Let me start off by listing some basics
- The gif limit is 1mb, which is actually around 1025kb
- Never make a gif less than 500px wide
- Gifs should be fluid and not jumpy, keep enough frames to keep the animation fluid
- Always use Pattern
Alright, so I’m on a Mac so the applications I use are going to be different than a lot of other’s, keep that in mind. Google is your friend if you need to find the right video player.
First, you must download whatever it is you want to make gifs of. The higher the quality, the better it will look. Once it’s downloaded, load it up into whatever it is you’re going to watch it with. For MKV’s (which 99% of all high quality anime will be), I use MPlayer OSX Extended because it takes screenshots and saves them directly to the desktop, it’s really easy to use. Every other file type I use VLC, again because it takes screenshots and it’s easy to use.
Second, find the scene you want to make a gif of. Don’t choose some entire fucking scene that’s like 5 seconds long. Scene’s have a lot more screens than you realize. Stick with shorter scenes at first and once you get the hang of making gifs you can branch out. So, go to the beginning of the scene and go screen by screen taking screencaps. A good number is 18-25.
Third, load the screens into a photo editing software. I use Photoshop CS5 (go download that shit). If you’re trying to make good, quality gifs, then use a Photoshop, it’s best to work with and has the most options. To easily load the screens into Photoshop follow these steps
Click Load Files Into Stack and load up all of your screenshots. You’re going to want to make sure that “Animation” is clicked under the “Window” tab. Once the screens are loaded you’re going to click “Make Frames From Layers”
Once they’re all shown they normally load reversed so just click “Reverse Frames” in that same menu shown above.
Fourth, start editing the frames. Sometimes when taking screenshots MPlayer adds black lines to any side of the screenshot. Crop that shit out. It’s fucking ugly. If you crop one frame, it will crop the rest of them, so it’s easy. Just do it. DELETE ANY DUPLICATE FRAMES. If the animation is very close to each other, like if one frame is a dude’s hand and then the next frame is his hand moving an eighth of inch, delete those frames. They’re unneeded and will reduce the overall size of the gif. ALWAYS play your gif over and over again to see if it’s running smoothly. Like I said, delete unneeded frames, but DON”T delete too many. Keep your animation fluid and good looking. If you delete too many frames it looks ugly and spastic and jagged and no one will reblog an ugly gif (actually people will but no one will like you).
Fifth, save your gif. Once you think you’re done editing your gif then you’re going to go to “File” down to “Save For Web And Devices.” This window will pop up.
ALWAYS USE PATTERN FOR YOUR DITHER. When you’re editing your gif here you can change the colors one by one if you want, not just what is listed. ALWAYS PREVIEW YOUR TO MAKE SURE IT’S RUNNING SMOOTHLY AND LOOKS GOOD WITH THE COLORS. Remember, to limit is 1mb which is something like 1025kb. You can see from the gif above that it’s 1007kb. If the file size is really big, you may have to go back and delete frames. I always start with the very first frame and the very last, one frame cut from the beginning and end won’t matter all too much and it can considerably cut down the size.
Fifth, once you have your gif under 1mb and it looks good save it and upload it to Tumblr!
AND DON’T EVER WATERMARK YOUR GIF, IT’S FUCKING STUPID AND UGLY
Hope this helps everyone!
Tips when making gifs:
- keep the width at 500 pixels, no matter what. It looks MUCH nicer and will definitely get more notes.
- Get rid of extra frames, go through each frame and see if one is repeated or has very little movement, those frames are unnecessary and cause the file size to go up. Also, what I like to do, if it’s possible and will still look good, is go through and delete every other frame. It speeds up the animation and gets rid of frames.
- but at the same time, don’t take out too many frames, make sure the movement is fluid, not spastic and jumping around everywhere.
- when saving the gif this is what all my preferences are set at...
- obviously you can change the colors, even by one, you don’t have to use the ones they have listed.
- Pattern almost always looks better
- when you think you have it all finished always preview it to make sure it looks good, and the animation is fluid and everything
That’s pretty much it. If there’s anything else, let me know.