Invented by photographer Jamie Beck and graphic artists Kevin Burg, the cinemagraph
has become the darling of the online marketing world, as evidenced by recent promotions for everything from film
s to fashion
. More engaging than a static photo, yet more artful than the animated GIF
, the cinemagraph is proving to be more than a passing fad. And, now, thanks to a number of apps, anyone can make one.
The Action Movie FX app
has found fans in would-be Hollywood stuntmen, but for those who prefer art house films to box office blow-ups, Flixel
may be more to their liking. Recognizing that the technical expertise that Beck and Burg pour into their category-defining works is not attainable by the everyman, Flixel co-founder Mark Homza wanted to introduce a systemized way for people to add discreet animations to their photos. The resulting “living photo”
app, which hit the iTunes store in March, captures video frames from still images, after which users simply swipe their digits over the area to which they want to add movement.
likens its output to “the moving images in newspapers from a certain wizard themed series of movies.” The app
conjures Harry Potter-style magic in the form of cinemagraphs, or what its creators call kinos. Unlike animated GIF apps
, which create motion throughout an entire image, Kinotopic allows users to apply movement to a specific area by essentially finger-painting onto the screen (similar to how Flixel works). A menu of 12 filters makes the moving pictures look as spectacular as if a lighting crew had been there to film them. And though Kinotopic has a community element, users can keep their work private if they so choose.