I’m using Windows Vista and Photoshop CS5 but really any program and operating system will do. There’s only a few differences as you go along.
1) Download Photoshop and the video that you want to turn into a gif.
You can usually find websites or extensions that will allow you to download YouTube gifs or you can download Camtasia to record videos you can’t download.
2) Open Photoshop. Make sure the animation window is open. (To open it go to Window > Animation)
3) Next, you’ll import your video frames into Photoshop by going to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers.
4) Click your video file. Then, in the Import Video to Layers window, make sure the “Selected Range Only” and “Limit To Every __ Frames” options are selected. You should limit to at least 2 or 3 frames more if the gif is a bit longer. But you can always delete excess frames later on so it’s better to start off with a low number. Make sure that “Make Frame Animation” is selected also.
Now just play the video, pausing where you would like the gif to start. From there, press shift as you move the slider along to the right stopping where you want the gif to end. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect because you can delete frames later on.
5) Press OK. Photoshop should now look similar to this.
Now all you have to do to cut out parts of the gif is highlight extra frames (in the Animation window not the Layers window) by holding either the Ctrl or Shift keys and click the trash can. Do this at the beginning and end until your end result is just the part you want to gif.
6) Click the play button to preview the gif. Photoshop automatically sets the rate of gifs to less than 0.1 seconds which is usually too fast. To change it, just “Select All Frames” and change the speed. Usually 0.1 or 0.2 seconds works the best although it depends on the gif. Some work well with 0.08 and so on.
7) If you’re going to edit your gif by adding text to it or anything this is where you would do that. You add text just like you would on any normal Photoshop file. You click the text tool, then click wherever you want to type on the gif and start typing. Just make sure that it’s the top-most layer on the layers palette.
8) Once you’re satisfied with your result, go ahead and save your gif by going to File > Save for Web & Devices, not just Save or Save As…
9) The Save window should look like this (except for the yellow parts which are just highlighted for importance). Make sure the looping is set to “forever.”
Tumblr doesn’t play gifs that are wider than 500px wide or bigger than 500kb. So under image size change the width to 500 or less if it’s not already. That should lower the size a bit. Luckily, this gif was only 381kb but if your gif is bigger than that you can lower it by
- going back and deleting even more frames (usually anything over 20 or 25 is too big)
- lowering the width or height
- lowering the colors
- changing the dither to pattern
Once your gif is small enough go ahead and click save. It should be able to upload to tumblr and animate