i had to keep them under 1 mb and that was not easy

How to make gifs.

Okay, doing this because lot of people asked me this lately.

What you need:

  • a video (can be a DVD or a downloaded movie, doesn’t matter)
  • VLC media player
  • Photoshop (I use cs5) (downloads)

I’m going to make this gif:


Open the video of which you want to make a gif in VLC player (VLC player automaticly opens when you put a DVD in your computer). scroll to the point that you want to gif using this thingy:

Now, we are going to slow the video down (because we want to cap all the frames). For that I use the shortkeys ’[’ for slower and ’]’ for faster. For the Hobbit I usualy use the speed 0.10 because it’s HFR (other movies I use like 0.30). You can change the shortkeys as you want in ‘preferences’. It’s under 'extras’. 

Then, go to 'shortkeys’

Mine’s in Dutch but it looks the same. Now look (also in shortkeys) for the action 'take video snapshot’ (videomomentopname maken). For me the shortkey is 'x’

You can change the shortkey by doubleclicking on it and pressing the key you want. I choose for 'x’ because it’s an easy one xD. Okay, when you’ve done that click 'save’. You only have to do this the first time, now it’s saved you can skip this part in the future. Next, back to the video. Before you press play, make sure to slow it down using ’[’, then press play and keep holding down the 'x’ key during your gif moment. All screenshots will be automaticly saved in “my images”.

Actually making the gif:

Open photoshop. Go to file -> scripts -> load files into stack.

(this one is in English yay!). Click browse, select the screencaps you’ve just made (using shift if you’re on Windows). Then click 'OK’

Now Photoshop is going to load the layers. This may take a while depending on how many screencaps you’ve loaded and how big the video file is (the Hobbit version I have is 1920 x 800, which is about as big as it gets). When Photoshop is done, select this thingy in the bottom right corner (make sure you have the animation window on, see the menu 'windows’).

Then select “make frames from layers”. And after that select “reverse frames” (because photoshop loads the files backwards idk why).

That’s it! You’ve made a gif.


This gif tho, is not Tumblr ready. If you want to make a big gif, change the size to 500px. Gifs for photosets with two gifs next to each other 245 px and for three gifs: 160 px. Image -> image size. Before you do this you can crop the gif if you want using the crop tool that is selected in the picture below.

Change the width to 500 px and click 'ok’.

Now propably, the gif is waaaaaaaaaaaay to fast. Change the speed to something reasonable (I often use 0.1 sec) by selecting all frames (!) and then clicking on this arrow:

Then select 0.1 seconds or click other to enter your own speed (like 0.07 or something). Now adding a PSD. You can make them yourself or download them. I usually use those I’ve made in the past because I’m lazy also I’ve found that the PSD I made really fits with the bag end scenes. So I’ll just open one of the gifs I’ve made before in a new window.Then I select the “make-your-gif-nice-thingies” and drag them to my new gif.

Now, we’re going to add the text. Simply select the text tool, click on the gif and type. 

You can change the font and fontsize in the left top corner and when the text tool is selected you can drag your text to whatever place you want it to be. Now we have the problem that it’s not readable in every frame so: right mouse click on the text layer -> blending options -> select stroke.

I usually use these settings:

Click “OK”. Make sure you do this for every frame. Now I add the watermark (also using the text tool). This gif is still too big for tumblr (it’s 30 frames now). We have to make sure the gif is under 1 MB (damn you upload limit) (you can check this by going to file -> save for web and devices).

The gif is 1.184 mb and we still have to sharpen it! So I’m going to delete half of the frames alternately. (we can do this because we took screencaps at 0.10). (I just hold down ctrl and select frame 1,3,5 etc). Deleting half the frames makes the gif twice as fast! So now I need to change the delay to 0.15. Now I’m going to sharpen it (so it looks nice ok). Select the first frame and the layer that goes with it -> go to filter -> sharpen -> sharpen.

As you can see first frame and layer are selected, oh and btw: the blue circle shows the delete button that I used in the previous step. Now, you can select the second frame and layer and press ctrl + f (this repeats the sharpening action). Keep doing this untill you’ve had all frames. aaaaaaand you’re done! Go to file -> save for web and devices.

As you can see it’s under 1 MB and can now be uploaded to tumblr! Make sure the looping options are on 'forever’ otherwise it will only move once. Click 'save’ and name it whatever the hell you want. and tadaa!