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Motionleap – animate your still photos

Motionleap (formerly Enlight Pixaloop) is an easy to use app for adding a little animated magic to your images

Price: Free
Version: 1.0.9
Size: 119 MB
Seller: Lightricks
Platform: iPhone / iPad


Update! Enlight has become a force on the App Store for its variety of image editing apps. though it has rebranded quite a few properties. Notably, Enlight Pixaloop (as reviewed) is now called Motionleap, and its devs have bolstered this already decent animation app.

So what’s new? Plenty. Firstly, this gets updates this a lot – so you know bugs are always being squashed and the app is always improving. Feature-wise, two notable additions are ‘Shimmer’ and ‘Smoke,’ adding even more moving elements to your photos. The app felt ahead of its time on release, and remains ahead of the pack even today. As with many other imaging tools, the subscription is now king and while it’s not cheap, it’s not outrageous either. There’s an option to make a one off payment too, if you prefer.

Revised rating: Clever, unique little tool. ★★★★


Our original review, written in October 2018, is presented in its entirety below.

With the plethora of photo and video apps on the App Store these days, you’ve got to do something pretty nifty to stand out. More importantly, you better make sure you do it well.

Enlight Pixaloop, surprisingly, achieves both of these things. (Or rather, unsurprisingly, considering the legacy of the excellent all-around image editor Enlight). It promises a lot by saying you can animate any part of a static image, and it largely delivers thanks to its system of paths and anchors that can accurately segment parts of your image.

To animate a part of your image, first select the direction of animation using paths

But let’s back up. What are we animating exactly? Though Pixaloop claims anything can be animated down to strands of hair blowing in the wind, that particular example will require an extremely steady hand and plenty of time finessing. Better examples would be a running stream, a fire or something billowing in the wind. If the natural elements have something to do with it, it’s probably a safe bet.

So how exactly does it work? Firstly, take or find a suitable image – this might be harder than it sounds as you may have to think creatively. We chose a vast river and snapped some shots. Next, choose from the options in the menu. Primarily, we’re looking at Animate, but you can also easily and automatically edit the animation’s loop, add a new animated sky, and even add camera FX like ending your little clip with a smash cut, and overlay, which means you can add things like rain or simple film grain to your image.

Next place your anchor points to isolate the area that you want to animate

But Animate is the one that requires a bit of skill. To animate a section of this image – the water, you have to draw a ‘Path’ in which the animation should flow, and then a handful of ‘Anchors’ to isolate that part of the image. The paths define the movement, while the anchors stop it from affecting static elements. As you can see from the screengrabs it can be quite fiddly.

However, it works extremely well – given enough time and effort you’ll have a nifty little animation that will elevate your social media images that extra notch.

There’s plenty you can animate – with this one we’re creating swirls in the coffee

Better yet, the features noted above are free. There’s plenty of fun to be had at this level, but the Pro version offers that little bit more – though it’s not cheap. It runs on a subscription model and you can get a month for $3.50, 12 months for $18, or a one-off purchase of $55 to unlock these features for the rest of time.

What do you get for all of that? Mostly plenty more of what you’ve got. It gives you more camera FX, more overlays, more loop modes, and extra control. But you’ll want to give the app a good going over before you decide, because it will only be worth it if this becomes your go-to app for sprucing up your Instagram posts.

There’s plenty of other features – the sky here has been completely and automatically replaced with moving clouds

A lot can be achieved with Pixaloop, without it becoming too challenging or overwhelming. We’re still skeptical whether this will become one of our frequent image-based playthings, but over the last few days, we’ve been plenty entertained.