Introduction: How to Make a Animated GIF Out of a Video File Using Only Freeware
for those of you who dont know a GIF is the most commonly used image format supporting multiple frames in a slidshow or animation. in other words you can put short videos where normally only images go.
I have wanted to make a GIF out of videos clips many times and have struggled with finding a way to do so without buying software (which i seem to have subconsciously promised myself never to do.). i thought i would share this chain of programs with the instructable community, somebody has to be as cheap as me.
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Step 1: Install Software
your going to need either Linux or Windows XP or Vista in order for this to work. gimp does not support Mac OS.
what were going to do to accomplish this task is first break down an AVI files frames into JPGs. then turn the JPGs into the frames of the GIF.
Video editor. if your using a pc your going to have windows movie maker already installed. if your using linux chances are you have the knowhow to at least find a decent video editing software if you don't already know how to do this whole process already. you might not need this program if you have a already trimmed AVI file.
Light saber maker
as you can deduce this program is for editing light saber effects into video files. as you can probably also deduce this is not what we are using it for. believe it or not this is the only stable (for the most part) freeware i could find that could separate an AVI files frames into images (for our needs, JPGs.).
Newest GIMP version
for combining your JPGs into one GIF.
your going to want to make a new folder to contain your project in. create a new folder in your Pictures folder or My Pictures folder .
Step 2: Edit You Video File
if, as previously mentioned, you are happy with the state of you AVI file, you can skip this step.
because the nuances and bugs of WMM (Windows Movie Maker) are many, im going to use the well used technique of the lazy instructable writer, and leave you with someone elses tutorial so i dont have to write my own. Tutorial . all you gotta know is the end result has to be a AVI file. save it in you new project folder.
Step 3: Convert Avi to Jpgs
go ahead and open up LSMaker. you will be greeted with the language selector, click ok. you should now see the screen below.
click import. once the import dialog has open you will want to browse for your file, then click the 2nd option in the "Video Import Method" box, or DirectShow (for some reason WMM exports to some strange variant of the DVI file and standard settings don't work). this is the point you usually use the software for video editing, were going to skip that step and instead export what you have imported to JPGs, as shown below. the next dialog will ask you for quality, say 100. the next dialog will ask you to define specific range of frames to be exported in numerical format. just click end on the "To" side of the dialog. the next dialog will ask where you want all the JPGs to be saved. browse for your new project folder.
Step 4: Combining JPGs Into One GIF
open GIMP and click File > Open As Layers in the rectangle box. GIMPs browser is a little eccentric but i'm sure you'll figure it out. once you have find your new project folder you will want to select all the images you will want to use as frames in you GIF. for those of you who do not know how to do this clicking the image at the top of the list, then shift-clicking the image at the bottom. this will highlight all images in between (as shown below), click open. GIMP will take its time overlaying the JPGs. when the green status bar has stopped flickering, click File > Save As. save in your project folder and save as a GIF. this might take a while. GIMP might stop responding but it should finish eventually. its a very stable program. a dialog will ask if you want to flatten the GIF or save as animation. you definitely want to do the ladder. leave the lower part of the dialog alone unless you want it in grayscale. the second dialog is a little complicated, fill it out like the image below.
you should now have your GIF, upload it somewhere. windows standard image viewing software, Windows Photo Gallery does not support animated GIFs and will only display one frame. you will have to open it in a Internet browser.