The old-fashioned GIF format has surprisingly become today’s most popular medium that helps express any emotion or report live news. Most of us have used GIFs when communicating online, but we usually search the web for them and use what we find. Have you ever thought that you can make GIFs yourself? With a simple toolkit you can start creating those in no time. Here is a brief list of things you’ll have to know in order to do it.
If you have Photoshop on your PC, you will find that it offers extensive functionality for making GIFs, although it’s not the simplest. We are focusing here on tools that offer a faster, simpler and clearer way to start creating GIFs in no time.
Make a GIF from a video
If there is a video file on your computer drive and you would like to use it for making a GIF, you don’t even have to install any software. Just use a simple web app like Giphy or Zamzar to convert your video file into GIF format. If your file is large, like a movie, you need to first cut your video to a make a short piece for your GIF.
If you find that you need more features and don’t mind paying for them, consider Giffing Tool (for Windows) or GIF Brewery (for Mac). These tools make converting video files into animated GIFs a breeze by letting you load your video file, select edit points, specify output options and save your GIF.
One more option (that may sound too complicated to some, but really isn’t) could be using the GIMP app (free) to create GIFs from a set of images. However, you will need to find a way to extract frames from the video that needs to be converted. The rough way is to just take screenshots of the video, although the quality may not be that good. You could also use something like the MPEG Streamclip program to do this.
Capture GIFs from a screen
With GIFs being extremely popular today, it’s no wonder that there are tons of various tools available to help create them. The apps we mentioned earlier, GIF Brewery and Giffing Tool, both offer making GIFs from a video file or a screen capture, but they are far from the only ones. Here are some worthy alternatives.
Try Giphy Capture as a simpler and free tool for Mac or the free Gifster for Windows. You can set the output destination folder and the frame rate using some drop-down menus, then resize your GIF if you like with an easy to apply built-in option.
With the GifCam for Windows you can not only do the things the above apps can, but also use some editing tools to crop the GIFs you are making, remove frames, add text onto the animation and more. The program stands somewhere midway between basic apps and the likes of GIMP or Photoshop.
If you don’t mind paying a few bucks for some snazzy features, consider Gifox for Mac to take advantage of options like looping control. One good free tool is LiceCap, which is easy to use and works on Windows or Mac. As you can see, lots of options to consider and choose from. Try a few and pick one that works best for you.
Capture GIFs from mobile or web video
Capturing something on your smartphone or tablet to turn into a GIF is a bit more involved. First of all you have to capture screen activity as a video, then transfer it to your computer.
When done, just use an application from the ones covered above to create a GIF from your video file.
In case you wanted to ceate some GIFs right on your smartphone from your camera or a screen recording, we could recommend DSCO, Giffer Pro or Giphy Cam for iOS or GIF Studio, Gif Creator and Footej Camera for Android. These are some of the quickest and most efficient mobile GIF apps we have found.
For making GIFs from online videos you simply need to play the video on the web, capture it using one of the apps we’ve mentioned above and turn the video clip you get into a GIF.
If the video you want turned into a GIF is on YouTube or Vimeo, you are in luck. There are some giffing tools, which can really simplify the process. Giphy (which we’ve already suggested above) works with Vimeo, YouTube and Vine, while Imgur Video to GIF creator supports even more websites. The process takes three easy steps: copy and paste the video URL, select your starting and ending points, add caption if you like and that’s it.
Hopefully, with this list you will find a tool that’s right for you and will start making GIFs for your social network pages in no time.
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