Animated GIFs

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The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a bitmap image format developed by CompuServe in 1987. It came into widespread usage on the web due to its simplicity, wide portability and support for animation, and is often seen in social media platforms for small and short format video. When exporting a GIF you can chose the number of colors, transparency, and animation options... the compression is rudimentary, and not very suitable for large images, but works well with clipart style animations.

Example of a low res animated GIF, set to loop only once (hit refresh)

Convert Video to an Animated GIF

Online Tools:

There are lots of online tools claiming they can turn a video into a animated GIF, but they are likely to either add a ugly watermark or ask you for a paid subscription. One tool that I've been using for free *(although maybe I have a subscription through Google)*:

Convert to GIF online options for

Offline Tools: Premiere

I saw claims that PhotoShop can do this, but Photoshop is quite tricky for GIFs. The powerhouse tool is Adobe Premiere.

Convert Video to an Animated GIF in Premiere:

  • Open Premiere in default settings.
  • Drag your video onto the timeline.
  • Make any adjustements (eg: trim video and right click to change speed).
  • Click File > Export > Media.
    • Select Animated GIF from dropdown, and change the frame rate and size as needed.
    • NOTE: By deafult the GIF will loop, and I'm not sure if you can disable this - you can try PhotoShop.
Options for exporting a GIF in Adobe Premiere

Changing the Size, Colors or Looping Properties

Offline Tools: Photoshop

I haven't figured out how to change an exported GIF to loop only once in Premiere, but in Photoshop it's easy:

  • Open your GIF in Photoshop.
  • Click: File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy).
    • Select Animated GIF, and chose the number of colors and looping properties.

Photoshop generally sucks for any other type of editing you might try for your video, but if it's already a GIF and you just want to change size, colors or looping it will work.

Options for exporting a GIF in Adobe Premiere


  1. GIF - Wikipedia