Love them or loathe them, animated GIFs have become part of the way we communicate with each other in the digital age. Though they have seen regular usage as a way to inject fun commentary into a chat or social media feed for a while now, we are also beginning to see animated GIFs used for marketing purposes as well. Email newsletters are using them to add a little life to a relatively static medium, and their use in social media has grown to include more than memes.
But how do you make one? Animating things is complicated, right? Weeeeellll, sometimes it can be! But even the technically challenged can start creating and using animated GIFs in their marketing (or just for a little fun), with the help of some online tools that make the creation process a snap.
So stick around, and we’ll have you popping out animated GIFs in no time!
What You Need
To create an animated GIF, you need either a series of images or a video clip as a starting point. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you know how to find a video if you need one. If you’re just trying to spin up a quick animated GIF from scratch, it’s unlikely that you’d have a video on hand, so instead we’re going to focus on creating a series of images.
But I’m Not A Designer!
That’s fine! If you were, you could use your snazzy design software to create images for your GIF, but you don’t need all that stuff. These days there are tons of online tools for making attractive graphics. One of the best out there is Canva. The free version of their service has plenty of options for the burgeoning GIF creator, and their easy to use interface makes it simple for anyone to get started.
First, create the entire graphic, with all of the elements in place. Then figure out how many “steps” your animation will be. Duplicate the image canvas you’ve created that many times, and then remove elements from each one until you have all of your “steps” in place. Now download your images, and you’ve got everything you need to start creating your animated GIF.
Put It Together
Now we’re going to head over to another online tool called GIPHY. This handy service will take the images we just created (or your video clip if you’re going that way) and stitch them together into a GIF for us. For our purposes, we’re going to want the “Slideshow” option. Upload your images, make sure they are in the right order, choose a speed at which to cycle them and then click “Create Slideshow”. Boom! You’re animated GIF is created, and you can download it in a variety of sizes.
Share That GIF!
On the same page that you download your GIF from, there are also handy links you can use to share your brand new GIF on a variety of services. Copy one and show the world how awesome you are!
Using these simple services, you can now create as many animated GIFs as your heart desires…and you know it desires SOOOO MANY. Want to work with a team that knows how to have fun with GIFs? Give Solamar a shout!