GIFs and cinemagraphs seem to be all the rage at the moment.
A couple of months ago, nobody seemed to be talking about them and now they are everywhere.
And that seems to be down to people waking up to their ability to attract attention in a crowded online world.
In case you don’t know, a GIF is an animated image or, another way of looking at it, a very short video.
Because they move, GIFs are more effective at getting attention than static images whilst, at the same time, being much easier and quicker to create and share on social media platforms or include in emails than video.
Cinemagraphs take this one stage further.
Here are a few examples…
They are a relatively new concept that show all of the signs of becoming ‘the next big thing’ in online marketing.
In simple terms, they are a combination of a static image and a video.
For example, you may have a static image of a woman sat on a beach but the sea is moving, as in a video.
Or you could have a static image of two people at a restaurant table with the only moving part being wine pouring from a bottle into a glass.
The unexpected combination of stillness and movement is what makes cinemagraphs eye-catching and engaging.
Big businesses, such as Coca Cola and Microsoft have been using them very successfully for a few months now.
However, both GIFs and cinemagraphs used to be complicated to create.
That has changed with several pieces of software hitting the streets in the last few weeks.
First we had ‘FlickGIF’ for creating GIFs.
If you are interested, you can read my review of that product here (but don’t buy any of these products until you have read the rest of this email and have the information you need to make an informed decision)…
Then we had Graphitii and FlickGraph for creating cinemagraphs, both released on the same day.
You can read my comparison of those two products here…
Note that, following its initial launch, Graphitii is temporarily closed to new customers.
Which prompts the question…
Does the world really need yet another GIF or cinemagraph creator?
Well, having taken a good hard look at Gifzign, the answer is… “Maybe”.
And that’s because Gifzign comes with five principal advantages over its competitors…
(1) It creates both GIF files and cinemagraphs (the competitors do one or the other)
(2) It comes with a selection of 10 mockups, including a computer screen, tablet, smart phone, etc. You select your mockup and then you can create a new GIF which shows the original GIF playing inside the mockup device. This is a nice touch
(3) It comes with a built-in GIF player with 10 different designs. You configure your player and then copy and paste the generated code onto your website. There are some options, including whether you want your GIF to play on load, mouse over or click
(4) It comes with a built-in screen recorder, allowing you to create GIFs on the fly. This could be useful, for instance, if you want to create very simple tutorials
(5) The base product comes with developer rights, meaning you do not have to pay extra to create GIFs or cinemagraphs for your customers
In terms of operation, Gifzign is very similar to the other products.
Thus, you upload your video and then select the part you want to use by dragging a start and end slider.
To create a cinemagraph, the cursor becomes a resizable ‘eraser’ and you remove parts of the image to uncover the video behind it.
I like the fact that the erased part of the image is highlighted so you can easily see what you have done.
Overall, Gifzign is very simple and intuitive to use.
It also comes with a good pedigree, being from the people behind the highly-regarded YouZign software.
That should mean that support is good and the product will be around – and developed – for the long-term.
Apart from the main distinctions listed above, there are some smaller plusses and minuses…
> The software is computer-based, so you do not need an internet connection. It comes in both PC and Mac varieties
> You can add any number of your own images e.g. for calls to action, logos, watermarks, etc. You can change the size, opacity and position of images
> There are two lines of text available and, although you can change the size, colour and opacity of the text, the positions are fixed at the top and bottom of the screen. This could be a limiting factor if you want to add text elsewhere on the screen
> There appears to be only one default font, which is a drawback
> You can choose to have your projects play forwards, in reverse or using ‘ping pong’ (plays forward to the end and then reverses back to the start)
> You can apply a limited number of filters e.g. to give a ‘vintage’ or tinted effect
> There is a unique ‘mirror’ effect where the source material is effectively cut down the middle and one side mirrored onto the other. The software seems to only mirror the left half onto the right half. It would have been nice to be able to choose right onto left (and maybe also top and bottom). Mirroring is fun to use but I’m not sure there is a lot of applications for it
This is a very good, solid and intuitive to use piece of software.
If you already have GIF and cinemagraph software, it probably isn’t worth investing in Gifzign as well because its core functionality is pretty much the same as the competition.
However, if you have GIF software but not cinemagraph software, or vice versa, or you have neither, Gifzign is a very good investment.
It is currently less than $35 (the coupon code GIF1 gives you another $1 or so off), which is considerably less than what you would have to pay for the competition, and they don’t handle both GIFs and cinemagraphs.
Plus, this also includes the developer license, which costs extra with other products.
If you want to use GIFs and/or cinemagraphs in your business, Gifzign is definitely worth a good look while the introductory price is low.
You can get all of the details and see Gifzign in action here…