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The animated GIF has never been so prevalent. What was once a way to bring some motion to a very static internet has now become a hugely popular way to share short animated clips without the need for YouTube or other Flash-based video. Unlike internet video, animated GIFs work in most browsers, requires no plug-ins, and even instant messaging services such as iMessage support them.

Until recently, creating animated GIFs was a painstaking process, either using apps such as Photoshop to build them frame-by-frame or relying upon web services to convert videos with little control. Now there’s an app for Mac OS X called GIF Brewery which aims to make generating animated GIFs from video clips as easy as possible.

GIF Brewery works by converting video clips (such as MPEG–4) but providing you with controls over the finished GIF with options for as resolution, frame rate and even special effects. All of this lets you create truly customised animated GIFs that you have complete control over. (more…)

Web development remains one of the areas in which the Mac app ecosystem shines brightest. As the technologies underpinning the internet continue to evolve, we’re thrilled to see eager developers providing new tools to take advantage of those technologies and simplify formerly arduous tasks. Like producing graphics code, for instance.

Last year, I reviewed PaintCode, an app that facilitates the creation of Objective-C interface graphics using natural graphic design tools. PixelCut has expanded their reach with the brand new WebCode, an app that offers the same tools geared toward the creation of code-based graphics for the web.

After the jump, let’s dig in to see if the tools are as useful for web design as they were for app development.

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Every product requires preparation to release, especially new mobile apps. If you’re trying to make people more productive, you’ll . Creating a great app demands planning, testing and studying in the look out for the best ways to achieve its intents.

One of the main culprits for a poor app is poor navigation, often caused by the lack of a prototype where you can visualize your app’s engines and hierarchies between screens. That’s what Briefs does. It allows you to set actions to the elements of your static design and create an interactive mockup, which you can send to partners for feedback or just grab a feeling of how it is to navigate within your project.

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9 years ago, the Mac gained something that has graced buildings since humans learned to write: bookshelves. The original Delicious Library featured a digital faux-wood bookshelf as its main interface — one that’s instantly familiar to anyone who’s used iBooks or Newsstand, but that was brand-new when it was released. Fast forward a few years to 2007, and Delicious Library 2 brought a fluid interface powered by Core Animation, with pop-over inspectors that look vaguely like a preview of the pop-over menus that would become so common in iOS and later on the Mac.

The Apple Design award winning app to catalogue all of your stuff seemed to be abandoned, going 6 years without a new release and over a year without an update of any kind. But the Delicious Monster team is back with the freshly released Delicious Library 3. It’s shiner – and more animated – than ever, and it’s certain to be the most fun way to catalogue all of your stuff in 2013.

Can it push the future of Apple interface design forward again this time, though?

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I’m in desperate need of a good photo editor, but I don’t want too many bells or whistles. Being honest, the reason I need a photo editor is the same reason I need a simple editor. I’m not that great at making my images look good, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to show off all my amazing snaps to my friends.

Recently released Fotor may be my saving grace. It’s simple enough that I can make my way through it without turning all of my family photos green, but does Fotor have the goods to make my photos great? (more…)

Since the time when there was only the full-screen print function, the tools for screen-shooting have evolved a lot. Now you can select what you’re snapping, create annotations, easily share with your friends, all in a matter of seconds. Screenshots became popular because they’re a great way to catch information on the spot. Taking screenshots is like taking a picture of a place you visit, only this time, you’re visiting your Mac.

LittleSnapper is the epitome of screen-shooting. It covers most aspects of what you’d want a snapshot application to deal with. It has advanced features to capture, edit, organize and share your images. And this article won’t only work around what LittleSnapper offers, but also how you could use its resources to take screen-shooting to the next level.

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At any time you care to look, the App Store’s Photography chart is filled with image editors. Editing, however, is only part of the digital processing workflow – nearly all of us organize, and make minor adjustments to, our images with an all-in-one library app such as Lightroom, Aperture, or Capture One, some time before any image editor gets a look-in. Yet for some reason, the range of apps available to perform this archiving role is very small, and the theme shared by all of them is a premium price-tag.

In spite of this lack of choice and the expense associated with purchasing a library app, the open source community hasn’t felt the need to develop its own alternative. Or at least that was the case until darktable arrived. Put together by a team of photographer-coders, darktable shares many features with its more expensive competitors – multiple image sorting options, tethered shooting and a suite of editing options – but is it in the same league?

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Here at Envato, we try to encourage all kinds of creativity. From web design to video effects, Envato has most of it covered. What about crafts like collages and scrapbooking, though?

If you are into that kind of creative endeavors, today we have a nice app that you may be interested in. This app known as CollageFactory Pro will get you started with creating collages and greeting cards with ease. Follow us after the break to find out what we think about it.

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Ever needed to quickly convert a video or audio file into a different format, and searched around for an app to do it quickly? Perhaps you found an app, but wanted one with more options or that could handle the job better. If you own Adobe Creative Suite or have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – as nearly 70% of our readers said they do in our poll this week – then you’ve got a great media converter ready to use: Adobe Media Encoder.

Let’s take a quick look at one of the least well-know members of Adobe’s Creative Suite family of apps, one that’s included in ever single edition of Creative Suite but that’s never usually mentioned alongside the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator. It just might be the best media tool you never knew you had.

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What’s the best way to quickly annotate a picture or sketch out an idea graphically on your Mac? A couple years ago, most of us would have quickly responded “Skitch“, but after Evernote bought out the popular image annotating app and redesigned it last year, it’s not quite the exciting and useful app it used to be. There’s always Preview, but it’s a bit too structured (and limited) for free-form idea sketching.

Aged & Distilled has entered the fray with their new app Napkin.  It’s a totally new way to communicate visually on your Mac – using the old metaphor of sketching an idea on a napkin – that’s good enough to already be listed as the Editor’s Choice in the App Store. (more…)

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