For some reason animated GIFs have come into fashion. At first I couldn’t understand what was so appealing about these silent video wannabes. Later, I relented a bit and admitted that GIF animations, while not very useful, are fun with a webcam. It wasn’t until recently, after receiving some really nice GIF animations of my cats from a friend, that I realized animated GIFs don’t have to be silly. You can actually be extremely cool.
There are several ways to create animated GIFs: You can use a series of images you’ve taken and combined, you can create one using a webcam, and you can turn an existing video into an animated GIF. Most of the tools you’ll find below are intended for the first method. It turns out that you can create really beautiful things with a series of pictures you’ve taken yourself, or just some pictures you like!
Note that none of these sites will win any design awards – animated GIF tools may not be the most lucrative business – but they work!
MakeAGif is a simple but customizable way to create animated GIFs. You can upload a large number of images and choose the order in which you want them to appear. As with customizing, you can change the delay between images and even set your own specific delay, scale images and publish them to one of the available albums. You can also make your animated GIF private if you don’t want it to show up in the gallery.
You can easily download, share and embed your GIF after it’s done. The only thing missing is an easy way to change something without having to re-upload all the images and start from scratch. Create a free account for more options.
ImgFlip offers several fun tools, like a meme creator, a pie chart creator, and of course a GIF animation creator for videos or photos. The upload is super fast, and the interface is a bit more modern than most of these tools, with a nice preview and bars you can move around to adjust delay, size, and quality.
Don’t let those bars confuse you, although you can actually enter numbers that go higher and lower than the bars can reach. You can add a short link for the final product, and that’s it. You can right click and save as if you want to download the GIF.
Adding images to GifPal is just a bit tedious (why does every GIF tool have a tedious part?), The rest of the user interface is pretty inspiring. For an animated GIF maker anyway. You can use GifPal with your webcam or upload already existing images. If you choose the second option, you need to upload all your photos to GifPal and then select them one by one and add them to the animated GIF on the left side.
You can instantly preview when you add more images, control the delay and quality, and even draw and write on your GIF.
Gickr is another very easy way to create animated GIFs using your own images, a YouTube video or images from Flickr. Unfortunately, you have to add your images one at a time, which is a bit of a hassle, but otherwise all that’s left is to set the size and speed (from the presets or custom) and you’re on your screen way.
The final product comes with a download link and. There are no progress bars while the images are uploading, so you basically have to sit and wait .
Before I even start, let me say this. Make-Animation has one of the worst interfaces I’ve seen in a while. So why did I include it? Because it’s actually a pretty good GIF maker. Just to show you that the old adage about judging by the cover is sometimes true. When you get past the convoluted interface, drag your photos into the green rectangle and wait for them to upload (for separate progress bars!).
You can then play with some interesting options like fit mode and round corners that sometimes have an effect and sometimes not, and create your masterpiece that you can then download. The killer feature: you can go back and edit!
Last but not least is GifUp. GifUp has the most annoying upload method, but it’s worth mentioning some interesting options. You can use GifUp to create animated GIFs from a webcam. Flickr, a website or your own images. For the last option you need to upload the pictures one by one. Wait until everyone has finished uploading before you can select the next one.
Once they’re all there, you can edit each frame individually, add image effects, flip, crop text, and more. You can also clone an image with a single click. When your GIF is ready, you can easily share, embed or download it.
So where is the end product?
After creating six animated gifts from the same images, I decided to share with you the one I made with Make-Animation. I just liked the sticky round corners.
This is me climbing the stairs to the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa.
Want more? There is a lot. Check out:
- How to create an animated GIF image with GIMP How to create an animated GIF image with GIMP How to create an animated GIF image with GIMP Read more
- A Quick Photoshop CS5 Tutorial How to Create Animated GIFs A Quick Photoshop Tutorial How to Create Animated GIFs A Quick Photoshop Tutorial How to Create Animated GIFs Let’s take a look at how to create a quick GIF animation using Photoshop. These simple steps are easy to follow, even for beginners. Continue reading
- GifBoom: Quickly create animated GIFs with your [iPhone&] Android]
- Easily convert YouTube videos to GIF animations Online Convert YouTube videos to GIF animations Easily convert YouTube videos to GIF animations There are often situations when you want to be able to convert a video to a GIF file. Maybe you want to run a short clip around the office without firing anyone who’s been watching YouTube
- The most fun you’ll have all day: Create animated GIFs from webcam images in seconds
Now that you know these easy-to-use services, it’s your turn to have an animated GIF party! Feel free to share your findings in the comments as well as other similar services you think I’ve missed.