Kinotopic Review
iPhone App
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Kinotopic Review

Our Review by Jennifer Allen on January 18th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: INTRIGUING
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A fascinating concept that's let down slightly by execution and stability issues.

Developer: Placehugger
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

I'm conflicted with Kinotopic. It's a fantastic idea but I'm not convinced it's as simple as it'd like to be.

The idea behind is that the user takes a 4 second video clip and then the app turns still images from that clip into a form of animation known as a cinemagraph or kino. The animation is simply a minor and repeated movement within the clip but the effects can be pretty impressive.

Loading the app demonstrates a collection of recent kinos made by other people using the app. The results are astounding at times, immediately providing plenty of inspiration. Putting such inspiration into action however takes a ton of practice. The first few attempts are going to look messy and downright surreal. Partially, this is probably down to ability (I might love doing artistic things but that doesn't mean I'm any good at them!) but some of it is also down to the instructions.

Kinotopic requests an anchor point for the starting frame then commands the user to select the moving area with a touch of the finger. It's not quite as clear as that in terms of producing good results though and some extra guidance on how to create a sterling piece of work would have been appreciated.

The app can't save work directly to the camera roll so choices for saving come in the form of posting directly to Facebook or by sending to email with the work being uploaded elsewhere. There's also the option to publish directly into the Kinotopic stream for those who manage to produce some great results. The examples currently on the stream develop ably just what can be achieved with the right amount of practice and the right artistic eye.

Kinotopic is a fantastic idea but it feels unwieldy. Occassional problems with crashing and general stability doesn't help matters but the potential is there. I'm certainly determined to be as good at creating kinos as so many other people on that stream. In terms of originality, there's precious little else out there like it for iOS.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Kinotopic screenshot 1 Kinotopic screenshot 2 Kinotopic screenshot 3 Kinotopic screenshot 4 Kinotopic screenshot 5
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