APP OF THE DAY: Cinemagram review (iPhone)
Apps that make it easy to do something clever will always be popular. Plenty of apps have picked up on the retro imaging trend and that doesn't appear to be slowing up.
Today we're looking at an app that might achieve great success, but its very nature requires a little more creative input than its similar-sounding namesake Instagram. Today we're looking at moving pictures.
Cinemagram, as the name suggests, is all about movement. But before you think this is a video app, it isn't, even if video is a large component of what Cinemagram is all about.
Anyone who has spent any time on the internet will know that the right GIF, at the right time, is worth it's weight in gold. Perhaps not real gold, but certainly comedy gold. The surprised cat, the panda on the slide; a short animated clip can do things that a picture can't.
Cinemagram isn't all about creating comedy memes, however. It has its sights set very much on the community feel of Instragram. It wants to provide a platform for creation, sharing and community appreciation, with comments, followers and sharing.
Of all these things, we're more interested in the sharing than the community, because we know more people in the wider world, Facebook or Twitter, for example, than we do in other services.
So how does it work? Well, it uses a clever system of video capture and masking to allow you to create an image, or a "cine" that has some still elements and some moving elements.
You simply capture a short piece of video, mask the elements where you want to keep the movement and the remaining areas are frozen. You end up with a hybrid photo and video.
The results are somewhat alluring and very clever. Importantly, it opens the doors for a huge amount of creativity and the imagination of the creator can shine through, more so than you get from a straight set of vintage filters.
Naturally you get those vintage filters too, so you can have retro effects applied to your cine if you wish, and many do, judging by the selection showcased within the app.
Browsing through other users' work can be both amusing and inspiring. This isn't just a showcase of images, it's something more. Some are amusing, some are clever, some are very creepy. People are really thinking about how they can use Cinemagram to create something engaging, so it's great just browsing.
The creation process is easy, but you soon learn that some scenes don't work well, which will keep you coming back for more. We'll bring you some of our own creations shortly...
Importantly, Cinemagram is free. Because of its creative nature, it might never be as widely used as Instagram, but it's definitely worth playing with.