Social media channels like Facebook and Google+ are full of animated GIFs: funny cats, inspirational quotes, beautiful landscapes – practically all sorts of motion pictures are popular there. Unlike any other types of images, GIF (or Graphics Interchange Format) pictures allow you to store more than one image in the file itself. That’s why each time you want to show a sequence of images, you may use GIFs instead of videos. The multiple images within a single GIF file are displayed in succession to create an animated clip or a short movie.
There are dozens of ways to create your own GIFs out of photos and a YouTube video, using smartphone apps or online services. Several years ago, such web app as Gifninja.com was one of the most popular means to create a GIF free & fast. But unfortunately, the website stopped working at the end of 2013. So let’s see what options to create a GIF are available nowadays.
3 Online Tools to Make a GIF Free
All desktop users may easily turn images or YouTube video into GIFs with numerous web apps. Here are the best free GIF makers we checked out for you.
Makeagif.com is a free online app that offers several options of turning your content to GIF:
- pictures to GIF;
- YouTube to GIF;
- Facebook to GIF;
- video to GIF;
- webcam to GIF.
How to create a GIF from photos with Makeagif
The app is quick and it has flexible settings. You can indicate photos order, pace, GIF category and resize images. The last feature is critically important if you want to create a good-looking GIF. All images should have the same dimensions (height and width), otherwise black bars will be added to smaller images or they will be stretched to fit the bigger ones. You can prepare correct images in advance using one of free image resizers that we reviewed earlier.
Here are 6 simple steps to convert your photos to GIF:
- Choose the Pictutes to GIF option;
- Upload a few images;
- Set the order of the pics or use a random shuffle;
- Set animation speed: Normal (500 ms), Slow (750 ms), Fast (250 ms). Normal speed is still quite fast. We recommend using the Slow option;
- Select whether your GIF is private or public;
- Hit the Create a GIF button to download the ready file when it’s done.
Here’s an example of animated GIF photo slide made with Makeagif at Slow playback:
Please note that all created GIFs are automatically saved to a public web gallery (if the Public option is enabled) and can be viewed and liked by other users. And you can add the ready-made GIFs to your blog post or send directly to a friend. However, public image are complicated to delete.
How to make a GIF from YouTube video with Makeagif
To create a GIF from any YouTube video, follow these 5 steps:
- Choose the YouTube to GIF option;
- Copy YouTube video URL and paste it into the tool;
- Mark the start time and set the GIF length (the maximum is 10 seconds);
- Once ready, click Make GIF.
- Wait a bit and get a ready GIF file which you can download or share asap.
The resulted pictures have the maximum width of 720px. That’s not high if you’re going to show this picture on a large screen, but decent enough to share online. You’ll also see theads on YouTube player while preparing a GIF and will have Makeagif watermark on the final picture. If you want to overcome these drawbacks, you may upgrade to premium for $5/ month.
Anyway, MakeaGif is a great easy tool for making GIF images of good quality. The app is maintained and regularly updated with new features. So you should definitely try it.
Gifs.com is a nice website where you can borrow an already created GIF image for your needs. Here you can also make your own GIF out of YouTube video.
OK, let’s break the process of video GIF making into steps:
- Go toYouTube.com and find a video that will be your GIF source;
- Copy the YouTube video link and paste the link into the Paste YouTube URL box on Gifs.com;
- Choose the start time and the duration of your GIF;
- Add title, tags, enable sound if needed;
- Hit the Create GIF button to download the ready GIF (you’ll need to sign up to save the image).
Here’s an example of YouTube video GIF:
The resulted image will also have a watermark on it. If you want to remove it, you should go premium for $7.99/month.
While browsing YouTube, you may just add ‘gif’ at the beginning of YouTube video URL (for example, https://www.gifyoutube.com/watch?v=xTbFEj80Vec) and you’ll be directed to the step 3 of the guide above.
Giphy.com is another web tool offering a free way to create GIFs out of photos or YouTube/Vimeo video. The process is pretty much the same:
- Paste the video URL into the special field, click Enter;
- Set the start time and duration;
- Add captions, stickers if necessary;
- Click Continue to upload, then Upload to Giphy;
- Once the video is converted to GIF, you’ll see the player with the options Copy link, Download, Embed, etc. Click Download to save your resulted GIF image.
Good news is that the picture won’t have any watermark. Just have a look at the example below:
All in all, the image quality is good enough to share the picture online and save to your portable gadget.
What other GIF makers can you recommend? Please share in the comments below.