How to Make an Animated GIF

Posted on January 28, 2020 | Updated on December 17, 2020

You’ve seen the cute memes on social media. You’ve noticed some web designers using animated GIFs in their logos or other elements on the page. Now, you feel you’re ready to tackle one of your own, and you’re wondering just where to start. How to make an animated GIF is a lot easier than you might imagine. If you already use Photoshop, it isn’t too much more work to transition to animations. If you don’t, there are a couple of other simple options.

There’s no arguing that videos are the wave of the future on the internet. By 2022, there will be approximately 248.9 million digital video viewers in the United States alone. As more people acquire smartphones and internet connectivity improves and gets faster, the use of videos and animations will only increase and come to be the expected norm. Now is a good time to perfect how to make an animated GIF in preparation for the shifting tide. You’ll want to easily meet user expectations.

We’re going to share three different ways how to make an animated GIF. Try one of them or give them all a whirl. Although there are many different ways to save your files, the focus will be on saving in GIF format. Here are the steps to create your own animation.

1. Photoshop

Since many graphic designers already use Photoshop, it’s a natural choice in how to make an animated GIF. The steps are pretty simple, and even beginners can pick it up with a little effort.

Step No. 1: Choose Your Images

  • Choose the images you want to use in your animated GIF. The biggest part of how to make an animated GIF is selecting the right pictures. This is true for any tool you utilize.
  • You might choose one image with slight changes, or you might have a series of them.
  • Upload your images to Photoshop.

Step No. 2: Use the Timeline Feature

  • Go to “Window/Timeline.”
  • Choose “Create Frame Animation.” Select all the layers.
  • Add a new layer for each frame of your animation by clicking on “Layer/New.” Name each one, even if just with a number. You can do this by double-clicking the default name in the Layer panel, changing the name and hitting enter.
  • For each frame, choose how long it appears. You may need to toy around with this for a while to get the timing just right. A good place to start is at half a second to a second per frame.
  • Choose whether you want it to loop continuously or stop after a certain number of times.

Step No. 3: Preview and Save

  1. Click the “Play” icon to view your GIF.
  2. Make any adjustments in timing or images and repeat until the animation appears the way you’d like.
  3. Click on “File/Export/Save for Web.” You will get a few options for types of GIFs. A higher dither is sharper but also creates a big file size.

2. Giphy GIF Maker

If you don’t have Photoshop or find it too cumbersome to use, Giphy offers an online wizard you can easily use to create a simple animation. How to make an animated GIF with Giphy is a bit different than using Photoshop. With Giphy, you have the option to upload a video and trim it into a GIF, adding captions and stickers. You can also upload multiple images and create your own slideshow. For this tutorial, we’ll look at using photos when talking about how to make an animated GIF.

Step No. 1: Upload First Image

  1. Click on the tab that says “Upload Image” and navigate to the picture of your choice.
  2. Add a caption, filters and animation.
  3. Click on “Continue to Upload.”

Step No. 2: Add Additional Images

  • Click on the button below your picture that says “+ Add more images.”
  • When you add another, a slideshow will start, and you can set the image duration in seconds or reorder slides.
  • Next, click on “Continue to Decorate.” You can now add captions, filters, stickers or draw on your images.

Step No. 3: Finish Your GIF

  • Fill in information such as sources and tags.
  • Choose private or public.
  • Click on “Upload to Giphy.”
  • You can now embed, copy the link, share on social media and download an MP4 of the GIF.

3. EZGIF Online Wizard

After looking at the two options above, if you’re still wondering how to make an animated GIF, you might enjoy EZGIF’s online tool for its simplicity. You don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring it out, because it’s quite intuitive.

Step No. 1: Upload Photos

  • You can upload as many as 2,000 files at once or up to 100 megabytes total. You can even upload them as a zipped file if that is easier for you.
  • Click on “Upload and Make a GIF.”

Step No. 2: Tweak Your Animation

  • Once the files are uploaded, you can toggle the range, delay time, loop forever and crossfade frames. All options are laid out on a single screen.
  • You can choose to skip, copy a slide, delay and so on.

Step No. 3: Create GIF

  • When you’re happy with the way your GIF looks, choose the “Make a GIF” button.
  • It will review the file for you, perhaps suggesting you resize, optimize to reduce file size and more.
  • You can still add frames, cut, overlay, write text, and add special effects before saving and downloading.

A Quick Interactive Element

How to make an animated GIF is a fairly easy process. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. Choose a few photos, upload them, and add text and overlays until you get the look you’d like.

About The Author

The Designerly staff is committed to providing well-researched and ongoing learning resources. We're dedicated to educating you on key design concepts and showcasing strategic marketing plans to help grow your business.

Leave a Comment

Related Posts