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First of all you need the video you want to gif (preferably in high definition, look for the 720p version of whatever film or tv show you’re giffing) and a program like photoshop CS5 which is what i use.
Remember to always keep these windows open, cause you’ll need them:
1. Import frames
To load your video into Photoshop: click File —> Import —> Video Frames to Layers
Now select your video file.
(Note: If you can’t find it in your folders, it’s probably because photoshop doesn’t load that kind of video file and you need to convert it to something else first. My PS only reads .mp4 files for example.)
After you selected a compatible video file, this window pops up:
Select “Selected Range Only” and limit to every 2 frames. 2 is generally fine (I use it 99.99% of the times), but if the scene is too long and you think there will be to many frames when uploaded, it’s better if you limit it to 3 or 4 (again, only if really necessary).
Now to select the part of the video you want, you need to hold down the Shift Key while the scene it’s running. When you’re done, let the Shift Key go and click OK. If PS tells you that you selected more than 500 layers, you need to do it again and try to select less video.
2. Frames and Layers
You should now see the frames in your Animation window and the layers in the Layers window.
It’s really hard to get the exact amout of frames you need so you’ll have to delete the ones you won’t use, also to keep the gif under a reasonable weight for Tumblr (1MB for bigger gifs and 2MB for smaller gifs).
So select the frame you want to delete and click on the trash icon. To select more than one frame use the Shift Key.
You can delete the extra layers as well but those won’t be saved in the final gif anyway and won’t compromise its weight so it’s kinda pointless (unless you need a clearer layers window, that is).
3. Cropping and re-sizing
Decide the size of your gif and edit it accordingly. Remember that the maximum width of a picture on tumblr is 500px; 250px if it’s two pictures put together, 180px if it’s three, etc. And that all gifs from the same gifset should have the same height. For example, when i make a 4 gifs (2x2) gifset (like this one) i usually make four 245px per 130px gifs.
The width and height can be edited by cropping and then re-sizing the gif.
In the Tool window, you can find the crop tool icon: Use your mouse to select the part of the picture you want to keep. The dark parts will be deleted.
Right now I’m making a 260px per 270px gif for my sidebar and I’m cropping it like this:
I’ll keep cropping until i get the right size. You can check the size the gif would have after being cropped by clicking on Image Image —> Image Size (or ctrl+alt+I) and typing in the the width (the height will adjust itself). If it’s not correct, click “cancel” and ctrl-z to try and crop it again.
I got mine to be 260px per 272px:
I could crop those 2 pixels out but it’s a sidebar gif so it’s not necessary.
When you’ve finished cropping, go back to Image —> Image Size, type the width you need and if the height is what you wanted, click “OK”.
You can run your gif by clicking on the play icon in the animation window. You’ll see that it’s either too slow or too fast.
To fix the delay, select all frames by clicking on that button in the animation window I circled in black:
So click on the “0.04 sec” under one of the frames (doesn’t matter which one) and select “Other” to choose the delay you want. I usually use 0.2 (1.5 is fine with smaller gifs as well, though).
Run the gif again to see if you like it that way, or change the delay again if needed.
This is the one I was making (as you can see it’s not edited):
At this point, you can sharpen and colour your gif. I’m not gonna explain it here, but you can check out this other tutorial I made.
Now you can save your gif on your computer. Save —> Save for Web and Devices
A window pops up. These are the settings I use to save the gif:
In the bottom left of the window, make sure the gif weights less than 2MB (smaller gifs) or 1MB (bigger gifs, where bigger means 500px width)
And click “Save”.
7. If the gif is still too big
1) use less frames: delete the ones you don’t need, select 3 or 4 in the “limit to … frames” in the preview window when you upload the video.
2) freeze a part of the gif: useful youtube tutorial here.
3) add black/use a texture/etc: when colouring, the more dark colours, the better.
4) raise the lossy (by using the settings as shown in the picture, although “15” is just an example). Doing so, the gif will look more grainy, so it’s up to you to decide if it looks good enough or if you should delete more frames instead.
And save the gif.
i probably made lots of typos i’m sorry. and good luck :)