Create Moving Photos With This iPhone App

Combine the “living photo” effect from Harry Potter with the animated GIF technology of our own magical online world, and you’ve got something new, fun, and now easier than ever to create: Cinemagraphs. The process was created by visual graphics artists Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck and involves shooting both still photo and video, taking it through some editing magic in Adobe’s Photoshop and After Effects, and exporting to GIF format to display and share online as moving, living photos.

Inspired by their pioneering work with the process, Flixel CEO Philippe LeBlanc saw the potential in simplifying the process to put it into the hands of anyone with an iPhone. on March 22, the Flixel Photo app was born.

“I was so enthralled by Cinemagraphs but burdened by the complexity and time required to create them,” LeBlanc says. “With Flixel, we bring you a creative experience that blends simplicity, artistic integrity, and pushes the boundaries of iPhone imagery.”

Flixel is available free from the App Store. With it you can take a photo of a subject, add moving effects and filters with the swipe of a finger, and share with your friends. Add to your wedding website, and even create entire Cinemagraph albums in your Photo Gallery.


The moving effects can be as obvious or subtle as you prefer; the flicker of a candle, for example, or the movement of lace in a breeze. Built-in instagram-like filters give you even more artistic control over your imagery.

The app also connects you to a social network of other Flixel artists, where you can share your creations and view those of others, plus check out top flixels for the week and overall. With a tap, you can share your creations over Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and via email.

Using Flixel to create a new Cinemagraph

As with animated GIFs, Cinemagraphs aren’t for everyone. But the potential of this novel medium can’t be denied, and with Flixel it’s easier than ever to breathe life into your own moving masterpieces. Because the results are GIFs, they can be uploaded to your wedding website or any other shared platform just like regular photos.

Thoughts? Criticism? Feel free to share your own experiences and results with Flixel, as I’d be interested to see what others have come up with using the tool.

Photos courtesy of


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Enthusiast of traveling, writing, cinematography, all things tech, good coffee, and craft beer. Founder of Mediasoft Technologies, Inc. & Author of "e-Plan Your Wedding". Follow me at @jason_melendez and check out my blog.

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