How To Create Awesome Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs may not be a new digital trend as they have been around since 1987, but they are on the rise as they seem to have pervaded everything from popular culture to news to marketing campaigns. Anyone browsing the web will most definitely run into funny animated animal images, video clips of celebrities with funny quotes and jaw-dropping moments caught on tape. Some things do look better in motion. Think of an animated GIF as a hybrid between a still image and a video. They are soundless micro video clips that loop without a play button. In fact, GIFs have evolved into something of an art now because of their ability to convey emotion and information in an entertaining way. No wonder GIFs have become one of the most widely shared image formats via social network sites, messaging applications, and even text messages.

What Is A GIF?

A GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, which is essentially a digital image format that supports both static and animated images. You can create GIFs from a series of images that run on a loop, which makes it seem like a moving image. It is possible to create the images separately and then combine them together into the GIF.

GIF also lets you play a short video clip stripped of sound, in a far more condensed image format.

The trick to an eye-catching GIF is to create a dynamic visual that matches the mood of the message. The best thing about GIFs is that with a few minutes to spare, you can easily create an amazing animated GIF.

How To Create An Animated GIF In Photoshop

Most designers prefer using Photoshop for making their own GIFs. Learn how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop in just one-minute with this video tutorial from Adobe.

Sites and Software Tools to Create Animated GIFs

Create Animated GIFs With Image

There are tons of free online software tools available that allow users to create a GIF by customizing picture size and GIF speed. Check out Gickr, Makeagif, or GIPHY GIF Maker (free).

You can even produce a GIF using free software, such as The GIMP or Pixlr and Unfreez by simply selecting your images in their desired order of appearance and specifying the frame rate you’d like to apply. Then you can save your image using the .gif extension.

Create Animated GIFs With Video

You can create GIFs from video clips in Bloggif, ImgFlip and Gifsoup, either by importing videos or even from a YouTube URL. You can also use programs like Format Factory or QGifer to create video GIFs.  You will need to import or enter the URL of the desired video, set the beginning and end of your sequence, and then toggle your size, color, and loop option settings before clicking ‘Save.’

Experiment With Animated GIFs

For more complex GIFs, After Effects is the preferred choice of designers because it allows greater control over movement and timing functions. Check out the GIF making masterclass by James Curran.

GIFs resonate with many people because they are easy to consume and are a fun way to communicate. Animated GIFs have immense potential as they are limited only by your own imagination. Get creating and implementing GIFs!