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Tools and Tips for Making gifs


Stashed in: !!! PRO TIPS !!!, EditingAndLayout, High Quality gifs, BigMurph26, 00spool, elfa82, @badmonkey0001, Gif making, @barracuda415, Ain't nobody got time for that!

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Oce writes:

If you're on windows, you can use GifCam it's very handy, little tutorial here: http://blog.bahraniapps.com/?page_id=21

For deeper editing, Gimp is really good, you can import a video inside and each frame become a layer you can edit. Then in filter/animation you have tools for fast gif editing. Then just export as a gif. (Usually try to stay under 5Mo)

Will add more tools and tips here in the future.

There are good tips and tutorials in the right sidebar of http://reddit.com/r/highqualitygifs :

For good gif-making tutorials, see the sidebars of these subreddits:

Making gifs in Photoshop?

Making gifs in After Effects? Upvote gifs?

Making cinemagraphs or looping gifs in After Effects?

Making nothing and you're bored? Looking to continue being bored?

For any other questions, feel free to post a request for help.

To download videos:

I use http://keepvid.com/ for when I'm downloading videos from YouTube.

Add

javascript:(a = (b = document).createElement('script')).src = 'http://keepvid.com/js/bm.js', b.body.appendChild(a);void(0);

as a bookmark, click it when you're on the page of a video, and it will bring you to the download page.

Another tip:

Since you can only download youtube videos in 720p, I record them using fraps in 1080 to get just that much better quality.

From that last link, barracuda415 on gif compression:

Because they appear on the background frame only and are replaced by the transparent color on all other frames, creating larger areas made of just one color, therefore generating less entropy resulting in higher compression levels.

You can make the difference visible with gifsicle using the parameters --disposal=bg "#0--1" (always clear the viewport after displaying a frame) and --delete "#0" (remove first frame):

There's also a heavy flickering in both GIFs, with indicates duplicate frames caused by a framerate conversion from 24 to 50 fps. These duplicate frames don't really increase file size, since they're completely empty, but they're unnecessary overhead nonetheless.

elfa82 on how to make gifs smaller:

The best way to keep quality high and reduce file size, is to reduce image size. Dropping the dither to 99% can sometimes drop file size, but you need to be careful that it doesn't make the gif fuzzy or noisy. Cropping a bit of the top or sides or just overall reducing it, is easiest. I much prefer a 480p high quality gif over a 720p gif that has an off frame rate or poor video quality.

BigMurph26 tutorial for looping stable water footage:

Comments:

http://reddit.com/r/HighQualityGifs/comments/253hic/i_made_a_really_brief_video_for_looping_stable/

Helpful sizing tips from badmonkey0001:

Looking at gif-explode.com the transparencies didn't optimize well. That's to be expected with full motion video since even a pixel of jitter will be seen by the opimizer as movement. This GIF is basically full, non-transparent, frames.

I would first go for cropping this to reduce file size. Masking unless done really well can create weird ghosting effects - I stay away from it. Better to just remove the regions if you can. In this GIF, there is plenty of room to remove on theright hand side. If may have been good composition and cinematography for the film, but you're making a new context. You should feel free to focus on your action from the scene.

Secondly with cropping, I'd also remove the dark border around the footage. In this GIF, it's about 3 pixels. I do this simply because it looks better on a page, but it can save a few bytes. Here's the difference.

Whatever you do, don't sacrifice frame rate or color quality. Those are what makes a GIF high quality with far more weight than resolution. The largest of GIFs dithered to hell and staggering along is still a crappy GIF.

For color quality, always use these settings as evangelized by /u/EditingAndLayout. They really are the way to go.

barracuda415 on gif optimization:

The problem is that Photoshop creates a global color table for the whole animation and then replaces identical pixels between two frames with transparency. That reduces the file size a bit but also creates these noisy artifacts that can't be reduced very well with the LZW algorithm that GIF uses.

ImageMagick can optimize frames before dithering and also has a fuzz distance parameter to replace pixels in a certain similarity range. That gives much larger and consistent transparent areas that compress very well. I'm also using a modified Gifsicle version for further refinement, it essentially does the same as the "lossy" parameter in Photoshop.

Default to 24fps for high quality gifs:

http://reddit.com/r/HighQualityGifs/comments/271wsp/high_quality_gif_battle_6_danny_devito/chz205g

Over 30 is unnecessary and under 20 is low quality.

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