Monday, July 1, 2013

GIF-tastic - making animated nonsense!

   [Note beforehand - I really understand that this process works better as a visual one. I am going to work on making a video showing these steps that I will upload here soon! ]
   So, I have found a new obsession. I have found that I adore making animated .gif files. In the spirit of this new hobby I figured I would share what I know about .gifs and how you can start the process of making your own. I will admit that making .gifs requires some rather un-easy to acquire software, but I can also show you how to get free trials of the programs you need.

   Ready? Here we go!

   A .GIF is a series of images that has been converted into a small file capable of playing through most internet code languages and onto your screen! Gifs are very, very small mini-movies, essentially.

   First thing is first - you need to know WHAT you want to turn into an animated file. I'll illustrate the steps I used to make my .gif. While I know not everyone can do the steps exactly the way I did them, I hope it does help understand the process so you can know where you want to start.

   Here is the .Gif I made

   I picked about 8 shots from the movie Pitch Perfect ( yes, Pitch Perfect. if you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. It's great! ). You can use any video file that can be loaded into a video editor, or even still images. I used Adobe Premiere 6 from the Master Collection to load my files and edit my clips.

   Once I cut the video into about 4-5 seconds, I then went to EXPORT MEDIA. I changed the resolution ( screen size ) from 1480 x 500 (ish) to something smaller, about 300 x 160 (again, -ish). This step is important because you can't have these files be too big.

   NEXT - ( and this is the process *I* use, so ... keep that in mind. Some people can do things differently ) SAVE the video file as a FLASH file. It ends in .FLV. With some files things may playback with weird lines cutting through the video? That is a problem with interlacing. If that happens, when you export your video? You should either see a box giving you a DEINTERLACE option, or a pull-down bar that reads either HIGHER FIELD FIRST or LOWER FIELD FIRST. Change either of those to PROGRESSIVE, if you have the chance. 

   Once you have a small .FLV file, open up Adobe Photoshop. I use Adobe Photoshop 6 from the Master Collection.

   In Photoshop, import your video in this way. Photoshop will have an IMPORT option. Select the one that says VIDEO FRAMES AS LAYERS and select your .FLV file.

   Once you've loaded it, simply then ( under the FILE tab ) go to SAVE FOR WEB. There you can adjust the size of your file if you want, but mainly the final process has been done. 

   These steps I have done are possible more complicated than they need to be, however this is the way I've found that works best for editing video into .GIF files. For a more simple method look at this link below!

If there are parts of the Adobe Master Collection you'd like to try, simply follow THIS link. You can select the TRY option and use the AMC suite for a month. I highly recommend this since it lets you play with some high end but useful software. 

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