One of the most under-utilised features for emails is the use of animated gifs. Animated gifs are widely used on the internet more often than not for cheap laughs, but when used correctly, can really bring a webpage or email to life in the most beautiful way.

The use of animated gifs for email may currently be quite low as they can be difficult to create without expensive creative software (Photoshop) and the skills to put one together properly. This process can also be tedious and time-consuming as each gif needs to be animated frame by frame.

What is Echograph?

With the recent arrival of tablet computers, such as the iPad, complete with thousands of apps available at the touch of a button, these expensive and difficult gif issues have just vanished with the introduction of a fantastic new app called Echograph.

Echograph allows you to create beautiful cinemagraphs (still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs) for use on the web.

Simply upload or record a video using the iPad, Echograph will then prompt you to select a 5 second snippet of the video, and from this, select a single frame.

You then simply rub your finger across the static frame, highlighting the section that you wish to become animated, and “Hey presto”, you have an animated gif, which you can then export by emailing to yourself, posting to Facebook/Twitter etc…

How Echograph works

Here’s a short video to show you how Echograph works:

How to Create an Echograph from Nick Alt on Vimeo.

With such an easy and intuitive way to bring a static image to life, we should hopefully start to see animated gifs made using Echograph infiltrate your inbox soon.

Below is a small selection of some of our favourite Cinemagraph animations from the web, hopefully giving you inspiration to create your own:

StaticFlickr Image 1

StaticFlickr Image 2

Tripwiremagazine Image

Hotdog Image