michele (miss_mishi) wrote,


This is for Liz. Special thanks to Evey, because even though she totally forgot, she's the one who taught me how to make gifs in the first place.

Today we're going to learn how to make gifs! Aren't you excited? hint: say yes.

Anyway, if you do it right, your end result should look something like this:

Step 1
This one's an easy one. Acquire the movie or clip you want to make a gif from. I'm not going to tell you how to acquire the movie because it may or may not be legal, but if you want to download a clip off youtube, there's this great site, zamzar.com, which lets you turn youtube vids into videos or mp3s.

Anyway, as you can see above, I'm going to go with the desmond/penny kiss at the end of episode 414 of Lost "There's No Place Like Home: Part 2". I have the episode on my computer, but if you need the clip, you can find it here.

Step 2
Download the VLC Player. Yes, I know, I know, you probably already have a player you use to play videos, but you need the VLC player for my method of making gifs.

Step 3
Download the adobe photoshop and imageready free trial. It's only a 30 day trial, but you do need adobe imageready and photoshop to make gifs the way I make gifs.

Step 4
Open VLC player and go to tools --> preferences

In preferences go to Hotkeys --> Take a video snapshot --> set. I always set mine as s, but it doesn't matter what you set yours as, just make sure it's only one key. It has to be one key, it can't be ctrl+ something or alt+ something.

Next go to video --> video snapshots, and pick a directory for your snapshots to go in. I made a folder in my pictures and labeled it "gifs" and I put my snapshots there.

Once you've picked your key and your directory, make sure you press save.

Step 5
Now it's finally time to start the actual process of making a gif! [tip: I'd make sure your computer is set to be working at it's highest performance as this step takes up a lot of memory, or um, whatever you call it. suffice to say when my computer is set on power saver, this doesn't work properly].

First things first, open the video or clip and locate where in the video or clip you want your gif to start. I want mine to start at 1:12:26 but I'm going to start taking video screenshots a few seconds earlier to make sure I get the whole thing in. Taking screenshots is very easy, just hold down the key you assigned screenshots to, so for me, that's s, until the end of the clip you want your gif to be. Now the less time the better with gifs because long gifs sometimes run slower and can be glitchier, but I have a feeling this is going to be a long one.

^what VLC player looks like for me when it's taking screenshots.

Step 6
Now that you've taken your screenshots, make sure that they are in a folder where they are the only things in it. Usually I make another folder in my gifs folder for my new gif. I'll call this one "despenkiss".

Step 7
Next, open up ImageReady (If you have CS3 or 4 where Imageready and Photoshop are combined, skip to step 7.5). Then go to file --> import --> folder as frames and select the folder that you put your screenshots in.

Step 7.5
Import > Folder as Frames
In Photoshop CS3/4, do the following steps:

a. Select File > Scripts > Load files into Stack.
b. In the Load Layers dialog box, select Folder from the Use menu. Browse to the folder that contains the images you want to include and click OK.
c. Select Make Frames from Layers in the Animation palette menu.
(many thanks to vesteves40 for this update :D)

Step 8
Time to see what your gif looks like! Press the play bottom in the animation box to see what it looks like

If you think it's too long, you can delete frames by selecting the ones you want to delete (click the earliest frame, press shift, then click the latest frames of the ones you want to delete. For example I don't need frames 1-4 so I click 1, press shift, then click 4) and then pressing the little trash can.

Once you've gotten your gif to be the length you want it to be, you can move on!

Now if you like the size and lighting of your gif and you don't want to add text or anything, you can skip ahead to step 10. If you want to do any of the aforementioned things (or anything else that requires editing in photoshop), go to step 9.

Step 9
My gif is too big and it's also really dark since it's a night scene so I think I'm going to fix that! Now on PCs, in order to move your file to photoshop, you have to do ctrl+shift+m, I don't know how to do it on macs but I'm assuming it's similar. In any case you can go to file --> edit in photoshop and that will do it for you.

Now I'm going to crop my gif to 350x200 pixels because that's the size I like them, you can make yours whatever size you like. Then I'm going to add a curve filter because it adjusts the lighting. When you're done editing, move your file back into imageready using the same code as before (ctrl+shift+m). If you get an error message about your file being bigger than the recommended size (that's what she said?) don't worry about it, just click yes or ok and keep going.

Step 10
Now I'd check your animation one more time to make sure everything's running smoothly. Everything is for me, so it's time to save it as a gif! If you attempt to do save+as, you'll notice there's no save+as .gif option. But do not despair! There is a way! Either do ctrl+alt+p or file-->preview in--->internet explorer (that should be the default, if you want to putz around and have it be firefox or opera or whatever you use, that's fine, but it doesn't really matter)

Then right click --> save picture as and save it as whatever you want (I'm saving mine as despenkiss) wherever you want.

Step 11
You did it! Now you have a gif saved on your computer! Time to upload it and use it!

Great job!

Oh and one last tip, I'd delete the png images you used to make the gif. They're really high quality so they take up a LOT of space. Just make sure you don't delete your gif by accident!
Tags: gif, tutorial
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