Credit: Image by Plotagraph+ Photo Animator

What is it? Plotagraph is an app that allows journalists to animate pictures in their camera roll in a matter of minutes.

Devices: iOS

Cost: £4.99

How is it of use to journalists?

Journalists are always looking to produce 'thumb-stopping' content for social media – that which will grab their audience' attention long enough to interrupt them as they scroll down their timeline – but this can be difficult with the sheer amount of material online.

Plotagraph offers reporters a different way to grab the eye of their viewers, by enabling them to beautifully animate the pictures in their camera roll, which can be then be shared to social media as a looping video or GIF.

Get started by tapping the plus icon to import a picture into the app from your camera roll. If you'd like to capture an image within the app, just tap the camera icon.

Screenshots from Plotagraph app

Once you've got your image loaded, create what's called an 'animation track', by tapping and dragging in the direction you would like parts of your image to move.

Select the "Mask" tool to mask the area of the image you don’t want to animate. It is worth playing around with this function to produce the best effect, as the audience will either be drawn to the moving or still part of the image, dependant on how you edit it.

There's an 'erase' option on the bottom toolbar which can be used to make corrections to this.

Here's an example of a simple Plotagraph, with animated clouds:

Adjust your animation speed by tapping and dragging the speed bar. Think about what your animation represents – are you trying to make the photo feel rushed, like the hustle and bustle of city life, or are you aiming for a tranquil, peaceful effect?

Once you're happy, simply save to your camera roll as an mp4 video, Gif or Animated PNG. You can even select from the social sharing presets, choosing the platform you'll be uploading it to, so the length of the animation's optimised before you share.

Check out the Plotagraph website to see the various membership options available from £19.99 to those users who wish to unlock more features, such as more cloud storage, animation presets and effects, and audio, video and still overlays.

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