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Adding Motion to Stills: Best Photo Editing Apps for Cinemagraphs

Photo Editing

In the dynamic world of photography and digital art, cinemagraphs have emerged as a mesmerizing hybrid. These living photos where a minor and repeated movement occurs in a still image, create an illusion of watching a video. The magic of cinemagraphs lies in their subtlety and the surprise element they bring to what appears at first glance to be a standard photograph. This article explores the best photo editing apps designed for creating stunning cinemagraphs, guiding both amateurs and professionals through the exciting world of these living images.

1. Flixel Cinemagraph Pro

Topping the list is Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, an award-winning app specifically designed for creating high-quality cinemagraphs. Its intuitive interface allows users to shoot a video, mask the still area, and select the motion part effortlessly. Flixel provides advanced editing tools, such as looping options and crossfade, which help in creating seamless cinemagraphs that look professional and hypnotic. Though it comes with a premium price tag, its features justify the cost for serious creators.

2. Zoetropic

Zoetropic brings the concept of motion in still photography to life. The app allows users to apply motion on any image. You can choose directions and points where you want the motion to occur. The ability to add sound to the images turns them into a vivid experience. Its user-friendly interface makes it suitable for beginners, but it also offers advanced features for more experienced users.

3. Plotaverse

Plotaverse hosts a suite of dynamic tools designed for creating professional-quality animations and cinemagraphs. It allows users to animate any still photo with its proprietary algorithms. The app also features a community of creators, offering inspiration for newcomers. Its unique feature is the ability to animate a single element in a photo while keeping the rest static, creating a striking visual effect.


VIMAGE is a cinemagraph creating an app that stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness. It’s designed to help users add motion effects to their photos easily. The app offers a range of pre-set motion effects like falling leaves, smoke, or clouds that can be added to any image, creating a cinemagraphic effect without the need for complex editing skills.

5. Motionleap by Lightricks

Formerly known as Pixaloop, Motionleap offers an array of tools to animate photos with incredible ease. It’s particularly user-friendly, making it a favorite among beginners. The app offers directional anchors to define motion direction, freeze brushes to keep certain areas still, and a variety of overlays and effects to enhance the cinemagraph.

6. Werble

Werble stands out for its emphasis on artistic and fantasy-based effects. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to infuse their images with a bit of whimsy or otherworldly feel. The app offers a wide range of animated effects, from subtle atmospheric changes to dramatic visual transformations.

7. StoryZ Photo Motion & Video Maker

StoryZ is a dual-purpose tool that excels both in creating cinemagraphs and animated double exposures. It allows for combining still images with video to create dynamic visuals. StoryZ provides motion layers and overlays, giving users the ability to craft complex and multi-layered cinemagraphs.

8. Lumyer

Lumyer is an easy-to-use app for adding animated effects to photos. While not a traditional cinemagraph app, it provides a simple way to animate images with pre-set motion effects. It’s great for those who want to quickly add some flair to their photos without delving into complex editing.

9. Gifzign

Gifzign is a versatile tool that includes a GIF converter, GIF editor, and a cinemagraph creator. It’s a good all-in-one solution for those who work extensively with GIFs and want to experiment with cinemagraphs. Its user interface is straightforward, making it accessible for beginners.

10. ClipGraph

ClipGraph is a software tailored for creating cinemagraphs on desktops but deserves mention for its simplicity and effectiveness. It’s especially useful for marketers and social media professionals who want to create eye-catching visuals for promotional purposes.

Creating Effective Cinemagraphs: Tips and Techniques

  1. Choose the Right Subject: Successful cinemagraphs often feature subjects where the motion adds to the story or aesthetic of the image.
  2. Stable Footage is Key: Use a tripod or stable surface while capturing video for your cinemagraph to ensure that only your intended element moves.
  3. Subtle Motion: The beauty of a cinemagraph is in its subtlety. A slight movement, like hair fluttering in the breeze or a flickering candle, often has more impact.
  4. Loop Seamlessly: Work on making the start and end of your motion seamless. A smooth loop creates a more hypnotic and engaging cinemagraph.
  5. Experiment with Effects: Don’t hesitate to experiment with filters, speeds, and direction of motion to create unique effects.


Cinemagraphs are a fascinating fusion of photography and video, capturing viewers’ attention through their subtle motion. The apps listed above cater to a range of needs and skill levels, making this captivating art form accessible to everyone. Whether you’re a professional photographer looking to add depth to your portfolio,

a marketer seeking to grab audience attention, or a hobbyist exploring new dimensions in photography, these apps open up a world of creative possibilities. Each app offers unique features and workflows, so it’s worth experimenting with a few to find the one that best suits your style and needs.

As you delve into the creation of cinemagraphs, remember that the power of this medium lies in its ability to tell a story or evoke emotion through the subtle interplay of motion and stillness. The best cinemagraphs are those that make the viewer pause and take a second look, captivated by the unexpected movement in an otherwise static scene.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital media, cinemagraphs stand out for their ability to blend the traditional with the innovative. They bring a new dimension to photography, offering a fresh and dynamic perspective. With the tools available today, creating these magical, living photos is more accessible than ever. It’s an exciting time for photographers and artists to explore this medium, pushing the boundaries of their creativity and captivating audiences with their mesmerizing creations.

As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more sophisticated tools for creating cinemagraphs, further blurring the lines between still photography and video. The future of cinemagraphs is bright, and it holds endless possibilities for creative expression.

In conclusion, the world of cinemagraphs is a testament to the ever-evolving art of photography. It challenges the traditional norms and encourages photographers to think outside the box, to find that perfect balance between motion and stillness. The apps discussed in this article are your gateway to exploring this unique and captivating art form. So, grab your camera, choose your app, and start creating your own mesmerizing cinemagraphs!

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