Apple Design Award Winners 014

Cinemagraph Pro – Apple Design Award, 2014

Apple Design Award Winners 014I am always curious about who is awarded the Apple Design Award each year. I’m certain that winning this award is a rather big deal in the software community. But one of this year’s winners is a bit of a puzzle to me: Cinemagraph by Flixel which comes in a variety of different flavors: Pro and Plus for the desktop and similar iterations for your iOS devices.

The pro version of the app for the Mac desktop is a whopping $200, expensive, in my estimation. So, what does it do? Must be awesome, and amazing, and built from the ground up to solve the great problems of humanity, which is what the first video played at WWDC 2014 hyped as what software developers and programmers and geeks are doing, oh my!

Well, Cinemagraph is a clever little app. Basically, you shoot a short video, isolate some motion in the video around a still frame, and end up with a cross between a photo and a bit of a movie. It’s clever and fairly easy to use. But $200?! Really? !! ?

It’s on sale right now at 85% off to celebrate their award. If you’re interested in the app, download the trial first to see if you think it’s worth the $29 celebratory price.

And why, exactly, did it get the Apple Design Award? It’s UI seems a bit lame to me. It’s not particularly beautiful; yet, it is simple and clean. Perhaps because the app runs on iOS and OS X? Maybe the developer has some impressive algorithms running under the hood? Maybe because it has a significant social sharing feature set? Maybe because it can export 4k? I’m not really sure.

The app has 27 filters, but, well, I’m just not impressed by filters to begin with, and these don’t seem to reach Instagram levels of adjustments. And, speaking of adjustments, you can do the basics with the video: temperature and tint; exposure; brightness, contrast, and saturation; and vignette radius and intensity.

Giving the user control over speed, delay, and crossfade, the app does a nice job of making looping fairly easy and makes the video feel rather seamless when it loops. You can choose to bounce (play back and forth) or repeat the video.

You can export your finished cinemagraph in 4 different formats: h.264, Apple ProRes 422 and 4444, and as a gif. You have 4 size settings for each export type. Exporting is blazing fast, but then I’m still in awe of the speed of this new Mac Pro. It does everything blazing fast.

The app has a lot of potential.

So, here is my first cinemagraph. It’s nothing clever. About 66% of this image is a still photo. The water near the shore is masked in as looping video.

These are much more interesting: