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animated gifsThe GIF image format is one of the staples of the Internet, allowing for animations to be shared with other people who aren’t standing in the same room as you. It’s one of the oldest image formats to have become mainstream, but it’s still used regularly even today and creative people are pioneering new uses for GIFs, such as the cinemagraph.

A cinemagraph is a GIF that is mostly a still image with one small section being animated. Due to the interplay between stillness and motion, a unique effect is created where it seems like you’re watching a clip from a movie. Hence the term, cinemagraph.

Unless you’re artistically gifted, you’ve probably never tried making an animated GIF of your own, let alone a cinamegraph. Here are a few tools that make the entire process quite easy – and best of all, you can download them all for FREE on your Android.

animated gifs

GifBoom

animated gifs

If you or your friends toy around on the iPhone, you may have heard of Cinemagram Cinemagr.am - Easily Create Cinemagraphs On Your iPhone For $1.99 Cinemagr.am - Easily Create Cinemagraphs On Your iPhone For $1.99 A cinemagraph is essentially the marriage of still photos and moving video, except only a portion of the scene is animated. Typical examples include a tree swaying in the breeze, water flowing from a tap... Read More . Well, GifBoom is an Android app that fulfills the same niche: a social network built on the animated GIF creations of its users. Not only can you create animated GIFs easily using this tool, you’ll be able to post them for all to see AND you can follow other users to see what they make and what they like.

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Creating a GIF is super easy: you press the button, the app records for 30 seconds, and then you get to choose which frames you want to appear in the final GIF. In post-production, you can add text or filters to beautify your animation, speed up the animation, or rotate the orientation before posting it. Obviously, all of this requires you to have a camera on your Android device 5 Ways to Have Fun With Your Android Phone Camera 5 Ways to Have Fun With Your Android Phone Camera Most Android phones and tablets come with a small camera, often two. Typically, the in-built webcam is used for video chatting or video calls. If these are the only tasks you use the camera of... Read More .

You can think of it like Twitter with camera-made GIFs. There’s a fairly active community on GifBoom, so it’s not like you’ll be joining a desert wasteland. Try making a few GIFs and following users that interest you. If that sounds like your gig, you’ll love GifBoom.

GIF Camera

free animated gifs

GIF Camera is another app like GifBoom above. Using your Android’s camera, you can record moments and save them as animated GIFs for all to see. My personal opinion is that GifBoom might be prettier and more appealing to the hipster crowd 7 Great Websites Poking Fun At Hipsters 7 Great Websites Poking Fun At Hipsters Hipsters, or scenesters as they're sometimes called, are a sub-culture who want to be different. At all costs. That longing to be different has now come full circle, where it's actually the norm (or at... Read More , but GIF Camera is much simpler and easier to operate.

The camera recording in GIF Camera is based on total number of frames, which you can set in the options. Once you record, you can select which frames to remove from the final animation, then speed up or slow down how quickly the animation plays. You can even reverse it if you’d like. When you’re done, the GIF saves locally to your device.

From there, you can share it with others through Facebook, Sina Weibo, SMS, or you can send it to whatever other communication apps are installed on your phone. Unlike GifBoom and Cinemagrams, GIF Camera isn’t a social networking tool. However, they do maintain a “Funny GIFs” feature where you can browse through funny GIFs when you’re bored.

Fotodanz

animated gifs

If you specifically want to create cinemagraphs, then Fotodanz is the app that you want. Using your camera, you can record a short clip and then select which area you want to animate. The resulting GIF will be one where everything is a still frame except for the selected area. Bam. Now that’s a cinemagraph made easy.

There isn’t much more to say regarding the process. It’s extremely simple, straightforward, and there are hints and tips along the way that will explain everything you need to know. Once you’re done, you can set a filter over the animation to make it appear more professional (or at least less amateur).

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While Fotodanz is completely free to use, it limits you to 5 basic filters (Sepia, Black and White, Normal, Cold, and Hot) and places a “Captured by Fotodanz” watermark on your resulting GIFs. You can remove the watermark for $0.99 or you can remove the watermark and unlock premium filters for $1.99.

Conclusion

Before writing this article, I’ve never actually created an animated GIF before. The new fad with cinemagraphs, in particular, has kept me perplexed and wondering how it’s all done. Well, with these Android apps, I can now create GIFs and cinemagraphs of my own in under a minute – and so can you.

If you know of any similar apps, please let me know and share them with us in the comments. It’s always nice to have a greater variety of choice available.

Image Credit: Guy With Camera Via Shutterstock

  1. Denise Bradley
    April 7, 2013 at 3:03 am

    I wonder if there any programs/apps that can make a cinemagraph from a small clip of a home movie?? because there moments captured in a home movie that you cant anticipate in a 30 second shot.

    • Mark Uildriks
      April 16, 2013 at 7:23 am

      You can convert/re-record recordings you made with your camera using Gif Recorder http://gifrecorder.com. You can select photo quality.

      • Denise Bradley
        April 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

        Thanks! I'll check it out.

  2. Junil Maharjan
    April 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

    i have tried fotodanz and its a great app. i have created a few cinemagraphs and are really fun to watch the pictures. i will be trying the other apps as well.

    • Joel Lee
      April 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Glad you liked it! :)

  3. macwitty
    April 5, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Good old GIFs are back again.

  4. Vishal S
    April 5, 2013 at 8:30 am

    nice thing i had never seen before such a fantastic app u can view and make gif of many pictures as u want gr8 app 5 of 5 pts from my side brilliant word and thanks for author for sharing a ice article

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