Today, I’m reviewing a new piece of software called ‘FlickGIF’ that has just launched.
It comes from the same people behind ‘Explaindio’.
On the plus side, this means that it is a solid, well-engineered product that will be around for the long term.
On the less-positive side, it means there will be a whole string of upsells!
So, what is FlickGIF?
As it’s name suggests, it is software for creating GIF files.
In case you don’t know, a GIF file is an animated image file.
Or, if you prefer, a very short video file.
I’m sure you’ve seen them because they are all over the place online.
There are even entire websites devoted to them.
They can be very effective in marketing, because they are much more eye-catching (and entertaining) than static images, but are much easier to create and use than full-blown videos.
Marketers are using them to increase visitor engagement on websites, social media, ecommerce sites and in emails.
As you may have noticed in recent launches, they are also becoming very popular for demonstrating key features of products on sales pages.
Now, I should say that there are many tools out there for creating GIF files and many of them are free.
However, through personal experience, I can testify that they tend to be difficult to use and have a very narrow range of features.
In simplistic terms, FlickGIF aims to bring much of the functionality and ease of use you would see in a video editor to the world of GIF creation.
Having played around with it for a few hours now, I can say that it largely succeeds in this aim.
In particular, I have found FlickGIF to be extremely easy to use via its very simple and intuitive interface.
Once you have made your selection, you can optionally adjust the speed of the video segment to make it play slower of faster.
You can also set it to play in reverse.
You can also decide what you want to happen when the clip finishes playing. You can have it repeat from the beginning or use ‘bounce’, where it plays normally to the end and then plays in reverse back to the beginning.
Once you are happy with the GIF content, you ‘lock’ the selection and the software renders the video. In my tests, this only takes a few seconds.
Once rendered, you now have a further set of options.
The first is the area of the video you want to use.
Select ‘Any’ and a shaded box will be overlaid onto the full area of video. You can click inside the box and drag it around and click on any of the sides and drag in or out to resize it.
There are also presets for 1:1, 16:9 or 9:16.
You can select these if you needed a square GIF or a GIF in the typical HD 16:9 ratio.
Another useful feature is ‘Zoom & Pan’.
If you have used a video editor before, you will be familiar with this term.
Let’s say you have a video showing someone reading some content on a tablet device and you want to zoom in on the tablet screen.
You use the same type of arrows you used to make your content selection to indicate the start and finish of your zoom.
And you use the same type of shaded box you used to select the video area to define the part you want to zoom into.
The software will create three ‘frames’: the first for the video prior to the zoom, the second for the zoom itself and the third for the return to normal after the zoom.
You can make changes by selecting and editing any of these frames.
As I say, very simple and very intuitive.
You can also add up to four lines of text to your GIF.
For each, you can select the font, the font color, the background color and the ‘alpha’ or level of transparency of the background.
Once a line of text is added, you can move it around and adjust its size.
There is also an ‘animation’ option, which ‘bounces’ the text onto the screen.
It would have been nice to have seen a few more text animation options, but that is a fairly minor gripe.
In practice, using more than one or two lines of text would just make your GIF cluttered and difficult to read, so four should be more than enough.
You can also import image files and SWF files and overlay them onto your GIF.
SWF is an Adobe Shockwave file that can include animation and sound. Think of it as a very short video file.
Once an image or SWF file is imported, you can move it around and adjust its size, just as you can with text.
You might use this feature to add your logo, a watermark or maybe arrows or boxes to highlight particular areas of your GIF.
Or you could import SWF files containing an animated Facebook like icon, a discount banner, a guarantee badge or pretty much anything else you want.
(In most cases, you will want your image or SWF to have a transparent background so it does not mask what is going on behind it.)
When you have everything the way you want it, it’s time to export your project.
You have two choices: MP4 video or GIF.
Clearly, the software is all about creating GIF files, so that is the option you will be using most of the time.
However, there are several key places on the internet that don’t support GIF files.
These include Facebook and Instagram.
Having the MP4 option allows you to use a video file instead.
(You also get the benefits of the preferential treatment that both Facebook and Instagram are currently giving videos over static images.)
There are a number of effects you can apply to the exported file, including ‘flip horizontal’, ‘flip vertical’ and ‘black and white’.
I find it odd that these options are included at this stage and not in the editing phase when you could see what the result of applying the effect would be.
It is a bit like these were added as an afterthought.
Once you hit ‘go’, the export process can take anything up to a couple of minutes or more, depending on the length of the video and the various edits you have made to it.
That’s it for the main product. Simple functionality that gets the job done.
The first is the inevitable ‘Pro’ version for $44.
The main additional feature this gives you is the ability to import and edit other people’s GIF files (assuming you have the rights to do so!).
For example, you could take a GIF and add your own text or use the pan and zoom feature.
I do not think this is worth investing in, because there are any number of free to use GIF to MP4 converters online (just search Google).
Hence, you can get the same effect by converting a GIF to MP4 format and then importing that into FlickGIF.
The second upsell is the ‘Animated Stickers Club’ at $39 a month.
I am told that this gives you 600 animated SWF files immediately and a further 100 every month that you can use with FlickGIF.
These will include calls to action, niche graphics, badges, icons, etc, etc.
I have not seen inside the club, so I can’t comment on the quality or variety of the contents.
However, there are many places online where you can find free or low-cost SWF files, so this is probably only of interest if you plan to create a very large number of GIF files on a regular basis, either for yourself or for clients.
Speaking of which…
The third upsell is the commercial license for $67. This allows you to use FlickGIF to create GIF files for clients.
The fourth and fifth upsells are for a separate product called ‘GIPHplayer’.
I have not seen this in action so it is up to you whether you have a use for it in your business.
FlickGIF is my favorite type of software.
It performs a specific task easily and effectively and does so at a reasonable price.
If you use GIF files in your business – or intend to in the future – it is certainly worth your serious consideration.
You can get the full details and see FlickGIF in action here…