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As Vine shuts down, five users who managed to create art in six seconds

When the six-second video app Vine was founded, in 2012, its creators thought it would be the new photograph—the tool people would use to keep their friends updated on events in their lives. Instead, the format, with its short duration and loop feature, encouraged artists, animators, film-makers and aspiring comedians to make creative videos. While a lot of the most popular Vines were of teenagers playing puerile pranks and comedians trying too hard in short sketches, there were some that actually exhibited artistry and are worth watching again now that Twitter, who bought the app shortly after its creation, have decided to shut it down.

Zach King

Most magicians insist they don’t cheat by using any camera or film-making tricks during their television shows. Zach King’s magic, though, is all about visual trickery. Using innovative editing, King turns night into day with a clap of his hands, chest bumps a friend so hard that they exchange shirts, gets into a locked car by jumping right through the door and changes the colour of his shirt by bursting a balloon into his stomach. His most captivating tricks involve him going into screens, sometimes to kick the recycle bin icon (he eventually falls into it) and sometimes to pull out a print-out of something. Six seconds is the perfect length for his tricks—they require no build-up; the pledge, turn and prestige all come flying at you in one go—and having them played on loop lets you continue watching till you’ve figured out how he’s doing it.

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Yves Das

Vine became the tool of choice for stop motion animators, who found the format ideal for telling quick stories. Yves Das garnered more than 15,000 followers with his stop motion Vines. The objects he uses in his animations are what make them entertaining. He likes using animals—one six-second video shows a tiny panda doll riding a slide, spinning up in the air and then landing in a miniature hammock on a beach made from paper—and a tiny scooter, which he sends through various paper-made terrains. He also cleverly uses the loop. One animated video shows the scooter riding through toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube. The loop gives it the effect of the scooter trying unendingly to make its way past the white sludge.

Jethro Ames

Another stop motion animator, Jethro Ames became famous for telling stories using food. Cauliflowers become clouds, broccoli becomes seaweed and coffee beans form a ship in his animated videos. His sense of humour holds his videos together—there’s something about seeing a potato-head wink that makes you want a video to play on loop.

Pinot

Illustrator Pinot used sketching, stop motion animation and visual tricks to gather more than 400,000 followers on Vine. His videos start with a sketch by him, which he then brings to life using animation. A drawing of a hand begins to tug on the pencil that’s drawing it; an sketched insect creeps off a paper; a warrior turns around when an orange is rolled over the paper he’s drawn on. Pinot’s art was unique, and Vine’s format was perfectly suited to it.

Hoezaay

A number of comedians tried their hand at Vine and flopped, so video jockey José Covaco deserves credit for becoming one of India’s most popular Vine users. He uses various different types of comedy in his Vines, from satire to slapstick to clever wordplay. Also impressive was how he evolved and began using smart editing to humorous effect, such as when he used a clip of Aishwarya Rai running desperately after something in a movie to make it look like she was chasing the only available auto-rickshaw in her neighbourhood.

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