Best apps for making cinemagraphs on your Mac!

Cinemagraphs are a really incredible way to take a regular video and turn it into something artistic, creative, and most importantly, eye catching!

A cinemagraph is a still image that contains a trace of subtle motion: wisps of hair in the breeze, water running through a stream, or a dog's tail wagging. (Sean Duggan,

There are a couple of different cinemagraph apps available for your iPhone or iPad, and if you want to make cinemagraph masterpieces on your Mac, there are a number of awesome options out there, too.

Here are the best apps available for making breathtaking cinemagraphs on your Mac!

Cinemagraph Pro By Flixel Photos Inc.

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If you're looking to create beautiful, seamless cinemagraphs on your Mac, then you may want to consider Cinemagraph Pro By Flixel Photos Inc.

Cinemagraph Pro allows users to easily create Cinemagraph images, a media form that combines elements of a moving video to a high quality still photograph or referred to as 'hybrid photography'... It provides a very appealing platform for creatives interested in something new and exciting. [sic] (Anastasia Page, Fstoppers)

This app has proven time and time again to be worth its rather large price tag – $100 for a one year subscription or $200 for a web and app subscription – as is proven by its Apple Design award in 2014 and App Store Best-of title in the same year. Cinemagraph Pro By Flixel Photos Inc. is a professional app that is designed to specifically create cinemagraphs with "live masking" technology that allows artist to see their images in real time in order to design 1080 HD and 4K-quality hybrid video/photograph/optical illusions!

With Cinemagraph Pro, you can do things like:

  • Shoot: Capture a short video on your iPhone or from your Mac's webcam and import it into the app in order to edit straight away.
  • Mask: Select a specific area within your photograph to animate by simply "live-masking" the motion right into the image: it's as easy as that!
  • Still Frame: Customize your creative cinemagraph work or fix any errors or blemishes by easily exporting the still frame to other image editing apps.
  • Adjustments: Adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, tone curve, and vignette of your living photos, just like you would any other image or video in a typical editing program.
  • Loop: Select a repeat or bounce loop style, then crossfade, and adjust speed, all with a few clicks of your mouse. For a surprise effect, add a delay between loops, or get creative and play around to find a combination that works perfectly for your cinemagraph.
  • Preset: Instantly preview many built-in presets then make color adjustments, and then customize and save your own for later!
  • Trim: Select and isolate your ideal sequence with detail and precision so you can effortlessly set the still frame to create a more seamless loop.

If you're someone who wants to really invest in the software needed to make beautiful visual cinemagraphs, then Cinemagraph Pro By Flixel Photos Inc. has you covered. The final products are stunning, the program makes things straightforward and fun, and if you can get over the price, then you'll be well on your way to making killer cinemagraphs.

Oh! Did we mention that you can even export them as GIFs, and that there's something called the Flixel Cloud that acts as a subscription service that can actually help you make money off of your cinemgraphs? Just embed your final product into your blog or website, and the Flixel player will provide a seamless experience that auto-plays and loops your cinemagraph on all platforms – even your iPhone!


If you're someone who's worried about complicated programs, large price tags, and unnecessary steps when it comes to creating your cinemagraph, then it might be worth taking a peek at FlickGraph and its simplistic cinemagraph magic ways!

What is FlickGraph you ask? FlickGraph is a cinemagraph creation program available for both Windows & Mac users and in my opinion the best cinemagraph software available. (MazePress)

FlickGraph works in three simple steps…

  1. Import the video you would like to turn into a cinemagraph.
  2. Select a still frame of the video with the slider bar in order to use it as the static part of your cinemagraph.
  3. Erase part of the still frame with the eraser tool to clear the part of the static image in order to have it move and loop.

With this software you can make a cinemagraph from any video with repeat motion on part of it, like hair on the wind, pouring liquid from the bottle, candle fire, and pretty much anything else. (FlickGraph)

One of the best parts about FlickGraph is the price; while some other cinemagraph programs will cost you a pretty penny or two, FlickGraph goes for a one-time payment of $67, and if you're not happy with the program overall, there's a 30-day money back guarantee attached to your purchase.

You can even download your final cinemagraphs in both HD video format or as GIFs to use across all your social media and websites, making FlickGraph not only highly rated and reviewed but also well-priced, straightforward, and practical for a bunch of different uses online.


More than a photo, but not quite a video. (Supermodel Coco Rocha)

If you're someone who's a bit more skilled on the computer and doesn't want to pay for any pesky additional downloads and programs, and if you're someone who is comfortable enough to play around and really experiment with Photoshop, then you can actually use the app to create a cinemagraph.

There are a couple of downsides with working with cinemagraphs and Photoshop, the most obvious being that you can only produce a GIF with Photoshop, so if you're okay with not having a video version of your cinemagraph, then you're set.

Another downside is that it's much, much more complicated to make a cinemagraph in Photoshop – while apps like FlickGraph and Cinemagraph Pro simplify the steps for you, you'll normally have to go through 10 or more with Photoshop.

The bonuses to using Photoshop to make your cinemagraphs? You get to learn and perfect new design and computer skills that could help you down the line, you get familiar with a program that's incredibly valuable and versatile, you don't need to spend as much money on software that only does one thing, and you're able to be super precise and use a plethora of tools (rather than just one or two from other apps) in order to make your cinemagraph as tight and as perfect as possible!

Graphics artist Kevin Burg and photographer Jamie Beck coined the term, cinemagraph, when they collaborated on a story for New York's Fashion Week. Since then, this format has gotten pretty popular. [sic] (Benjamin Jenks, Photodoto)

There are a number of different cinemagraph/Photoshop tutorials that are available online, it just depends which one works best for you!

You can download and use Photoshop for around $30 a month (which is worth it considering you can do a bajillion other things besides creating cinemagraphs!).

How do you make your cinemagraphs?

What tools do you use to make your cinemagraph masterpieces? Let us know how you get creative in the comments below!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau