Drew Matthews

Home Portfolio Flixel

Giving people the ability to create Cinemagraphs in a simplified way was at the heart of the Flixel product. We worked really hard in creating a toolset that wasn't only easy to use but fast and powerful for a full range of creators.

Flixel the brand

When I joined the Flixel team we were in the beginning stages of a complete app re-write. Along with a visual refresh in the UI. We took this opportunity to evolve the brand. While the hummingbird (hermano) remained I expanded the wordmark into something unique to Flixel. Additionally, app icons along with a whole suite of UI icons were created to flesh out the Flixel design system.

Flixel brand
Flixel icon set

Flixel, the universal app

One of the things that set Flixel apart from other similar apps was that we fully supported iPad. We didn't just scale up the experience but made significant investments into the iPad. Including the ability to dump footage right to the device from a memory card. A feature our more professional users requested.


In 2014 adding filters to your photos became table stakes for lots of photography based apps. Flixel was no exception to this. However it was out approach that I believe set us apart. I took cinematic film looks as inspiration for the first version of our filters. Planning in the future to add a robust effect layering option for our Pro users. One of my more proud achievements was learning to build filters with Quartz Composer and test performance of filters. We constantly pushed to keep high framerate playback when using our filters especially with higher resolution source footage.


Flixel Cinemagraph Pro was built as a desktop companion to our iOS counterpart. Built to take advantage of the processing power of the new Mac Pro (trash can) We knew we wanted the same fluid workflow from the iOS app but reimagined for desktop. We also knew everything would need to run smoothly for 4K video.

When we decided to dedicate resources to building on the Mac I leaned heavily into my own past experiences working with software. I'd spent years learning all sorts of applications. Photoshop, After Effects, both second nature to me. What I found most important was looking at how I used software. How my peers used software and then optimized a workflow around simplified yet powerful modes of editing. The result was a workflow that was flexible in its starting point but streamlined as to not be burdensome. The more you used Cinemagraph Pro the faster you honed your creation skills. Novice users would ramp up quick and would start to produce exceptional results in a matter of minutes.

Similar to how our iOS app worked once you had your footage into the app. Our non-destructive workflow allowed users the flexibility to pick their own order of working. Some users started by making sure their loop was perfected before color grading their footage. Others want to start with masking. We liked the ability to find what worked best for you when creating Cinemagraphs. Our users seemed to enjoy that flexibility too.

Apple Design Award Winner 2014

In the spring of 2014. Shortly after I had left Flixel. I found myself in the Moscone Center watching the Apple Design Awards. We won that year. Part of a class of 12 apps that did. I'm terribly proud of the work we accomplished with Flixel. From time to time I still see it featured in the app store.

Flixel AAW

Selected Work


©2021 Drew Matthews