How To Make Your Own Animated GIFs

Online “visual” reactions have come a long way since the first smiling facial expressions appeared 40 years ago. Animated GIFs (files that show jerky motion for a few seconds, like Kermit Frog waving his arms excitedly) are everywhere in text messages, online forums, and chat apps, thanks to a culture of online memes.

However, animated GIFs do not need to come from the Internet. You can create your own GIFs from photos and videos on your phone. And you may not need additional software for this. Here is a guide.

a bit about gifs

Although similar to short videos, animated GIFs are technically different from videos. Both types of files use a series of images to show movement, but GIF files do not contain sound, so some files have subtitles. Existing GIF formats dating back to 1987 only support 256 colors. This is much less than many modern video formats and competing image formats like AV1, also known as AVIF.

Most GIFs are typically a few seconds long, often autoplay, and have joined emojis as a variety of ways to express yourself online.

And since GIFs are image files, they can be easily shared in Mail and Messages. Some messaging and keyboard apps include a GIF library for quick access to conversations.

(What’s less obvious about GIFs is how they pronounce the abbreviation. Like a brand of peanut butter or a ‘gift’ without a t? The choice is risky.)

Make GIFs with iOS

There’s a ton of third-party software out there, but before you head to the App Store, you can use the software you already have on your iPhone or iPad to create a GIF. For example, if you take it well with Apple’s Live Photo feature (which records events for 1.5 seconds before and after the photo), you can add an effect and save it as an animated GIF.

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Just go to the Photos app, open a photo from your Live Photos album, and tap the gray Live icon in the top left corner to add effects like loops or bounces. To convert a live image to a GIF, open the iOS Shortcuts app to automate the task, or download it from the app store if you haven’t already. Find Create GIF Shortcut in the Shortcuts gallery and add it. Tap the Create GIF icon and select the live image you want to convert.

Shortcuts Gallery also has a sequential image to GIF conversion automation that can be used to convert a series of images captured in burst mode and other images that convert video to GIF and other images to video to GIF.

Make GIFs with Android

Options for creating animated GIFs from photos on your Android phone may vary depending on hardware, software, and carrier. Users with select Samsung Galaxy phones can use the free gallery app to create GIFs for photos and videos.

If you use Google Photos on Android (or iOS), you can create animated GIFs from selected photos. Just click Libraries, then Utilities and create a new one. Choose Animation, choose an image and click Create.

Burst GIFs captured on select Google Pixel phones can be converted to animated GIFs directly on the device or through a third-party app. (Many Samsung Galaxy phones have a similar ‘gift’ feature.)

For example, to create an animated GIF on your Google Pixel 4 XL, open Google Photos and select an image saved as a movie clip or use the search tool to find “movie pictures”. (The Top Shot or Motion setting must be enabled in Settings in the Camera app.) When you find the movie clip you want to use, select it and swipe up or tap the three more dots menu at the top right of the screen. . Then swipe across the row of icons to go to Export. Click Export and select the GIF option to save the new file to your photo library.

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Use a dedicated GIF app

The free tools that come with your phone let you quickly create simple GIFs, but if you want to add text, have more control over iteration, or find ideas in our GIF archive, visit the App Store. There are many GIF generator apps available, and the free Giphy software for Android and iOS is one of the best known. Giphy also has an extensive archive of animated GIFs, tutorials on how to create your own GIFs, and a best practices guide.

If you find Giphy overwhelming, there are plenty of other options. Many apps support ads but charge a few dollars to get rid of them. This includes ImgPlay (for Android and iOS, less than $8). Convert videos to GIF (iOS, $2) and GIF Maker GIF Editor Pro (Android, $3). You can even make a GIF from a selfie clip to capture a truly personal reaction or just have fun watching the friendly behavior of the animals.

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