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GIF Peanut Butter: How to Make a GIF!

Want to make a GIF on your own? Here’s a tutorial I’ve put together that includes details for those who currently own Adobe Photoshop and for those who are looking for free graphic editing software to download in addition to online GIF makers. Happy GIF-making!

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial: *Note: This method is an extremely easy way of creating an animated GIF of moving video. Other options are available if you have a video-editing program to save frames quicker for larger GIFs!

Step 1:

Step 2:

Press “Alt” + “PrtScn” (Print Screen) on your keyboard when looking at an image on your screen you want to capture and use in your GIF. The “PrtScn” button is generally located near the top of your keyboard or with your Scroll Lock and other feature keys if you’re having a hard time finding it. When using the “Alt” + “PrtScn” method you are only able to capture one image at a time. ** So if you are taking snapshots of movies, youtube videos, or other media on your computer, you will need to pause the video in between each shot (time consuming but allows the most accurate GIF).

Step 3: Launch and allow Adobe Photoshop to load. Click “Window” > “Animation” to open the Animation toolbar in Photoshop.

Step 4: Click “File” > “Create New”. Because you are using the “Alt” + “PrntScn” method, Adobe will automatically detect that you have an image copied with the size of your current desktop settings (800x600, 1280x960, etc.). Simply click “Ok” to begin working with the new file.

Step 5: Paste the image you have captured from using the “Alt” + “PrntScn” option. You can do this by simply pressing “CTRL” + “V” simultaneously on your keyboard or by clicking “Edit” > “Paste” from within the program’s main toolbar.

Step 6: Go back to the video on YouTube (or in another video program you are getting the GIF from) and press “Play” and “Pause” quickly to skip a frame. REPEAT STEPS 2 & 5 UNTIL YOU HAVE AS MANY FRAMES AS YOU DESIRE YOU CREATE YOUR GIF! This can range from a couple to above 15-20 for a simple GIF!

** NOTE TUMBLR’S GIF FILE SIZE LIMIT IS 500kb when using the Tumblr’s servers to host your graphics. When saving your GIF, keep it under 500x500 pixels large and 500kb in size for uploading without hassle.

Step 7: Crop the GIF using the “Crop” tool in Photoshop:

Drag while clicking the left button of your mouse over the main portion of the image (and then double click) to delete the rest of the graphic from your canvas. This also reduces the size of the final GIF, allowing it to load and upload quicker online.

^ You can see the image is now smaller and focusing on the main attraction, the Cos. See the animation frames reflect this as well. Okay, almost done! :)

Step 8:

Click “File” > “Save for Web & Devices” — You can hit “Play” to preview your GIF in this window before saving it!

Click “Save” when you’re ready and name the GIF whatever you want. That’s it!

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PhotoScape GIF Tutorial (free software—download it here: http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/download.php):

Step 1: Save the images you want to use in your GIF to a folder in your computer. If you want to use the “Alt” + “PrtScrn” method for Adobe Photoshop (see above), you can do so by pasting your images and saving them in Microsoft Paint, GIMP or another free photo-editing program.

Step 2: Download and open PhotoScape. Click “Animated Gif” on the main loading screen of the program.

Step 3: Use the left side of the program’s screen to browse through your computer’s folders to find your saved images that you are using to make your GIF:

Step 4: Click “Save” to save your GIF! Done. Don’t be afraid to expirement with the settings and timing options to create a new GIF style. Here’s the sample GIF I created with Photoscape in just a few seconds:

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Free Software to Download for making GIFs and other graphics:

Photoscape:

http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php

Free Graphic-Editing program (for alt-print screen pasting method and other graphic tools):

GIMP: The GNU Image Manipulation Program

http://www.gimp.org/

Get a free trial of Adobe Photoshop here:

http://www.adobe.com/downloads/

Websites that have free GIF makers hosted online (less customization options):

http://picasion.com/ (Add up to ten pictures to generate a GIF)

http://gifninja.com/animated-gifs/create

http://gickr.com/

^Fewer frames available when generating a GIF — although they are working free alternatives!

That’s all there is to making a simple GIF.

If you liked this tutorial, please follow GIFpeanutbutter.tumblr.com & check it out for more tutorials. Feel free to request additional tutorials and look out for specific GIF tutorials on working with letters, falling objects, and other special effects.

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