How to Make an Animated GIF (for Mac&PC users)

This is a tutorial for all you Mac users (and PC users) who want to make an animated GIF for your blog, website, tumblr, etc. (Remember that post about why I was pulling out my hair trying to figure it out?) There are various tutorials for PC users, but not a lot of Mac OS X users. Well, this tutorial is perfect for both Mac and PC users. I wrote this for Mac users, but I’m sure it’s easily translatable for PC users.

The program I use is MPEG Streamclip. It’s available for both Mac and PC. It’s free and it’s simple to use. That’s why I chose it. It’s available for Mac users here.

PART ONE: Exporting your video into “frames”

Step 1: Download and open MPEG Streamclip

Step 2: Open the video that you want to make into a GIF. I’ve been using MP4 files and I’ve found out that it doesn’t work well with FLV (though I heard that it can with an extension) and for some reason it hates most AVI files. However, as a Mac user you can open the AVI file in iMovie and then just resave it as another format. 😀 If you’re a PC user, go convert the thing or try KMPlayer.

Step 3: Find the sequence that you want to create into the GIF. Find the beginning of it and go to Edit > Select In. Then find the end of it and go to Edit > Select Out. Tip: use your left and right arrow keys to browse the video frame by frame so that you get exactly what you want.

Step 4: Trim and then verify that you have the right sequence (by playing it once through). Don’t worry, this won’t alter your original video file.

Step 5: Export at JPEG. Go to File > Export to Other Formats.
Verify the In and Out once again before you do this.

Step 6: Copy the settings in this picture. The most important setting is the one highlighted in red at the top (IMAGE SEQUENCE). Then go ahead and click Options and follow the settings there. Then click Okay and Okay.

Choose your image format. I always use JPEG.
Our eyes see at something like 30 frames per second, but the more frames you have the smoother the GIF animation will be. So choose something decent. I usually use 8 and I find that works okay. 10 is smoother. 12 is even smoother. etc.

Step 7: Choose somewhere for the program to save the images. I suggest creating a folder on your desktop to store the images (I use a folder called GIF). Once you’ve selected the folder that you want and clicked Save, let the program do its work.

Step 8: Close MPEG Streamclip. Verify that the frames exported by opening the file folder and checking that the ‘frames’ have exported.

You’re done with part 1!

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One thought on “How to Make an Animated GIF (for Mac&PC users)

  1. Pingback: Animated GIFs | ~{(Ohmo?)}~

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