Sounds good - but what is it?

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Acin­ema­graph is a still im­age with a sin­gle mov­ing el­e­ment – half­way be­tween a photo and a video – which gives a stan­dard pic­ture an amaz­ing animated qual­ity. You can make one us­ing your mo­bile de­vice. Here, we’ve used Maskart on an iphone but if you have an An­droid de­vice, try Cine­graph ( The steps are a bit dif­fer­ent but the fi­nal re­sult should be just as good.

Maskart: | 10 mins | IOS 8.0+

1Record a short video us­ing your de­vice’s cam­era. It makes things eas­ier if you can keep your cam­era steady, ei­ther by rest­ing it on some­thing or us­ing a tri­pod de­signed for mo­bile de­vices. Keep it be­low five sec­onds if you can. Open the Maskart app and se­lect your video. 1 You can use other videos that you haven’t shot specif­i­cally for the pur­pose but plan­ning ahead will help you later.

2If the video is longer than five sec­onds, drag the left or right side of the time­line 1 to­ward the mid­dle to make it the cor­rect length. If you wish, you can tap, hold and drag the high­lighted sec­tion 2 to move it for­wards and back along the time­line to use a dif­fer­ent sec­tion of the video.

3Tap the brush icon 1 and you’ll see a pur­ple mask ap­plied to the whole im­age. 2 With your fin­ger, erase the mask around the sec­tion you want to an­i­mate, 3 mak­ing sure it opens up the area of move­ment on all the frames you want to use. This can be a bit fid­dly but you can lift your fin­ger, see how you’re get­ting on, then erase a lit­tle more. If you go too far, tap the eraser icon 4 to draw the mask back in.

4If you want to use a dif­fer­ent frame – or even a dif­fer­ent video or photo – as the still im­age that the mov­ing el­e­ment ap­pears over, tap the Se­lect Photo but­ton. Choose a frame from the time­line 1 or an im­age from the Gallery be­low it. 2 You can also move the im­age around by tap­ping the Move but­ton. Start again at any time by tap­ping Back.

5When you’ve fin­ished tweak­ing, tap Next. With Maskart, you can choose to cre­ate a video, 1 an animated GIF 2 or a Live Photo 3 (the lat­ter only works on Ap­ple de­vices). Pre­view your cho­sen op­tion and tap Next 4 to cre­ate it. If you’ve cho­sen to cre­ate a GIF, you’ll get the op­tion to ex­port it.

6You can tweak an animated GIF by up­load­ing it to a tool such as Lu­napic (­ Crop it to shape from the Edit menu 1 and con­trol the an­i­ma­tion by click­ing An­i­ma­tion, 2 then Edit Gif An­i­ma­tion. You can choose the speed at which you want the frames to play and whether you’d like the an­i­ma­tion to loop. 3

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