The Complete Beginner Guide to Making Animated GIFs


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By Eric Ravenscraft
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Animated GIFs are something of an internet art form, shared by all. Yet, they are created by a comparatively small slice of the internet. There's no reason you can't join in the fun, though. From beginners to advanced tools, we've got the ultimate guide to making your own silent internet picture films.
 

Jiffy: For Quick and Dirty YouTube GIFs


 

Giffing Tool: For the Casual GIF Artist (Updating Giffing Tool)
1. Get the video you want to make a GIF of ready. You can give yourself a little buffer on the beginning and end, but not too much. The shorter the recording, the higher the quality.
2. Click the "New" button in Giffing Tool.
3. Select a rectangular area of your screen that you want to record.
4. Press play on your video.
5. When you've captured the whole clip, press Esc.
6. In the timeline at the top, drag the green and red handles to the beginning and end (respectively) of the action you want to capture.
7. (Optional): Use the Text or Effects tools to add captions or convert to grayscale.
8. Once you're satisfied, click the floppy disk icon to save your GIF.

GIMP: For the Cross-Platform GIF Creator (Also GIMP Animation Package 2.6) (Pre Compiled GAP 2.6)


To pull just the section of the video you want to make a GIF out of:
1. Open the video in VLC.
2. Under View, select "Advanced controls".
3. Position the playhead about 5-10 seconds before the action you want to record.
4. Press the red Record button.
5. Press play on the video.
6. When you've finished recording the action, press the record button again.
7. You now have a clip containing just the action you want in your Videos library!

To create a GIF from a video file, you can first trim the video down using the same method VLC method described above. From there:
1. Open GIMP. Click Video > Split Video into Frames > Extract Videorange.
2. Open the video file you created earlier.
3. Click "Video Range" to preview the video you're importing.
4. Scrub through the video preview to find the first and last frames of the selection you want.
5. Enter the first frame number from the preview panel into "From Frame" on the right. Place the last frame number in the "To Frame" box below it.
6. Ensure that "Create only one multilayer image" is checked. Click OK. This will create a new file window with your animation in it.
7. (Optional) You can use GIMP to do any editing here, if you're proficient with the app. When you're ready to export, move on.
8. Select File > Export As.
9. Navigate to the folder you want to output to. Give the file a name appended with .gif at the end.
10. Ensure "Loop Forever" is checked. Click "Export."

Photoshop: For Serious GIF Action (How it works)


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Many of Neowin members have already advanced level GIFs knowledge, I believe this is good for beginners, just like me :)
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