As the web falls back in love with the animated GIF, an app called Flixel has launched for people to create moving images with speed and ease.
Flixel [iTunes link] is an iPhone app created by Toronto-based company Flixel Photos lets mobile photographers create beautiful moving images without expensive camera equipment.
The cinemagraph process was created and trademarked by From Me To You visual graphics artists Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, , the photographer behind the popular Tumblr blog . The duo captures moments with still and video equipment, then edits using Adobe After Effects and Photoshop. The cross between photography and video is presented in a GIF file.
“What Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg did is completely reformat the GIF format and art form by merging the gap between photo and video,” Homza told Mashable. “So they positioned themselves as photographers with an element that is in motion, that’s in movement.”
Flixel captures moments with Instagram-like aesthetics and ease. Short vignettes of time have never been this easy to document.
How does it work? Download the app, take a photo and make a portion of that picture come to life with a few swipes of a fingertip. For example, you can make a candle continuously flicker or a strand of hair blow in the wind in an otherwise still image.
The app allows users to apply custom filters. The filters are comparable to effects in other photo apps such as Instagram or Hipstamatic. The GIF creator can also insert a forward or backwards loop for the images.
The Flixel user decides what to bring back to life. The motion can be subtle or obvious.
“When you’re able to present still a photograph and have that one element that’s in motion with this hint of motion that is so strategically placed, it’s a story within a story,” Homza said. “It’s either emphasizing a point, exploring an image’s perspective or highlighting something. You are just drawn to that point in photography.”
The app has a tab that lets users see the most loved Flixels of the week and all-time. There are Flixels that show water hitting the shore, dogs’ head tilts and employees whose fingers are typing away at keyboards.
Traditionally, making a GIF entails uploading pictures to a web app. The sequence has to be saved as a GIF file onto a desktop. But Flixel users are skipping many of those steps.
Within the app, users can share to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and email. GIFs will replay over and over again wherever they are embedded on the web.
The Flixel app with a new update released Wednesday can be found in the Apple Apps Store. It works best on the iPhone 4 and 4S.
What place do you think GIFs have in the modern digital world? Should the media or other industries embrace the partially moving image? Tell us in the comments.