Instagram is abuzz with a new phenomenon – buildings that twist, ripple and swivel on their foundations.

The cause of this mysterious trait? New photography app Plotagraph, which allows users to turn static images into GIF, MP4 or MOV files using a built-in algorithm and a simple point and click tool.

Created by photographer and artist Troy Plota (hence the name), Plotagraph works on any static image but there are a few cheats for animating architecture, as Chilean photographer Javier Spollansky Contreras explains.

‘Any building that has very strong visual lines is a perfect match for Plotagraph,’ he says. ‘Following the building’s lines will help you maintain your vanishing point.’

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And though Plotagraph has been designed for professionals, it’s surprisingly simple to use: ‘You just click and drag to create a motion track; mask the areas you don’t want to move and feather your edges,’ he says. ‘That’s pretty much all the “must use” features for architecture animation.’

Contreras adds: ‘I use the Desktop Version of Plotagraph Pro on my Mac for all my animations because I usually do intricate, detailed work which takes quite some time,’ he says. ‘A good tip is to work zoomed in; this way you can detail your motion tracks on the image better.’

Mare's Lighthouse in storm. Follow @frederickdbarnes to view more animations like this! Photographer @ronanfollic

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Homepage image: Courtesy of Tobi Shinobi

Read next: See courtyards flick into life in the cinemagraphs of Andrea Mottinelli

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