How do you make your GIFs?


How do you make your animated GIFs? I have a complicated system set up because of a few requirements:

  • Sourced from YouTube (mostly)
  • No watermark
  • Free

There are plenty of websites that let you convert snippets of YouTube videos to GIFs, but are either paid or they slap their watermark on the GIF. I've seen some How-to guides that use Photoshop, but I don't want to buy or pirate that.

Here is my (pretty complicated) setup, at the moment (adapted from here):

  • Download YouTube video via VLC (this is slow since the whole video is downloaded rather than the relevant bits)
  • use FFmpeg to convert from video to frames

Due to some errors I've encountered on my system (Win7 64bit), I've had to modify the procedure from here

c:\ffmpeg\ffmpeg.exe -i movie.mpeg  –ss 249 –t 3 img-%03d.png


-ss is the start time flag (seconds)
-t is the length flag (seconds)
-converting to .gif gives me an error, so I convert to .png

  • Open Gimp
  • Go to Open as layers
  • Select the frames I need and click open
  • Tweak images/timings
  • Save
  • Export gif
  • Check "As animation" checkbox
  • Delete the PNGs created earlier

A bit too complicated, methinks.