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Vimeo buys app that turns your video stills into animations

The video-sharing site has acquired the iOS app Echograph and the team behind it.

Different than Twitter's Vine, Echograph is designed to let people easily create GIFs with details that are animated (the lights here would flash, for example). See the promotional video at the end of this story to get an idea of how it works. Vimeo; screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Vimeo has brought aboard a new app (and new people) that can transform your videos into animations.

The company announced today that it now owns Echograph, an app that lets iPhone and iPad users create animations by blending together different parts of a video clip.

Purchased from Clear-Media, the Echograph app previously cost $3 but is now available free.

As described in a promotional video (see embedded clip below), an Echograph is a photograph that contains small slices of animation. You start off by selecting a video and then trimming it to 5 seconds. You then pick a single still frame from the clip. From there, you actually paint over an area of that still frame with a moving element from the video, creating an image with touches of animation.

Through Vimeo, Echograph users can then share that animated image online. Vimeo has more than 15 million registered users and reaches an audience of more than 93 million each month, according to the company.

Along with the app, Vimeo has hired members of the Echograph team, who will report directly to Vimeo's president, Dae Mellencamp. Nick Alt, who created Echograph, will change roles from Clear-Media CEO to Vimeo's VP of mobile, where he'll handle development of the app across different mobile platforms.

"We chose Echograph because it helps people easily create beautiful high-quality video content," Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor said in a statement. "That, with Nick's proven track record of building innovative video apps, made it a perfect fit for Vimeo."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the acquisition is similar in some ways to the one last year between Twitter and Vine. Using the Vine app, people can shoot 6-second videos and then share them via Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.

Here's a promo video, which gives an idea of how the app works:

Creating an Echograph from Nick Alt on Vimeo.

(Via AllThingsD)