How To Make a GIF: Top 10 Free Tools

how to make a gif

In almost no matter of time, GIFs have become one of the most popular and exciting ways to express feelings. People usually use GIFs as great comeback replies! They are often a short piece of muted footage and have a punch line written as text. They are a great option lying between videos and photos – as they require less time to load and view than a video, and are more expressive than photos. So, if you are thinking about how to make your custom GIF, read along to find out the best ten tools that you can use for free and stand out from others!

Popularity of GIFs

The GIF trend that you see right now is actually 30 years old. Back then, people used sophisticated softwares to make them. But now, they can be created in just a few minutes while sipping your coffee on the side!

Google says that there are millions of GIF searches every day. Behind this popularity, there are mainly three reasons.

  • It enables people to express their emotional responses while chatting quickly.
  • It conveys a sense of identity of the user through the pop culture references it carries.
  • GIFs capitalizes on the meme culture that continuously provides new references.

The most used GIFs are the ones that express a single emotion. Whether it is joy, sorrow, shock, or any other reaction that you want to give, you will find a GIF for it. They perfectly portray how you feel without the need for awkwardly putting your emotions into words.

In today’s age of digital marketing, the expressive qualities offered by a little looping animated picture are a huge draw for consumers and businesses too.

How to make a GIF using online tools:

1. Filmora meme maker 

Wondershare Filmora is a prevalent software for making GIFs and videos as well. What is excellent about the meme maker is that it allows you to make image, video, and GIF memes and download them without a watermark.

You need to import the images or videos that you want to use for making the GIF. There are options to change the text size, color, fonts, and adjust the location of the caption. You can also keep the text inside or outside the GIF. The format in which you want to download can also be selected. You can find all the detailed instructions on how to make a GIF on their website.

 

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2. MakeaGIF.com

There are a lot of options provided by this tool to make GIFs, which includes the following:

  • Images to GIF
  • Videos to GIF
  • YouTube to GIF
  • Facebook to GIf
  • Webcam to GIF

With so many options available, this is one of the best tools to unleash your creativity. You can pick up a visual from any platform and convert it into a GIF! It also has an extensive collection of GIFs that you can use or edit. There are GIFs related to animals, fashion, food, nature, science, sports, and a lot more. You can also make your GIF and upload it on the platform for others to use!

 

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3. Picasion

Picasion enables you to import pictures and videos from platforms like Picasa, Flickr, and other galleries. It is available in 4 languages – English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, which makes it stand out from other tools.

You can adjust the size of the images and even make your avatars or funny animations using this tool. Post them on Tumblr, MySpace, Hi5, Facebook, Orkut, etc. without the need for Flash.

Here are the steps on how to make a GIF using Picasion:

  • Go to the Picasion website in your browser.
  • Upload the pictures using which you want to create a GIF.
  • Set the size, speed, order, and hit on the ‘Create’ button.

That’s it. Picasion will create your GIF.

 

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4. GIF Maker (Gif-animator.com)

GIF maker is a highly recommended tool for creating GIF images, animated buttons, and banners – you can use it in emails, documents, or websites. It consists of a wizard tool to make animation fast and easy. It supports creating eye-catchy multiple graphic formats, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSD, WMF, AVI, and many others.

There is a built-in image editor with a full set of editing tools. New users need some time to learn how to make a GIF using this software, but it will provide amazing results in the end. The interface is also straightforward and intuitive. There are a lot of effects and customization options to enhance your GIF animation.

It has advanced optimization to make the smallest possible files, which decrease the page loading time, reduces server load, and saves space.

 

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5. Screen to GIF

Screen to GIF is a software for Windows that employs a bit different approach to create GIFs. It is dedicated to allowing users to record activities from web cameras, sketch board, and their screens, which they can use to create GIFs. You can go to the site and download it for free – it is available for Windows 7 and later versions.

It has a powerful editor with a lot of in-built editing tools, where you can edit your recordings or GIFs from other resources. It offers over 18 languages. When you download it, it automatically detects the language of your system. How cool is that!

 

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6. EZ GIF

EZ GIF is a simple and easy to use online tool which was designed primarily to create and edit animated GIFs, but now also supports basic video editing. It also has a GIF to Mp4 converter, online video cutter, video reverser, and video rotator.

There is an editor provided on the site to edit GIF files. Additional functionality that you can use with EZ GIF is image conversion, which lets users change image formats from one to another without any hitches. If you do not want the hassle to download a GIF maker, this is one of the best options out there.

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7. Kapwing

Kapwing is also one of the top options for people who would want to know how to make a GIF using a desktop. No download is required, and it can run well even on a smartphone. It allows you to edit images, videos, and GIFs by adding various effects, transitions, and titles.

Start with a blank canvas or upload the files directly from your computer to create a masterpiece. Cut the video, resize, divide the clips, and make an attractive loop using Kapwing. Once you create your GIF, you can straight away share it on your social media platforms from the screen itself.

 

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8. Img Play GIF maker (App for iPhone)

The developers of Img Play GIF maker designed this app mainly to provide a fun platform for iPhone users. It has options available for canvas sizes, which is great to modify the GIF according to the site you want to post it on.

For example, if you wish to upload the GIF on Instagram, a 1:1 canvas size would be preferable. Similarly, for Twitter, a canvas of 2:1 size is ideal. This app can also be used for creating memes. You can also customize GIFs when you make a GIF from video, Live photo, and Burst. After generating, you can directly share it to Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, or iMessage.

 

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9. GIF Maker – GIF Editor (App for Android)

GIF maker – GIF editor is a popular app available on the play store. It has the feature of adding up to 200 images at once. It runs smoothly and meets the requirements of those who would want to know how to make a GIF using Android.

Before creating a GIF, you can cut, crop, or edit your video, and add titles to it. You can also choose from hundreds of stickers available in the app. It has a manager section where you can access all your created GIFs and edit them whenever you want. The only con is that there are in-app purchases.

 

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10. PicGIF (Mac App Store)

PicGIF is a software available on the Mac App Store. You can make creative GIFs using any kind of images and videos. Also, you can re-edit previously created GIFs by adding texts, changing speed, or resizing.

It has some great text editing features for personalizing the color, font, size, outlines, and shadows. It also supports overlapping text and stickers, and you can easily set their opacity levels. A lot of image formats are supported, which makes it very simple to use. You can preview it before exporting and can share it directly to social media platforms.

 

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How to make a GIF in Photoshop

Creating GIFs in photoshop might a little bit more time, but it gives you the complete freedom to create and control the formation of GIFs as per your needs. You can play around with the tool to create exactly what you want.

1. Load images into photoshop

GIFs are made of a series of images or frames. So, if you have a sequence of images ready with you, open Photoshop and click on ‘File’. Select ‘Scripts’ > ‘Load files into stack’. Then select ‘Browse’ and choose which files you’d like to include within your GIF. 

If you don’t have a sequence of images ready, you can create a new set of layers that act as frames. To add a new layer to your Photoshop project, chose Layer > New > Layer.

2. Open the timeline window

Before you can begin to animate anything, you’re going to need the ability to create keyframes. To do this, you’ll have to open the Timeline window. This is not open by default when creating an animated GIF in Photoshop, so navigate over to Window > Timeline and select the option to get started.

3. Create animation

In the timeline, click on ‘Create frame animation.’ Then click the menu in the right-hand corner of your Timeline and select ‘Make Frames From Layers’.  All your frames will come in place. Now hit the play button and see the animation created. If any frame is out of place, you can drag and drop it to a new position in the Timeline. 

4. Export your GIF

Once you are done with the frames and are happy with the output, export the GIF to share on your social media profiles and other platforms. To export your GIF, click File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy).

Websites to find the outstanding pre-made GIFs

1. Giphy

Giphy is an American online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share GIFs. The content on GIPHY’s website, app, and API is all of the best and most popular GIFs on the web, along with content created by talented GIF artists and world-class brands.

Find the content you are looking for by searching a term or set of terms in the search bar atop giphy.com. It automatically returns results based on the relevance of the term you searched. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, add some more specific terms to the end of your search. The top of your results would show the related GIPHY channels aligned with your search word. You can see the GIPHY Clips, GIF, and Sticker results right under it.

giphy-how to make gif

2. Google image search

Google is undoubtedly the best place to search for anything, including GIFs. To see only GIFs in your search, do a normal image search first. Then click on Search tools and select ‘Animated’ under the ‘Type’ option.

3. Tumblr

Tumblr is the perfect place to find great memes and GIFs before any other social platform. It is the ground zero for GIF culture and finding cool things before they blow up on the mainstream media. 

4. Imgur

You never quite know what you’re going to find on Imgur. It is a viral photo, video, and GIF platform that receives over 150 million monthly visitors. You will find all new as well as viral GIFs on this site.

How to make GIFs as a brand

To stay culturally connected with the customers, brands must speak their language. If you, as a brand, also want to tap into the GIF trend and culture, here are some suggestions that you should consider.

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  • Be funny. But do not try too hard. To appeal to the younger audience, brands try to go overboard to be funny. You do not need to use a GIF every now and then. A well-timed GIF that represents your brand’s personality is much better than many mindless ones.
  • Choose your GIFs carefully. They carry cultural references and memes and sometimes can lead to controversy. Use GIFs according to the taste and preferences of your target audience, and also keep in mind the sensitive social issues going on at the moment.
  • Be creative while preparing your GIFs. They can be a significant generator of memes, and the brands that adopt early to viral topics are getting noticed by millions of people in very little time.
  • Increase your audience retention by preparing targeted GIFs. Many social media marketers prefer to use visuals and GIFs as they encourage people to stick longer with the brand. They also show the brand’s creativity and personality and adds a human element.

Takeaway

If we look ahead, GIFs are going to be a part of our lives as long as the social media prevails and dominates our digital interactions. Maybe there will be apps that we will use to make GIFs using our faces. Possibly there will be hologram versions for it. It doesn’t matter how they will evolve; it is pretty clear that they are essential in the digital culture. And as a brand, you need to be fluent in speaking GIFs – just like your audience!

All your questions on how to make a GIF using different devices are answered above. So, get up and get creating!

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2 Comments

  1. Gina May 12, 2020 Reply

    Interesting. It looks like something I might actually try one day.

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