Gifx adds animations to your photos to create movies, GIFs

Gifx screenshot

Gifx grants anyone the ability to create animated movies and GIFs using a photo or video, plus custom animated effects that the app includes. Overlay one or multiple animations and play around with the opacity to get the desired result on the content you imported. Plus, optionally resize and rearrange the effects to fit specific portions of the image or add masks for more decoration. The app is free with in-app purchases for the iPhone.

Animated GIFs were originally popular in the far earlier days of the Internet - I'm talking in the 1990s, but they were basic compared to what they are now. They've been slowly making a comeback for the past few years and now it's hard to visit a popular website without seeing one.

Gifx is pretty bare bones in terms of functionality but it does have over 200 animated GIF effects to apply to your photos and videos. This is not the type of GIF creator for making short films or loops. Rather, Gifx is more like an enhancer, turning ordinary photos or footage into something a bit more decorative and flamboyant.

Gifx screenshot

Start off by importing an existing photo or video or snapping a new one with the camera, then head straight into the GIF creation process. For testing purposes, you're better off tapping "Free GIFs" to browse the preloaded selection. Most of the options are just wavy, trippy designs that loop continuously over the media in the background.

The pink slider adjusts the transparency. Dragging all the way to the right completely hides the underlaying media, which arguably defeats the purpose. I found that in most cases, applying an effect with just about 10 percent opacity makes for a masterful look. It's as if an image itself has movement, as opposed to blatantly appearing as a random effect laid on top of it.

Many of the effects have either Instagram icons or locks on them. That's because many of the effects require an in-app purchase to unlock. However, the Basic pack and Mixed pack are free to obtain by completing tasks like following Gifx on Instagram. Otherwise, to get the most bang for your buck, chances are you should take the plunge and buy the "Unlock All" pack, currently 50 percent off at US$3.99.

Gifx screenshot

The pack is both a curse and a blessing. It's a curse because many of the features it unlocks should really already be in the app. For instance, to save the images as animated GIFs of high-quality, you need to purchase the pack. For free, Gifx just saves the animations as low-quality, 15-second movies. Even masks cost money. It's almost a bit misleading that the title of the app has "GIF" in it, yet in order to authentically create one you have to pay up.

Gifx works well and has decent animations, but most of its potential is hiding behind the in-app purchase. Without that, you get a few effects and the ability to essentially create movies. Gifx is really only worth your time if you splurge on unlocking everything it offers. It's available in the iPhone App Store.