The Best Cinemagraph Software Clipgraph / Flickgraph

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Best Cinemagraph Software FlickgraphAre you looking for the best cinemagraph software to help you create beautiful and engaging motion graphics?

Look no further, I will save you the time and show you the only two tools worth considering.

While you can create cinemagraphs the long way using Photoshop, using a purpose-built tool like Clipgraph will save you a lot of time.

Clipgraph / Formerly known as Flickgraph

What is ClipGraph? ClipGraph is a cinemagraph software tool available for both Windows & Mac users.

Note: ClipGraph was previously called FlickGraph for those that are confused by this name change.

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In my opinion the best cinemagraph software available by far for creating cinemagraphs in under 5 minutes.

In 2024 and beyond having a Cinemagraph App will be a vital part of any creative marketers toolkit! Visual content and mixed media is the best way to create engaging websites, blog posts, and ad campaigns.

Cinemagraphs are one of the hottest properties in creative marketing, and there are a few tools out there that can create these animated images/looping videos, but few as easy and efficient as ClipGraph.

In the past, the tools that could do this were few and far between and they came at a high price. You could also do it with Photoshop and video tools, but that was a complicated process that even a seasoned pro would find cumbersome.

So if you have seen this kind of animated photograph online, in adverts and Facebook news feeds and were wondering how to create cinemagraphs then read on for the easiest approach without expensive tools and spending lots of time.

Lately, a few new purpose-built tools have been released to make this task easier.

The most notable I have seen so far is ClipGraph by the fantastic software team at Explaindio.

This tool makes it easier than ever to make your own Cineamgraphs on Windows or Mac than anything else on the market.

Take a look at our example on the right-hand side of pouring water created from a few seconds of a video clip in just a few minutes of clicking. The header at the top is also a Cinemagraph however that one was saved as an MP4 and uploaded to YouTube so it could be used as a background. The water image is actually just an animated Gif.

ClipGraph Example Video from Explaindio - Cinemagraph App

What is a Cinemagraph Anyway?

A cinemagraph is a still photograph where some part of the frame shows a minimal yet repeating motion which forms a looping video clip. These are commonly published as either an animated GIF or as MP4, MOV or AVI video formats.

The seamless loop that can be achieved by being selective with the frames you decide to loop and which area you decide to mask creates the illusion of a never-ending video that is often between just 2 and 5 seconds looping infinitely.

You can use a video or a series of photos to create a cinemagraph by compositing the frames into a seamless loop.

The result is a beautiful juxtaposition between high definition stillness and a subtle looping motion.

The phrase "cinemagraph" was first coined by photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck from the USA who used this format to create eye-catching photos for their fashion campaigns back in 2011.

So while the format has been around for a number of years it hadn't made its way to the mainstream until several years later and now should be a tool in any photographer or videographers workhouse.

Here are some of the best cinemagraph examples for you to get inspiration from.

How Does Clipgraph Work?

Cinemagraphs work by taking a short video clip that has been filmed on a tripod so the frame is still of a simple action like water pouring into a glass-like in our example above and placing a still photo over the top.

Once you have done this you simply use an eraser tool to remove parts of the still photo which then reveals the looping video in the background. Having certain aspects still while others move and loop creates a fantastic effect.

This software makes this process easy by creating a dedicated tool to perform each step.

Why You Need to Use Cinemagraphs in your Social Marketing?

Cinemagraphs are one of the most trending social media tactics to enter the spotlight in 2017 and they are popping up literally everywhere with no sign of that slowing down in 2024!

By now I am sure you have seen these on at least one website, be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or a website these are generating considerably higher click-through rates on ads and social shares and that is why they are a must-have.

Compare a static photo to an animated graphic in a news feed or list of recent tweets, the one that makes people stop and take notice is the one with motion.

Everyone from fashion houses to car manufacturers like Mercedes is getting in on the action to try and stand out against their rivals.

So now you know why you need to be using cinemagraphs it's time to find out where to get the source footage to use.

Where To Get Cinemagraph Videos & Content?

As a bonus, you can also join the ClipGraph Source Club which offers monthly videos in 4k that are created perfectly for use in cinemagraphs. This makes life a lot easier than having to plan and create your own video content or buying stock photography.

Another option is to look online for free video stock websites such as Pexels where you can download 4k video content to use in ClipGraph.

What are the alternatives?

Currently, there are a few other tools that can speed up the process of making cinemagraphs.

The first is Cinemegraph Pro from Flixel, though this costs nearly $200 for an annual license and there isn't a Windows version which is a big oversight on their part in my opinion.

The second option is to use an app on your iPhone or Android device though in my experience this method is clunky and the results are poor.

The last option is to use Photoshop if you are already a user, this process isn't quite as tidy as using a purpose-built tool but still yields some surprisingly good results.

The fastest option that also provides the best results is to use Flickgraph / Clipgraph.

Learn more here.

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What can you use cinemagraphs for?

You can use cinemagraphs in many parts of your content marketing.

  • Create great moving travel photos
  • Share them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and beyond
  • Create banner ads with motion
  • Create social ads
  • Add eye-catching moving images to your website
  • Make blog posts more interesting

Basically anywhere you can use an image or video you can use a cinemagraph instead to grab peoples attention and show off your creativity.

Verdict? Easily the Best Cinemagraph Software Available

5 / 5

Frequently Asked Cinemagraph Questions

How do Cinemagraphs work?

Cinemagraphs are essentially the combination of photography and videography. This is because they are created by blending both mediums into one.

People often even refer to them as "animated photos".

Cinemagraphs are short videos filmed on a tripod to ensure the frame remains stable throughout a looping video that appears at first to be a high quality still image, that is until a subtle area of the video animates.

Cinemagraphs are usually short and use fairly simple scenes where you could easily believe it was a still photo due to the fixed position and the end loops seamlessly back to the beginning to create an endlessness effect.

Are Cinemagraphs GIFs?

Usually, when you see a cinemagraph it's either an animated GIF image format or a video that has been embedded in the web page.

It really depends on where you plan to use it. If you use a GIF on a website and the file size is too large then you run the risk of a slow loading web page, in this case, you might be better do embed a video of the cinemagraph.

It might also be determined by the platform the cinemagraph is being displayed on. For example, you can use a video in a Facebook ad but you can't currently use an animated GIF, so in this case, your only option would be to export as a video like .mp4 and use that.

What is the difference between a GIF and a Cinemagraph?

A GIF file is often used to show a short animated clip in a loop and so often cinemagraphs are saved in this format. The alternative is that the file is saved as a video file instead.

With GIF files you are limited to 256 colors which reduce the quality and if the animation is more than a couple of seconds or if it has large dimensions you are often left with an image file that's more than 10-15MB which is often unsuitable for a web page because website loading times are very important.

You will have more headroom and higher quality if you opt for .MP4 files.

What are some examples of awesome Cinemagraphs?

I have created an article dedicated to showcasing some of my favorite cinemagraphs from the world of fashion and advertising that you can browse through here.

What others said about these Cinemagraph tools

Both of these tools make creating cinemagraphs easier than ever in just a few clicks. I definitely recommend using Flickgraph / Clipgraph over labor-intensive tools like Adobe Photoshop. 

Danny Holden - Graphic Designer

I have been using Clipgraph/Flickgraph to create all of my cinemagraphs for my clients and my own projects and using these graphics in ads has definitely increased out click-through rates.

Mikael Costa - Graphic Designer & Photographer