Pow­er­ful cin­ema­graph app


Free/$4.99 to un­lock fea­tures/sub­scrip­tion from $19.99 monthly From Plota­graph Inc, plota­ Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10 or later Cin­ema­graphs, done right, are spec­tac­u­lar. For the unini­ti­ated, a cin­ema­graph is a par­tiallyan­i­mated pho­to­graph — think a por­trait of a per­son with clouds whizzing over­head, for ex­am­ple.

They’re hard to make, so thank good­ness for Plota­verse, an amaz­ingly pow­er­ful iOS app that al­lows you to mask the ar­eas of an im­age you want to stay still, choose the ar­eas you would like to move, as well as the di­rec­tion and speed you want them to go, and cre­ate Live Photos, GIFs, stick­ers for iMes­sage, or im­ages ready for so­cial me­dia.

The app is split into two pieces — Plota­verse is a so­cial net­work in which users post their an­i­mated im­ages, while Plota­graph is the part of the app you use to cre­ate new work. Plota­verse has plenty of in­spi­ra­tional im­ages, but Plota­graph is where the magic hap­pens.

Mask­ing and an­i­mat­ing im­ages can be awk­ward — mask­ing off some­one’s face (or worse, hair) on a touch­screen is chal­leng­ing, al­though we ap­pre­ci­ated the pic­ture-in-pic­ture to let you mask ar­eas un­der your digit. Us­ing smaller brush sizes also helps, but pro-qual­ity cin­ema­graphs do re­quire work to get right. Once you’ve worked up an im­age you can re­turn to the app to change el­e­ments of its mask­ing or an­i­ma­tion.

With the free ver­sion, the small Plota­verse wa­ter­mark is over­laid on all ex­ported im­ages. But a sub­scrip­tion re­moves this and un­locks all of Plota­verse’s an­i­mated over­lays (snow, rain, and fog, among oth­ers, are free).

There are var­i­ous sub­scrip­tion plans, in­clud­ing one-off pay­ments, monthly billing with or with­out con­tracts and an­nual con­tracts — check the web­site for a full list of prices and deals. Whether these ap­peal will de­pend on your en­thu­si­asm for cin­ema­graphs. How­ever, if you can tol­er­ate the wa­ter­marks, Plota­verse is great even with­out its op­tional ex­tras. The bot­tom line. A fun, tech­ni­cally chal­leng­ing app ca­pa­ble of truly eye-catch­ing re­sults.

Plota­verse is si­mul­ta­ne­ously a so­cial net­work and pow­er­ful im­age-cumvideo edi­tor.

Mask­ing im­ages can be tricky — at­ten­tion to de­tail is a must.

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