Converting Video to GIF: How to Use Photoshop and GIF Converters

(According to the creator, it’s “JIF,” like the peanut butter, by the way).

Whether or not you know how to pronounce the 3 letters, “GIF,” you’ve more than likely seen one before. Heck, you’ve probably used them as well. But what are they exactly? Why are they so popular? And can you convert a video to GIF? All great questions! So, today we’ll cover these and more.

What is a GIF?

While it might seem like GIFs appeared out of nowhere overnight, they actually originated back in 1987 by Steve Wilhite. Caught between a meme and a video, a GIF is just an animated image. Really? That’s it? Really. That’s it.

Rather than video files, they are static loops of soundless images. If you lived in the pre-digital era, you might recall owning a flipbook. When you flicked through the pages really quickly, the static image appeared to move. GIFs work the same way.

GIFs as Marketing Tools: Why Do They Work?

Not only are GIFs shared among family and friends for fun, but they are great to use in your marketing strategy. If your audience resonates with them, that is. And if they do, then…

  • By adding the perfect GIF to your content, you can establish an authentic and valuable connection
  • Using this format is perfect for today’s consumers with its short, looping format

Another added bonus? If you create an awesome social media video or introduction video for your website, you can crop it to create a custom GIF for your business. That’s definitely a unique way for you to really show off your brand!

How to Convert Video to GIF

You’d be surprised how many places there are to find a GIF:

  • Imgur
  • Reddit
  • Gifycat

And these are just to name a few. But what if the GIF you want to use doesn’t exist? Is there a way to create your own GIF? Is it possible to convert a video to GIF?


Video to GIF Using GIPHY Video Converter

There are SO many GIF converters out there, but today we’ll take a look at how to convert video to GIF using GIPHY.

Giphy’s website (or iPhone iOS /iPad /Android app) allows you to create in the following video formats: JPG/JPEG, PNG, GIF, MP4, or MOV using their GIF maker. A YouTube video (any other online video URL you have access to) can also be pasted directly. But if it’s a video you have on your Mac or PC, know there are restrictions, so be sure your video is less than 100 megabytes and less than 10 minutes. Again, if it’s a video you own, it should be simple enough for you to trim.

Video to GIF Using GIPHY Video Converter
GIPHY Video Converter uploading

Once your video is uploaded, you can adjust its length – GIFs are only about 6 seconds long. You can use the sliders to select the duration of your GIF animation and also the section of your video you wish to loop. After that, click “Continue.”

Then, you can add any text, stickers, and additional animations you wish to your video clip. You can also customize the style as well as the animation. When you’re satisfied, tap “Continue to Upload.

Decorate gif with captions stickers filters text

When you’re finished, upload your new GIF to GIPHY. The embed code can either be copied, downloaded directly, or shared via social media. If you’d like, adding your original video’s URL to your GIPHY profile and tagging with relevant terms will increase your chances of being found on the GIPHY site.

Giphy add tags

Video to GIF Using Vimeo

A similar tool is also available on Vimeo.

Vimeo gif upload

To turn a clip or section of your video into a GIF, click the “GIF” button on the left side of the screen to launch the GIF editor. From there, you can select the part of your video you’d like to loop.

Vimeo gif create
Vimeo gif loop

Next, click “Create GIF.” The GIF will then be exported for further use and can be shared online (or you can create an embed code specific to your email platform, making embedding as simple as copying and pasting!)

*NOTE* You will need. to upgrade to a paid Plus account to remove Vimeo’s watermark.

Video to GIF Using Adobe Photoshop

You can always use Photoshop for a video to GIF conversion if you’re feeling adventurous.

Again, GIFs are only about 6 seconds long, so the first step is to trim down your video end time to a GIF-appropriate length. Before uploading your video to Photoshop, you can do this by editing your video in QuickTime or iMovie.

Your next step is to reduce the video’s size. Although there is no “standard size” to use for GIFs, 960 x 540 is probably the most favorable. To change the size, select Image, then click on Image Size.

After resizing, your next step is to go to “File,” “Export,” and “Save for Web (Legacy).” A panel will appear on your screen and this is where you will set up your video to be GIF-ready!

Select “GIF” from the dropdown menu on the top-right. While you’re there, you’ll also want to choose GIF 128 Dithered from the Presets menu and make sure to select Foreverfrom the Looping Options.

Photoshop options

When you’re happy with the look of your GIF, go back up to “File,” “Save,” and “Save a Copy.” When choosing your file format, make sure to save it as a GIF image format and choose a download location.

Using to Convert YouTube to GIF

Additionally, you can use VEEDs free program. This tool makes it super easy to convert a YouTube video to GIF.

Veed YouTube video to gif converter

To use YouTube’s video as a GIF, you simply select paste the YouTube video link – or Dropbox link – into the video editor (you can also choose to upload your own video file!).

Next, trim the clip to the size you’d like (and click on the “canvas size menu to change the dimensions, if necessary). There are preset dimensions for social media available for you to choose from, making life easy! VEED also allows you to add text, customize font size, style, and more, just like Vimeo and GIPHY.

To download your GIF, select “Download as GIF from the options after clicking on “Export.”

Interested in creating a custom GIF to use in your marketing strategy? For a high-quality GIF for your business, you’ll need a high-quality video. Give us a call today to get started!