So I’ve had a few people ask me the past few days about making GIFs. This despite the fact that I’m no where near the best at it, lol. But I do know how to do it, so… yeah.
Thing is I’m weird. I use 3 programs to make my GIFs, and that goes up to 5 or 6 when you add in the programs I use to record video. :S
If you’ve got Adobe Photoshop, there are step-by-step tutorials on how to make GIFs using that program out there. Google is your best friend there. Personally I only use Photoshop for the finishing steps. I use an old (archaic) program called Animation Shop to do mine. So what I’m going to write here is less a program tutorial and more an overall “the process of” thing…
- Locate the Video source you want to use/record. This can be a DVD, a downloaded (torrent) file, or a Streaming Video (netflix or other streaming site).
- If you’re using DVD or a torrent file, your best bet is a program named FRAPS. It’s not free, but it’s worth it. FRAPS will record 90% of stuff on your screen. It’s only limitation is streaming video (netflix). For streaming video, go get Aimersoft Video Converter Ultimate (and within it is Aimersoft Video Recorder, which is what you’ll actually use).
- Find the scene/moment you want and start recording a few seconds before / let it record a few seconds after.
- If you’ve got FRAPS (you likely should) you can then re-record the streaming version (it solves some file extension issues) - also with fraps, leave the frame rate alone typically, and record at half-size when you can. Most GIFs you’ll make will be smaller (I keep mine 250x190) so it’ll help w/loading and CPU issues.
- Once you’ve got the video of whatever you’re wanting to GIF, open it in whichever program you’re using to turn the video to a GIF. For most this’ll be Photoshop. For me, Animation Shop.
- At this point if you’re using Photoshop, find a step-by-step tutorial, it’ll help you more than me. As I said I only use it for the last steps.
- Whatever you’re using this is where you’ll edit the video to the scene you want, crop it to the size you want, reduce the frames, toy with colors and sizes, so on and so forth. Adding text as well.
- Remember Tumblr needs under 1mb for file size and that pixel size (remember 250x190) can muck things up too. Some people say Tumblr can take over 1mb gifs - I’ve never found this to work, so I keep them under 1mb.
- Don’t be afraid to make edits/cuts of a scene. Sometimes the set doesn’t need a specific reaction from someone’s face, or a line of dialogue. Cutting such can help you fit the scene into format and/or show more of the scene. Example: http://frontier001.tumblr.com/post/57097812034 - With the Tom/B’Elanna gifs, I cut out B’Elanna saying “say something” and with Adama/Roslin I cut out their hug ending and Adama stepping back. Because such wasn’t needed/broke things up. With http://frontier001.tumblr.com/post/56273999818 I cut one line from Janeway and Seven where she asked if the link was stable and Seven replied in the affirmative; because it wasn’t needed and it would have cut the last bit w/B’Elanna’s approval out.
I know that all sounds like a lot. It is and it isn’t. Anything new is intimidating. Once you do it once or twice, it’s not. And once you do it a few times, it’s easy and second nature and you even begin to see how to cut a scene into a GIF set when watching the episode! LOL.
I’m happy to answer any questions I can, and for those of you using the multitude of programs like I am, I’m here if you need me. :D