I have been struggling with this cinemagraph for a while now. I can not get decent export settings no matter how big or small, or what I make the settings. The candle flicker is all I have moving, but there an extreme grain on it. Right now it's at 537 KB and is 600 x 360. I shot the video in 1920 x 1080 at 30fps.
Now, this confuses me, if you go to http://www.cinemagraphs.com their cinemagraphs/gifs are an amazing quality. They're not very big (I saved the one of the girl on the chair with the projector and it's 715 x 429 and is only 668 KB)...what gives?
Any help would be much appreciated. I have tried reaching out to the creators of beautiful high quality cinemagraphs and I can't seem to get a response on how I should approach the creation of these.
They're saved as animated GIFs. Animated GIFs have a limit of 256 colors. If you have any other movement in the frame other than the one small thing, it will have an adverse effect on the color palette. Make sure you are taking a frozen frame and adding motion to it. First, get a single frame (no animation) to save correctly - use a limited palette and very little dithering. To cheat the palette, try blurring any background elements - hard lines and details require more from the palette, blurring detail will allow the GIF palette more wiggle room. Also, lots of motion puts a strain on the palette because of the tiny changes in the image from frame to frame (gain or grain, it's all the same...). For your pic, freeze the frame and isolate the burning candle from your NLE, soften the edges and save as it's own gif before placing it in the rest of the image - even just to see what it looks like.
Look at the one labelled "We all get dressed for Bill." Froze everything, but the photographer and the model walk-by. Palette is limited to mostly blacks with some sharp contrasting white. The main focus, the photographer, is nearly the same palette as the skin and other tones and notice there is almost no detail in his clothing or face - contrast hides the lack of detail.
Dunno if any of this will help, it's been a long time since I've had to make animated GIF images (I used to do work for CompuServe after AOL bought them), but I'm open to help.