There’s something captivating about a good cinemagraph. The steam that never stops rising from a cup of coffee, the traffic moving endlessly on the road and the models hair caught by the breeze. It’s no wonder that cinemagraphs are an effective part of content marketing.
The problem used to be that these kind of graphics were hard to make, but that’s no longer the case. To help you create engaging cinemagraphs we shortlisted the best cinemagraph software. Before we get into that though…
What is a Cinemagraph?
A cinemagraph is a video clip where the majority of the frame is stilled. Part of the frame is left to play though, usually in a loop. This gives a cinemagraph the appearance of a photo with the action of a video clip. You can see what I mean about it being a video clip if you hover over the cinemagraph below.
Basically it’s pretty awesome and very eye catching. It’s also a great way to get more eyes on your ads on a platform like Facebook. For example when Giftagram used a cinemagraph verses a still image they saw a 190% increase in return on ad spend, which is huge.
As I mentioned, it used to be difficult to make cinemagraphs. Thanks to some good software developers that’s no longer the case. To help you get creative we’ve researched the best cinemagraph software currently available and did a short review of each one. We’ll start with the summary and then take a closer look at each of the products.
|Software||Starting From||Best Thing About It||Biggest Problem|
|Graphitii||$47 lifetime||Clean user interface and easy to use.||Medium quality export.|
|ClipGraph||$67 lifetime||Clean user interface and easy to use.||Medium quality export.|
|Flicktive||$25 a month||HD export quality.||Limited exports.|
|Gifzign||$79 a month||Clean user interface and easy to use.||Expensive.|
|Flixel||$8.33 a month||HD export quality.||Have to pay every month.|
Let’s get going with our review.
Graphitii is an online app for creating cinemagraphs. It has the same easy to use interface as most of the cinemagraph software on this list. You import a video, choose the frame you want to use and unfreeze part of the image to create the cinemagraph. In addition to this you can use Graphitii to add text and graphic overlays over your cinemagraph.
This text overlay feature is really handy if you need cinemagraph software to create graphics for online advertising and social media campaigns. They also host your graphics and you can share them on social media with just a click of the button.
Unfortunately Graphitii doesn’t offer the same image editing option as Fixel and the video quality is lower (you get the same image resolution with the Flixel free trial, just without the watermark). Still it’s cheap. The cinemagraph software costs $47 for lifetime access with a personal license and $67 for lifetime access with a commercial/ business license.
ClipGraph is a desktop cinemagraph maker for Mac and PC. The nice thing about this is it speeds up the creation process. With a quick export you spend less time waiting for your completed cinemagraph than you do with cloud based software. The trade off is you’ll need to find a suitable site to host your cinemagraph.
This is more of an issue than you’d think. Cinemagraphs are pretty large files (1-2 GB an image). While you can host your cinemagraphs offsite on a site like Giphy, but the embeddable file comes with a watermark. If you load it on your own site though it seriously slows down the page loading time.
In terms of pricing, ClipGraph costs $67 for a personal license. A commercial license for ClipGraph costs an additional $97 ($164 in total). This makes it more expensive than Graphitii with basically the same functionality and export quality.
Flicktive is a software as a service platform. The app is easy to use, but has a cartoon like user interface. You can add text overlays to the cinemagraphs and export the finished graphic in HD format. The overlay graphics aren’t high quality, which is an issue if you want to create cinemagraphs for your marketing campaigns.
For $25 a month you can only create 20 cinemagraphs. This rises to 50, 100 and unlimited depending on your pricing plan. The tiered pricing plans give you progressively more access to a library of stock video, fonts, ready made templates and agency style features.
Flicktive is one of the most feature rich cinemagraph software options for marketers, however… Even at the entry price Flicktive is more expensive than Flixel. My advice, save your money and either purchase Flixel, or purchase Flixel and Graphiti (and still save money!).
Gifzign is another desktop cinemagraph software for Mac and PC. You can see a lot of thought has gone into the design and functionality. The user interface is logically laid out on one editing screen. You can use it offline to create cinemagraphs from videos on your desktop, or if you’re online you can just enter the url of a Youtube video and instantly edit the video within the software.
The software comes with features like text overlays and filters. It has an integration with Youzign, which you can use to import graphic overlay. Plus there’s an easy screen recordings, which is useful if you’re making demos for a help guide or similar. One issue with the software is that though the cinemagraph export quality is grainy.
The other problem you might have with Gifzign is that you can only access the software when you purchase the Youzign Suite. This is a toolkit of graphic design tools that costs $79 a month. When you purchase the offer you get access to Youzign, the logo creator Logozign and the mockup creator Mockzign. That’s affordable if you’re running a large agency, but well out of the reach of most individual bloggers.
Flixel was the first software created specifically to create cinemagraphs. It started off as an offline app for Mac, before transferring online using a Software as a Service payment system. The cinemagraph software is simple to use. You just import your video, select the default frame you want to use for the cinemagraph. Finally you use your mouse to select where the movement should be.
The quality of the moving images you can create with Fixel are unbeaten by any of the other cinemagraph software on this list. Flixel also has the most customisation options. You can change the saturation, the exposure, brightness and other aspects of the appearance from the main editing screen. You can also easily crop and change the aspect ratio of your cinemagraph.
At the moment the cinemagraph software costs $100 a year to create cinemagraphs from your phone and $200 a year to create and edit cinemagraphs from your laptop. It’s expensive. If you’re creating cinemagraphs for your client and image quality is the most important factor then it’s worth the investment.
I included Photoshop at the end, because it is the ‘go to’ graphics tool for professional designers. Within a few clicks from the main dashboard you can edit photos, create new images from scratch and even create cinemagraphs. It’s great for experienced graphic designers, but…
Photoshop is not newbie friendly..
The user interface is crowded with tabs that let you do just about everything. Unfortunately if you don’t know what you’re doing then having all these choices feel intimidating. So while you can create cinemagraphs using Photoshop, I’d recommend using a standalone cinemagraph software.