as potential topics.

      Discovery Center Team

      July 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

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