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A guide to creating animated GIFs

GIFs are great. You can make awesome things like this:

That’s right, you too could be creating GIFs of animals dressed as other animals, falling off of furniture. In this article, we’ll give you the skinny on how.


Your GIF is only going to ever be as good as your source. You’re going to need high quality footage: MP4 is always the most compatible.


There are plenty of different apps to create GIFs with. Here are our favourites:




Giffing Tool




GIFs are great, but not the most optimal way of storing moving images. File sizes can get real big, real quick – so try and keep them short. We’re also going to look at a few techniques for optimising the file size later. Try and keep your GIFs below 1mb, and if you can… below 500kb! The more movement in the video, the bigger the source file size will be (weird but true), so you’ll need to try and strike a balance.

So in order to keep your file sizes low, use the various tools and options for file size optimisation. Bear in mind, these will affect your image quality, so you need to be use your eye to see which are better optically.

For example, we have found that removing every 4th frame, reducing the colour count (if possible), using about 30% lossy LZW compression and implementing dithering can give a great visual with a low file size. There’s no silver bullet though when it comes to these settings, and it’s a bit of trial and error.

So it’s time for you to experiment and find the settings that suit your footage.

Updated on August 4, 2020

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