Tyra Banks plans to resurrect the cinemagraph with TV tie-in on America’s Next Top Model


posted Monday, August 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM EDT

Clones of the partially-animated cinemagraph photos first created by American photographers Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg were, it seemed, everywhere you turned last year. You might think the technique was yesterday's news, but thanks to a celebrity endorsement, it could be in for a comeback.

The idea behind cinemagraphs was simple and often very effective: By adding some subtle (or often, not-so-subtle) motion to an otherwise-still image, you could guide the viewer's attention, just as you would with composition, depth-of-field blur, and so on. Initially, creating your own cinemagraph meant time spent in the likes of Photoshop. Before long, though, free tools from Microsoft, Nokia, and more made it simple to create your own cinemagraphs, bringing them to the mainstream.

As shown in this video, the cinemagraph technique can be a very effective way of keeping your viewer's  attention just where you want it.

One such tool was Flixel Cinemagraph, an iOS-only app that allowed creation of partially-animated stills on Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It's Flixel which has just scored a shot in the arm, courtesy of TV personality, occasional actress, and former model Tyra Banks. Banks is best-known these days as the host of CW's long-running reality TV show, "America's Next Top Model".

Through Fierce Capital, the investment arm of the Tyra Banks Company, Banks has made an investment in Flixel -- and she's paired her newfound stake in the company with a promotional push on her TV show. Last Friday's episode of America's Next Top Model featured Flixel-branded cinemagraph imagery, and these promotions will apparently continue in the show's judging and Tyra Mail segments throughout the season.

Cinemagraph effects like this can be created on iOS devices using Flixel Cinemagraph.

All of which will likely translate to a resurgence in popularity of the cinemagraph -- so get ready to see more partially-animated imagery like that shown in the video and example image above. Below is a quick introduction to the app itself, showing the simplicity of making a cinemagraph image.

A one-minute introduction to the Flixel Cinemagraph app.

Want to get a copy of Flixel Cinemagraph for your iDevice? Visit the Flixel Photos Inc. page on Apple's App Store.