Learn How To Make a GIF With Our Step-to-Step Guide

May 4, 2017

You must have noticed that GIF images have become very popular over the last couple of years. Lots of GIFs are being shared on the social media platforms these days. GIFs are animated images that look like a small video when played back. But, they are very different from videos.

GIF is small in size and does not force you to use a browser plugin. You can easily share it on all the social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But, how do you create a GIF image? These animated images can be created from a video or from a series of images. We will learn how to make a GIF in this article. Keep reading!

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GIF from a Video Using Photoshop

Yes! Arguably the best photo editing tool also lets you create GIFs. And it is incredibly easy. The very first thing you need to do is choose a video from which you wish to make a GIF file. You could use any video saved on your hard drive or download one from internet. You can also download videos from YouTube with the help of one of the many free online converter tools. But, mind the licenses and copyrights.

You will need to trim the video. 2 to 3 second videos are recommended for GIF. If the video size is big, the GIF will be big too and not suited for sharing and uploading online. There are plenty of free and basic video editing tools that allow you to quickly trim any video. Take out the segment of the video which you wish to convert to GIF. If you don’t want to use a video editor, you can use Photoshop to select particular frames. But, a large video file will take a very long time to import.

Once you have the video ready, follow these simple steps to create GIF:

  1. Launch Adobe Photoshop
  2. Click File menu on the top
  3. Select Import
  4. Choose Video Frames to Layers. This will convert your video file into a series of image frames
  5. Choose the desired frames you wish to convert to GIF
  6. Make sure that ‘Make Frame Animation’ is checked
  7. Click OK
  8. Click File menu again and choose ‘Save for Web’
  9. On the main screen, you can adjust the quality. Here are some points to remember:
    1. The better looking GIFs will also be heavier
    2. Keep the colours high to make the GIF resemble a video. But, if you need to reduce the file size, you can reduce the colour setting too. We would recommend keeping it at 256
    3. Dither at 100% will yield a good looking GIF. By lowering it you can reduce the file size and also reduce the quality
    4. If you are not sure how to go about it, it is best to leave the settings at their default values
  10. Now click ‘Save’ at the bottom

This is it! You have successfully created a GIF from a video using Photoshop.

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GIF from Videos using Free Online Tools

Photoshop is an expensive application for many. Buying Photoshop only to create GIF images does not make a lot of sense. This is why it is a good idea to use a free online GIF tool. Thankfully, there are plenty of them and some of them are really good. In this section, we will use the online tool https://imgflip.com

You can pick any other similar website. The steps outlined below are more or less the same across all such sites. We like imgflip.com because it lets you make GIF directly from YouTube videos.

Visit the website https://imgflip.com and click ‘Make a GIF’ on the right sidebar. Select ‘Video to GIF’ tab.

Here you can provide the video link from YouTube and other video portals. You can also upload the videos saved on your hard drive.

Note: The free service lets you create GIF from videos of up to 35 MB size. If you want to access larger videos, you will need to buy Imgflip Pro on this site. The free version also adds the Imgflip watermark to every GIF

Here are the steps to make GIF from video portals:

  1. Enter the URL of the YouTube video. The site will check the link and after a few seconds load the editing tool.
  2. The editing tool allows you to select the width of the GIF, duration of GIF, add text, and also crop the GIF image. You can also add titles and tags.
  3. You can preview the video on the right. Under the video preview, there is a green and red slider to select the start and end of the GIF respectively.
  4. Once you have made the necessary changes, you can click ‘Generate GIF.’
  5. You will have your GIF within a few seconds.

If you need to create GIF from a video on your hard disk, click ‘Upload Video’ button. This site supports a wide range of popular video formats including avi, flv, mp4, mov, wmv, mpeg, 3gp, and many more. Once you have uploaded the video, the same steps as above can be used to create GIF.

GIF from Multiple Images using Online Tools

You don’t necessarily rely on a video to create GIF. You can use series of images and convert them into a creative GIF. There are many free online tools you can use. In fact, Imgflip.com also lets you create GIF from images. The online tools support various popular image formats including JPEG, PNG and GIF.

Here are the steps to create GIF images on most sites:

  1. Upload the Images: You need to click on the ‘Upload’ button to upload the images you wish to convert into GIF. Most GIF maker sites allow you to upload as many images as you want. You can also edit a GIF and add more images to it
  2. Organize and Arrange: Once you have the images, you will want them to appear in GIF in a particular order. Online GIF tools allow you to arrange the images in the same order in which you wish them to appear. By default the images are organized alphabetically
  3. Settings & Adjustment: The online tools also offer you many options to change the quality and size of the GIF. You can also choose the duration for which a particular image will appear in the GIF playback.

Once you have generated the GIF image, you can download it on your computer. You can also share the image directly using the link.

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Conclusion

GIF images are easy to use and share. They can be created using lossless compression. This is why they can be quite small in size and offer acceptable quality. GIF is more popular than ever before. Thanks to the free online tools, it is also now very easy to create a GIF animation. Whether it is a video or set of images, you can quickly generate GIF images.

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