beepp beep guide incoming. Note that I use all free programs so anyone can do this!
STEP 1 - GETTING THE VIDEOS: get the files… yea
STEP 2 - DOWNLOADING KMPLAYER & EXTRACTING FRAMES: Download and install KMPlayer. Open your video in KMPlayer and go to the moment where you want to make a gif. Right click on the video > Capture > Frame: Extract. Then a menu with a bunch of settings pops up. These are my settings. Sometimes I change from continuous to “in 1 second 12 frames” so I don’t get a bunch of duplicate shots. The default folder for these pictures to save is C:/KMPlayer/Capture. Go in and delete the frames you don’t want to use.
STEP 3 - DOWNLOADING GIMP: Download and install GIMP. I have PhotoShop, but for some reason since I learned making gifs in GIMP it’s what I prefer. You may not and that’s totally okay.
STEP 4 - INDISPENSABLE PLUGINS:Download and install GAP (Gimp Animation Package). There’s an installer that comes with the file you download. This plugin makes editing a ton easier so you don’t have to apply the same filter to every single layer.
STEP 5 - IMPORT THE FRAMES: Your setup is complete! Open up gimp and go to File > Open as Layers, then navigate to that C:/KMPlayer/Capture folder and select your files. NOTE: Sort the files by name, ascending (that is with the arrow up). Otherwise they will not be in order. Click open and all your files will be opened. Resize the image (image > Scale Image) to whatever width you like. The full dashboard is 540 pixels wide. This helps a lot.
STEP 6 - MAKE IT PRETTY: Do whatever you like here! The effects I use most are Color > Hue/Saturation and Color > Levels. Mess around with the values and once you find one you’re happy with, write down the numbers but don’t apply the filter. Because we installed GAP, you can go into Filters > Filter all layers (close to bottom of list) and use the menu to apply a filter to all the layers in one fell swoop. The menu is kind of confusing, so you have to get used to what means what. Use plug-in-wr-color-levels for the Color > Levels, and plug-in-wr-huesat for Hue/Saturation. Then choose Apply Constant, and input those values. It will work away through each layer.
STEP 7 - TEXT AND OVERLAYS: If you want to overlay text on your gif or other overlays, then all you have to do is make a separate layer with your text or whatever you like. Put the layer at the very bottom, behind all the other layers, then go to Video > Utils > Combine Layers With BG. The layer on the bottom will overlay each layer in the file. Make sure to delete the original overlay layer before you move on, though.
STEP 8 - BLURRING AND SHARPENING: This portion is what helps make gifs look crisp and clear. Using the Filter All Layers tool we discussed earlier, apply plug-in-sel-gauss (about 2/3 the way down the list). Generally I use a Blur radius of 15-20 and Max. delta of 6-8 (otherwise it starts to get blurry). This filter takes a while. What this does is blurs areas with similar colors, reducing noise. Then just use Filter All Layers and sharpen the layers. You can use whatever value you like.
STEP 9 - INDEXED COLORS: Make sure you’re happy with the way the gif looks before this step. After this, you can’t change it easily..gifs are a pretty old file format so it has only 255 colors per image that it can use, maximum. To avoid color banding (ugly), go to Image > Mode > Indexed. Set it to Generate optimum palate with maximum colors set to 255. Under Dithering, Select “Positioned” in the drop down menu next to Color Dithering. This is very important. indexing the colors will take a bit.
STEP 10 - WRAPPING IT UP: Now Tumblr has a size limit of 2MB for pictures, so it’ll take some trial and error to get the gif under that size limit. My first gif i had waaay too many layers. To help with size, go to Filters > Animation > Optimize (for GIF). This will take a while but basically it means that if a layer after another layer has the same pixels at the same points, it will erase those pixels rather than overwriting them needlessly with the same exact thing. Try cropping your gif to different heights and combining layers to make the gif smaller. gifs with a lot of motion in them are naturally going to have a bigger file size.
STEP 11 - EXPORTING: To export, go to File > Export As and change the file extension to .gif. Lots of options here so I’ll tell you what they mean:
Interlace: there’s no reason you’d need to turn this on, it’s outdated and obsolete. Just leave it off!
GIF comment: also not important
As animation: you must check this box or else it won’t work at all.
Loop forever: self-explanatory, do you want the gif to loop or not?
Delay between frames where unspecified: Leave this at 100 most of the time unless you have a higher frame rate. That gets pretty complicated, but if you gifs are looking really slow, try using smaller values for this and checking “Use delay entered above for all frames”
Frame disposal where unspecified: leave this as I don’t care 99% of the time.
Use disposal entered above for all frames: unchecked, unless you want frames to replace the previous ones rather than combining (which you don’t)
Hit export! Yay! If the file is more than 2 MB (2000 KB) then go back to step 10 and keep trying until you get it under.
STEP 12 - POSTING: post it and get famous, then maybe one day people will ask you how to make gifs, just like I did with my tumblr senpai people
Thanks for the question and I hope you make many many beautiful gifs
I just learned that Tumblr now allows a filesize of up to 2MB for GIFs 400x400 and smaller. That’s kind of life-changing, since I’ve been struggling to get many of my 480x480 GIFs in at under 1MB, so I’ll be happy to reduce my image sizes in exchange to more than double the image quality or number of frames in the animation. So 400x400 is going to be my new size for a while. Though… perhaps 360x360 would be cool because it’s one of those resolutions that I prefer for some reason, which still fits into the 400x400 bracket… but I’ll have to play with it and make my mind up in a little while.
Also, I think I’m going to go back to posting a lot more things in more of an “in progress but it’s cool enough to post” state. Why? Because when I go back over some of my older stuff, I find it really awesome to kind of see the evolution of a design. I don’t know though - What do you think about seeing me posting stuff which is less polished, but you get to see the designs evolving?