It wasn’t too long ago that GIFs were primarily Tumblr’s domain, and coming across a good one on the wild, wild internet was both a novelty and a source of great admiration – “how did they do that?!”.
Between the recent addition of Twitter’s ‘search for GIF’ function, the popularity of Vine, and Facebook’s move towards introducing video profile pictures, this is quickly becoming the most popular way of sharing social content and since it’s so easy to create your own, there’s no reason not to get involved.
You don’t have to download pricey apps to create a good GIF, which is what makes this format so great to experiment with.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
So let’s start off simple – GIFs don’t have to be videos, although videos do tend to produce the best result. In a nutshell, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, meaning it’s a sequence of images and that’s it.
To create any GIF, there are plenty of tools available, from Giphy and EZGIF to Gifmaker. Gifmaker in particular allows you to create your animation using only images, so it’s a great starting point if you’re new to the whole process. All you need to do is gather the images you want to animate, whether they’re sequential, completely unrelated or a progressive slideshow, and upload them to see your GIF come to life.
MAKING YOUR GIF GAME STRONGER
Creating GIFs doesn’t just have to be about static images though – you can use videos too! Giphy is the simplest tool to use, and it also allows you to upload YouTube, Vimeo or Vine links as well as your own videos – just click ‘create’, paste your video link in the box and your GIF is halfway to completion.
You’ll be taken to a simple editing page where you can experiment with where your GIF starts and how long you want it to play. You can even add a caption to your creation, making it an ideal means of selling a product, advertising a service, or even just sharing the quote you can’t get out of your head, complete with full visual representation.
And for an even quicker way of grabbing a GIF from a YouTube video, all you need to do is type ‘gif’ after the ‘www.’ in the URL.
From there, you’ll be taken to an in-YouTube GIF converter that will once again allow you to set a start time, choose a duration time and add a caption before you create your GIF, which can then be embedded or downloaded to share anyway you’d like.
Once you’ve mastered this stage, the next step is to play with the effects, cropping and optimisation tools on EZGIF and other sites. But for now, we’ve shown you the basics of how to create a GIF, so give it a try and share your creations with us.