What are apps like GifBoom
The easiest way to make animated GIFs on any platform
Animated GIFs are everyone's new favorite way to express themselves. They become the moving equivalent of the emoticon. Hence, knowing how to make your own can be helpful.
The GIF and its animated cousin have been around for almost 30 years. GIFs, which stand for Graphics Interchange Format, are no longer widely used for still images, but the animated variant has proven its durability overwhelmingly.
What is an animated GIF?
There is a distinct difference between GIFs and animated GIFs. GIFs do not need to be moved and used to be the standard format for image compression before the superior JPEG and PNG formats were introduced.
An animated GIF is actually nothing more than a series of images or frames that are displayed one after the other like a cartoon flip book. For example, this GIF of a spinning world consists of only 44 individual images that are shown in quick succession and repeat endlessly to give the impression that the earth is continuously rotating on its axis.
If we open this image in an editor like Preview, we can see its composition.
Creating GIFs used to be a little trickier, but with the format's newfound popularity, there are all sorts of specialized methods to roll your own. Today we want to show you how this works on desktops and mobile devices.
On the desktop: use a GIF website
Probably the easiest way to create an animated GIF on a desktop computer is to use just one of the myriad websites that appear to be leveraging the animated GIF phenomenon. Perhaps the best known of these websites is Giphy. We will therefore use them as our example today.
When it comes to making animated GIFs the tricky part is not actually making the GIF, but rather finding a source for the GIF. You need to have some type of video file or series of still images to create it from. This part is beyond the scope of this article. So you'll need to have a video file, or at least a video url, ready to create your own animated GIF. Giphy allows you to both upload video files and reference online videos, making GIF creation a breeze.
Let's say you have a favorite video clip that you want to use and briefly describe what it is about.
First, a video file you upload cannot be larger than 100MB. GIFs are meant to be short, so this shouldn't be too much of a limitation. If you upload anything over 100MB it is unlikely to be very effective as a GIF.
Click Create on the Giphy website to get started.
This will open up the GIF Maker which you can use to upload video files or point to a YouTube link.
If you want to create an animated GIF from a series of images and other GIFs, you can use the slideshow option.
Giphy has two other options that you can use, including the ability to add captions to your GIFs and edit them to add animated stickers and filters.
In this example, we are going to convert a video file to an animated GIF. We already have a video file on hand that we will put on the Giphy interface. You can also include a YouTube URL if the video is available on YouTube (but the next section will make this even easier).
Once you have uploaded your video file (<100 MB) you have the option to adjust the start time and duration and add a caption.
Add some tags and a source url, both of which are optional, then hit "Make GIF".
Once your GIF is created, you can share it on a number of social networks or embed it on your website or blog.
Perhaps it makes more sense if you go to the Advanced tab to download your GIF to your computer.
Giphy works great if you're using a desktop. However, if you are using a mobile phone, there are other ways to easily create animated GIFs with apps specially designed for this purpose.
For YouTube videos: convert videos with GIF.com
Giphy has a tool to convert YouTube videos to GIF, but Giphy is not ideal for mobile platforms. This is not necessarily important as converting a YouTube video to GIF is quite easy on any platform. Let's use an Android device to demonstrate how to do this.
Note that you need to use YouTube in a web browser to make this work. Don't try the YouTube app.
First, find a video that you want to convert.
Tap the address bar to see the full url and add "gif" before youtube in the url as shown below. Press enter.
You will be redirected to gifs.com (another GIF website that you can use for all of your GIFs if you wish).
You can now adjust the start and end time to your needs. When and long should your GIF run? If you do this on a mobile device, it may be easier to watch the video first and write down those start and end times.
When you're done, tap Make GIF.
You will now be asked where you would like your GIF, which can be linked from a number of social networks. In our particular case, we want to have the actual physical GIF file. So tap on "Anonymous" and we can save our file.
Once we tap "Save" we can either copy the GIF URL or download the GIF file. Press "Hold to Copy" and then select your option, in our case "Save Link".
Your GIF file will now be downloaded to your device.
This is probably the easiest way to convert any part or section of a YouTube video to an animated GIF.
On iPhone and Android: GIF-making apps abound
As you might guess, there are many GIF creation options available for both iOS and Android. On the iPhone we went for GifBoom, while on Android the aptly named GIF Maker stood out from the rest.
Let's take a quick look at the two apps to give you an idea of what these two apps offer, especially the essential basic features that we think you need to know.
GIF Maker on Android
GIF Maker seems to be one of the easiest and best-rated GIF applications we've found for Android.
GIF Maker has the two main features that we wanted to see in such an application: the ability to record a video for conversion to a GIF, and the ability to stitch a GIF together from files you already own.
When capturing a GIF, GIF Maker has a number of features for you to explore, including the ability to manually capture or take a selfie.
If you want to create a GIF from already existing content, you can select a group of photos and sort them according to your needs.
Whether you're capturing or creating a new GIF, you'll also need to edit it before you can save it.
Once you are done editing, GIF Maker has a few options on how to deal with it, including the ability to share them through the most popular social networks.
GIF Maker is likely to please most of the Android platform users and the best part is that it is free to use. We found it pretty easy and straightforward to quickly create GIFs in just a few minutes.
GifBoom Pro on the iPhone
There are quite a few GIF titles on the App Store, but we ended up finding one (GifBoom Pro) that goes just as well with the GIF Maker mentioned above (there's a version of GifBoom for Android on the Play Store, but it is not rated as highly as GIF Maker)).
There are two GifBoom variants for iPhone: GifBoom and GifBoom Pro. GifBoom is more network-oriented and seems to be more intended for sharing. To easily create animated GIFs, we relied on the standalone GifBoom Pro for our purposes.
The user interface of GifBoom Pro is very easy to use. If there are GIFs stored on your device, they will be displayed on the main interface.
The bottom row has four buttons for (left to right) open the camera and make a GIF, make a GIF from still media on your phone, make a GIF from videos, and the fourth option lets you do one edit existing GIF according to your wishes.
For example, if we tap the camera icon, we get a fully featured camera with multiple options.
Here we tapped the "Photos" option and can now select any frame in our new GIF (up to 60).
Once you've selected your photos, it's time to adjust the speed, add filters, text, and more.
Finally, you can share your new creation on a variety of social networks or just save it on your device for private enjoyment.
Both apps, GIF Maker and GifBoom Pro, are very easy to use and you shouldn't have any problem figuring out all of their various features and options.
Creating GIFs on a desktop computer or mobile platform is now as easy as creating a meme or posting a video on YouTube.
In reality, all you have to do is figure out what you want to do.
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