The Quick Guide On How To Make A GIF


If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, you’ve probably seen a GIF at some point. 

These moving images are all over blogs, forums, comment sections, and even direct messages. Some businesses have even begun to use GIFs in their advertising! 

Do you want to reap the benefits of this unique image format? 

via GIPHY

Not every GIF has animation, but the vast majority of them do.

A Brief History Of The GIF 

The GIF was invented in 1987 by Steve Wilhite. Before they would receive the name we know them by today, they were known as “87a” files. 

The first GIF files were often still images, and the ones that did move usually didn’t loop like the GIFs we typically see online today. GIFs only grew in popularity as the internet expanded, and by 1996, GIFs such as the famous “Dancing Baby” had gone viral

via GIPHY

Why GIFs Are Effective 

A well-made GIF is a great way to engage an audience. 

Moving images are more likely to catch a user’s eye than a still one, mainly when GIF creators apply graphic design techniques and follow the latest graphic design trends to create eye-catching designs. 

via GIPHY

Including a funny or otherwise memorable GIF on your page can help your user base remember your content. Many internet users tend to save GIFs that they find amusing. Once someone downloads your GIF, they’ll be more likely to remember your content in the long run. 

When browsing a website, many people don’t bother to press the play button on a video. 

And if a video plays automatically, many people will become annoyed and close out of the page. On the other hand, GIFs can display the same content as a video without the need to click play or the nuisance of unexpected audio. 

A well-made GIF can make your content look lively, too. 

Anyone can make a static image, but including a GIF of your own shows that you’re willing to put a little more effort into your content. 

Most importantly, making GIFs doesn’t cost any money. Some people pay for high-tech GIF-making programs, but they aren’t necessary. All you need to make a GIF is a computer and a little bit of time.

How To Make A GIF 

Want to make a GIF of your own? 

Here is everything you need to know. 

What To Consider Before You Start 

Before you start making your GIF, you’ll want to consider a few factors. 

  • What kind of emotion or message do you want your GIF to convey? If you’re making something for your business’s website, you’ll want to go with something professional. Or, if you’re looking to lighten up a blog post, you could go with a more silly GIF. 
  • GIFs can be made from scratch but will require training and resources to make a good one.
  • Are you planning to make a GIF using an already existing video? Remember to get permission where needed and provide credit where it’s due when making GIFs of other people’s videos. 
  • Consider whether your GIF would benefit from some text. Sometimes text can enhance the effect of a GIF, while other times it looks redundant. 

Get Inspired 

To understand what makes a good GIF, you’ll want to find some inspiration. Fortunately, the internet is full of GIFs, so finding good ones to draw inspiration from shouldn’t be hard at all. 

One website you can use to browse GIFs is GIPHY. You can browse by category or even search a keyword if there is something specific you’re looking for. You can also find plenty of GIFs on Reddit. r/GIF is an internet forum specifically intended for sharing GIFs. 

Another popular website to find GIFs is Tumblr. Their designated GIF tag can show you the most popular ones on the website at the moment. 

Once you have some inspiration, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step. 

Get The Copy Right 

If you want to add text to your GIF, make sure you think it through beforehand. 

Try not to add text that’s too redundant or doesn’t add anything. If you do add text, be sure to keep it short and snappy. Finally, if you add a watermark, keep it visible but subtle. 

Ways To Make A GIF 

There are a few different ways to go about making a GIF. Consider which method is best for you before getting started. 

  • The slideshow method. This method is one of the easiest. It’s best for tutorials or displaying a series of products or artwork. 
  • The trimming method. If there’s a short clip from a TV show or a viral video that you’d like to have in an image format, you can turn it into a GIF. 
  • The animation method. If you’re an artist, you can make an animated GIF out of your own drawings. 

Remember The Loop Format 

While older GIFs often lacked this feature, nearly all GIFs on the modern internet will loop nonstop. 

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via GIPHY

A perfectly smooth loop is not necessary, but you still want to avoid something that looks choppy. If possible, try to make the transition between loops seamless. 

Remember, looping is what makes a GIF a GIF. Otherwise, it’s just a short video without audio

Tools For Creating GIFs 

Now you’re ready to get started! Here are three tools you can use to make GIFs for free

Filmora 

This software can allow you to make GIFs with ease. It will also allow you to add text and filters! Unlike many free GIF makers, it doesn’t add a tacky watermark to the finished image. 

ScreenToGif 

You can use this unique GIF tool to record your screen and make a GIF out of it! This option is excellent for tutorials or showing your art process. It’s super easy to use, too. 

MakeAGif 

With this website, you can make and store all of your GIFs for easy access. Out of all the options on this list, this one is the quickest. You can create GIFs directly from YouTube videos, Facebook videos, webcam recordings, and much more. 

Vectornator 

You can create cool illustrations, vector shapes, scenes, and backdrops in Vectornator to really customize your GIFs with your brand’s color palette. Later, these creations can be exported in Adobe Illustrator format and imported into your favorite animation editor app, for example Adobe character animator or
Animation Desk.

File Formats And Size 

There are two file formats for GIFs: 

  • 87a (the original)
  • 89a (the newer version)

You will usually want a GIF with the 89a format. These tend to be of higher quality and allow a transparent background. 

You’ll want to make sure your GIF is the right size, too. If you make it too small, it may appear stretched when you upload it. On the other hand, if it’s too big, it’ll slow down your computer. 

Try to keep your GIFs under 5 MB. 

Share, Share, Share 

Once you’re finished, don’t keep your creation all to yourself — GIFs are made for sharing online! 

You can post your GIF on a site like GIPHY, Tumblr, Reddit, or other social media. To make sure your content reaches a wider audience, always remember to add plenty of relevant tags

You can even share your GIFs with your friends on social media and direct messaging for a more direct approach! 

How To Use A GIF 

GIFs can be used online in several different ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Showcase a product. GIFs are an excellent way to liven up your website or social media page if you run a small business. Make some high-quality GIFs of someone using your product to help people know what your business has to offer. 
  • Enhance your blog. A couple of high-quality GIFs are a great way to space out blocks of text and keep your readers engaged. 
  • Communicate with your friends and colleagues. Adding fitting animated GIFs to your direct messages or emails can make any conversation a little more interesting. 
  • Express yourself online. Sometimes it’s hard to put your feelings into words, but the right GIF can get your feelings across! Use GIFs in message boards, comment sections, Tweets, or Facebook statuses. 
  • Explain a process. If you’re planning to make an online tutorial, using a series of GIFs can help your readers better understand the process. 
  • Show off your skills. As mentioned before, people are more likely to watch a GIF than to click on a video. You can use GIFs to show off your artistic talent, cooking hacks, or any other skills that you’d like to share with the world. 
  • Make a preview for your content. If you have a short film that you’re trying to get out there, you can make a brief snippet into a GIF to get viewers hooked. 

Over to you

As the internet becomes more advanced, GIFs become a more useful and valuable medium every day. From meme message boards to professional journalism, it’s impossible to browse the internet without coming across these animated images. 

This file format’s impact on the internet is simply immeasurable. Knowing how to utilize the GIF will help you experience the web to its full potential! 

 

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Author Bio –

Yash Chawlani is a Freelance Content Marketing Strategist who is known by his personal brand Merlin. He specializes in SEO and Social Media and helps B2B and SaaS companies out there with his top-notch content strategies. In his spare time, you can either find him in the gym or on the football field. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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