The Requested Anime Gif Tutorial. (For Timeline Only)
This tutorial will cover the you need to make your own gifs. I’m using Photoshop Cs5 Extended, though this tutorial should work with those that have the timeline as well. I will not be covering how to make gifs that are not anime so if you are looking to gif real life humans, backgrounds, etc.. this probably wont help as much as it should. I will also not be covering how to get photoshop so just look around and you will definitely find one with a timeline
Use KMPlayer. If your not already using KMPlayer you are missing out on a lot. KMPlayer is a necessity for anime giffers and most top giffers will be using its built in sharpening feature. Load your vid you want to gif and open screen capture. (Press CTRL+G or right click and go to capture and then frame extract) Here we will be changing some settings. In your frame extraction screen copy these settings.
These are my settings I use when capturing my frames. The prefix can be anything just keep it small and the digits should be 1. I like to extract every 2 frames as anime has a lot of double frames that become a pain to remove otherwise. The main thing you should be focusing on though is the size to extract. I forgot to click specified size but that should be clicked and the size should be 540 or 500 if your still using old tumblr dimensions. MAKE SURE ITS ON SPECIFIED SIZE AND YOUR DIMENSIONS ARE 540x303 OR 500x281. The KMPlayer sharpening will not happen otherwise. Click start at the beginning of what you want to gif and click stop once you have gotten what you want to gif.
After you have extracted the frames you want to gif go ahead to where they got extracted and delete all the frames that are the same. This keeps your flow of the gif smooth and lowers the file size also.
Here are the frames before deleting all the double frames.
Here are the frames after deleting the double frames.
You can also rename them at this point, but I don’t always do that as the prefix usually does that for me. Ok now load your frames in Photoshop. Here’s how if you don’t know already
Go ahead and click your first frame, then scroll all the way down to your last frame and hold shift and click on the last frame. This should highlight all your frames.
Click OK and start loading your frames. Make sure you load them with these settings aswell.
Click OK and begin loading. This should really only take a minute or two unless you have a lot of frames (which I would not recommend beginners to attempt. Try keep most of your gifs 30 frames and under, I will explain why later.) After your frames are loaded your screen might look something like this
If this is the case just click on this little button right here.
That should turn it into this.
Go to this button
and click on make frames from layers. This should give you a screen something like this.
Ok from here go back to that button and click on reverse frames. When you first load your frames the frames are reversed so this makes it back to normal.
Go back to that button and the click on select all frames, go to this little arrow under the frames, click it and then click on other.
Change the timing to 0.09 this is the optimum speed gifs should go at imo. Making it any lower will be too fast and making it any higher will be too slow. I know the whole giffing community says the best speed is 0.13 but at that speed I find it hard to ignore the gifs stuttering. (This speed is different for graphic makers and 0.09 should mainly be used for normal gifs) Go ahead and play your gif to see if it is working fine or not and change the looping from once to forever if you have not done so already.
OK at this stage your gif should be finished (technically) however if you want your gif to look nice then go ahead and click on the timeline button again.
Click on the top pic in your frames and scroll down to the bottom frame and hold shift and click on the bottom frame to select all of them.
Right click on one of the frames and click convert to smart object. It should turn your frames into something like this.
From here we can sharpen our gifs and also colour them pretty easily. I recommend not using an action for sharpening as every anime is different and have different levels of sharpening involved. Click on filters, sharpen and then smart sharpen.
Change the sharpening to these settings
There is a reason I am not using 500 by 0.3 and that is because in my gifs I like to sharpen twice. First being between 200-350 on 0.3 and then the second sharpening layer 40-60 by 0.5 This makes the sharpening thicker and looks better imo but if you want to just use 500 by 0.3 knock your selves out. Ok here is the step a lot of people struggle with. DO NOT OVER SHARPEN YOUR GIF. I’ve seen gifs and made plenty of gifs myself where the sharpening is so much the a white line appears and makes the entire gif look ugly. If your gif is over sharpened and you can see a white line over the real line then lower the amount of sharpening you use until it is gone.
Here is how it should NOT look like
Here is how it SHOULD look like
Here is the original to compare.
Your smart object should look something like this now
If you only used 500 by 0.3 then there wont be another smart sharpen on top and there will only be one. This step is optional but I like to use surface blur on my gifs as it makes everything smoother and better looking. go to filters, blur and then at the bottom surface blur. Here are my surface blur settings
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR RADIUS 3 AND KEEP YOUR THRESHOLD BETWEEN 3-6. I’ve seen plenty of gifs where people use waaaaay too much surface blur which make the gif look too soft and A LOT of detail is lost if you put it too high.
OK here comes the hardest part of making and anime gif…. that is the colouring. Learning how to colour and make a certain scene look nice takes time and experience. You have to learn what enhances the right colours and what keeps the filesize and grain low. If you are starting out I HIGHLY recommend using PSDS made by other tumblr users and colouring your scenes with them. This lets you see what they used to make the gif look good and shows you what you could use later on when you are colouring gifs yourself. Slowly but surely you WILL learn how to colour by yourself and will not need the help of other PSDS. I mainly use PSDS made by myself so I know which PSD works with each different gif.
Here is the gif without colouring
Here is the gif with colouring.
Ok once you are done colouring your gif you are done! Congrats if you have made it this far, there is only a bit left to go.
Go to file and save for web and devices.
Here are my settings when making gifs MAKE SURE IT IS ON PATTERN. Pattern makes the gifs the best quality it can possibly be and looks much much better than diffusion, noise and no dither. I would advise staying away from them ESPECIALLY NO DITHER as it makes colours all over the screen. You should only switch between adaptive and selective also. Check to see which one gives the least amount of grain before saving your gif or if your gif is over the size limit then pick the only which makes the size go lower. Never turn transparency off as it also bloats the file size.
If your file size is 2mb or over 2mb (you can check here if it is)
(The filesize on this gif is 1.2mb) then you have the option to lower the colours of your gif. Just click on this button and click optimize to file size.
Write 1999 and click ok.
This will lower the colours of your gif and making it fit under 2mb. Although I would recommend NOT using this method until last resort as the gif becomes ugly sometimes. This is also why I said at the start to keep your frames under 30 as less frames = less filesize.
MAKE SURE YOUR LOOPING OPTION IS ON FOREVER. Theres nothing worse than making a good gif and making it only play once.
Play your gif and see if it is the way you want it to be and then click save. Voila! you are done and ready to upload your gif to Tumblr.
Hope this guide helped and encouraged people who didn’t know how to make gifs or people struggling and looking for advice make better looking gifs and learn different techniques. I hope to see plenty of great looking anime gifs in the future!
Thank you for reading,
If you have any questions then feel free to ask me Otoyomegatari