Animated GIFs… I can take em or leave em. When I head the term, I think of the little cute icons on Web pages years ago that where just fluff on the page. More recently, there has been a few services that are encouraging more creative thinking around a few images put together into a story. If the images are thought through a bit, it can be a fun way of sharing a moment. There are two methods that the popular services are using, either it’s a video shot at a very slow speed or a person shoots a series of photos that the app stitches together.
Now, there is Echograph, offering a third way of showing motion in an animated GIF. The movement is set to a particular area of a photo so only the parts needing to move to tell the story are moving, the rest of the image is frozen. This removes a lot of the jerky look found on most multi image GIFs.
The Echograph app is simple to use, but actually pretty powerful. This is a Universal app, so the fun doesn’t have to be limited to the iPhone, editing on the larger iPad screen may have ultimately better results if your looking for maximum impact.
Shoot or import a video. Cut it down to a maximum of 5 seconds long via a slider along the bottom of the screen. Choose the area you want to allow movement to happen by painting over it with your finger or stylus (a person in the shot, a flowing river, etc…), then share or export in low or high resolution. Yup, it’s that easy! Admittedly, this is not the solution for all animated GIF, it is more for those images where only want a particular part to move. Some animated GIFs need the full screen to be changing for the message, but for those shots that you want a still photo and a part of it alive, Echograph has you covered.