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Mar 18, 2008 9:46 PM

Seen any cute/hilarious scene from a video you have? Found something good on YouTube? You can share it with your friends at your favorite online forums by making it to a piece of animated GIF. Maybe even make it your own forum avatar. A lot of people seemed to like to use this tutorial so I'm reposting this a second time here at MAL. This user-friendly tutorial will guide you using two necessary softwares. It may look really long but it's really a short process if you repeat over and over again.

The softwares you will need

GOM Player: This is a video/audio player freeware with the latest and complete codecs. GOM Player will play AVI, RM, MP4, DAT, MPEG, DivX, SWF, and many more. You will need this for the “Burst Capture” feature explained later in this tutorial.

Adobe ImageReady (CS2): This is an image editing software is a part of Adobe PhotoShop CS pack which is free to use. The CS2 version will work all the same.. If you don’t have ImageReady, ask me for an alternative. At this point, I’m still unsure how to operate the Animation Palette and Import a folder properly in Adobe PhotoShop CS3 as it’s completely revamped so this tutorial do not recommend it.

If you want to use a video from YouTube, follow these simple steps on how to get it. Otherwise, skip this paragraph to the tutorial right below. I’m going to use this video for reference. After that, find an online YouTube converter; I recommend VideoDL since we don’t need to convert. GOM Player reads FLV file so don't forget to add the file extension ".flv" after the file name.
Don't forget to add

Now you have the video saved and ready to begin the actual process.


Make Animated GIF using GOM Player

At this point, have both GOM Player and ImageReady installed.

Keep in mind before you make your animated GIF, the longer the scene you want turned into animated GIF, the larger the file size will be. Don't go beyond 7-10 seconds or try to keep it under 2 MB so it won't load slowly in browsers. Pity the people with slow Internet connection.

Part 1: Importing video to ImageReady

  1. Play the video with GOM Player.
  2. Find the beginning of portion of the video (the little scene) you want and Pause.
  3. Open Control Panel in GOM player if it's not yet open (press F7), and then click on "Advanced Capture".
    Click on
  4. Settings are as follow: (bolded are the standard set-up I use)
    Use my settings if you like, before trying out your own
    • - Image Format: JPEG (you want to save this as JPEG first)
    • - JPEG Quality: 255 (best quality; we can alter this later in ImageReady)
    • - Burst Capture Images: This really depends on how long your video is, and how much Burst Interval you set. 25 will capture about 3 seconds, 50 will capture about 6 seconds, etc.
    • - Burst Interval (sec): This control how much snapshots it takes in one second. The lower you set it, the more snapshots it will make within one second. 0.1 will give you a good result.
  5. Once that's set, click on "Open Directory" to go to the folder. Play the video and hit "Burst Capture".
    The snapshots will appear in that folder. If you don't get the right timing, delete everything in that folder and try again.
  6. Once you got it right, delete the unwanted parts (usually the first and last few images) in the folder.
    95% you won't get the exact timing, so delete unwanted parts
  7. Open ImageReady if you haven't already. Make sure the Animation Pallete is open (go to Windows > Animation).
  8. Go to File > Import > Folder As Frames...
    The directory folder by default is at My Documents > GomPlayer > Capture
    Import from the Burst Capture Folder; that's why you don't want unwanted stuff in it

    This will open a new working window with your animated GIF.

Part 2: Editing and Optimizing GIF in ImageReady

If you're familiar with ImageReady, you can work on trimming unneeded part here. Wanna learn more about it? Drop me some words and I'll be with you for that.

  1. Resizing GIF. The average size of the Width is usually 320 pixels, or if your animated GIF is long go with 160 pixels.
    Go to Image > Image Size. Make sure "Constraint Proportion" is checked. Hit OK to proceed.
  2. In your working window, click the "Optimized" Tab to preview the end result.
    GIFs with over 1MB in size will load slowly
  3. Select All Frames in the Animation Pallete (click on the ">" button on top right) and change the time to 0.1 sec.
    *If your GIF is not looping (connected at end-to-start), you may want to set the last Frame to 2 sec so people know where it begins.
    Highlighted boxes means those frames are selected

    You can see the preview by hitting the Play button.
    Satisfied? Good, but we're not done yet. We have to optimize it so it'll look good in the web.
  4. See the Optimize Palette at top right corner.
    This will allow you to determine the quality and file size
    Settings are as follow: (bolded are the standard set-up I use)
    - Preset: GIF 128 Dithered (this is so everything is setup according to ImageReady preset; it will change by itself to "Unnamed" later)
    - Format: GIF
    - Reduction: Perceptual or Selective
    - Colors: 256 (reduce this to 128, or how many amounts you want to lower the file size)
    - Web Snap: 0%
    - Dither Method: (this is all your preference)
    Non-animation clip usually work better with Diffusion or No Dither.
    If you're doing anime/cartoon clip with a lot of bright colors/contrast, Pattern usually give a better result. Little variety of colors usually work better with Diffusion.
  5. Finally, we're gonna save the GIF! Go to File > Save Optimized As... > write your file name
    Labeling your files is always a good idea

Done! You can now host your GIF at your favorite image hosting site. If you made a lot of big animated GIFs, I recommend signing up at They're free, no file size restriction, and no bandwidth limitation. Any questions?, feel free throw me a private message.


Posted by chibuki | Mar 18, 2008 9:46 PM | 15 comments
IRMacGuyver | Sep 12, 2011 1:50 PM
Not sure if you check this or your my.ign more but I need a way to capture netflix trailers that play in flash but aren't youtube.
AmuChanOPT | Aug 31, 2010 3:38 PM
thank you for the Tutorial!!!
Sylinchen | May 17, 2010 7:24 AM
nice !! thanks
Cashdax | May 5, 2010 7:52 AM
yay!! nice one ^^
chibuki | May 4, 2010 6:25 PM
This tutorial seemed it helped a lot of people and I'm glad! But it seems everyone been using CS3 or CS4, maybe even CS5 these days.

So I made a little guide on how to importing the screenshot batch to Photoshop, check it out:
kana-tan | May 1, 2010 1:54 PM
ur awesome
Klabautermann | Jun 13, 2009 5:16 AM
Thank you a lot! I have like SO many ideas for gifs. :)
deady_83 | Apr 21, 2009 11:45 PM
sup ..
anyway thanks for this tuts
: 333

slayer545-sama | Dec 11, 2008 8:12 AM
Chibuki I love you too :3
Flame_Haze | Mar 28, 2008 12:50 PM
Thanks with me following that tutorial I made one and I found how to export into cs3. :P
TsundereRic | Mar 21, 2008 9:36 AM
you are the best ChiBuki!
animedreamer | Mar 19, 2008 7:40 AM
DeoxysPrime | Mar 19, 2008 3:04 AM
Bluesnow | Mar 19, 2008 2:50 AM
I really hope to try this~ thanks for the directions^.^
Xjellocross | Mar 18, 2008 10:27 PM
ChiBuki I love you <3