How I Make GIFs … in 2022

About a year ago, I shared how I made GIFs. Since then, a lot has changed, so I figured it was time for an update.

A few months back, Automattic sent me a new computer, complete with an M1 Max SoC (we’re hiring, btw). If you’ve heard anything about Apple’s new M1 chips, it’s probably that they’re ridiculously fast, but only on apps built for M1, so of course I had to find one for GIFs. It didn’t take me long to find Gifski. It’s free, fast, and the quality is excellent!

My process for cutting the videos hasn’t changed since the last post, so let’s dive in with Gifski. When I say it’s fast, I mean it. GIF Brewery took minutes to convert GIFs, and Gifski takes seconds. It also estimates the file size first, so you don’t have to waste time repeatedly generating GIFs to get them under your platform’s limit. Just open the video, make sure the settings are good, double-check the estimated file size, convert, and you’re done in seconds.

GIF Brewery maxed out at 256 colors, but Gifski supports thousands of colors via whatever “cross-frame palettes and temporal dithering” is (hey, I just make GIFs, I don’t understand them). The added colors make a huge difference in vibrancy, and I’ve noticed an especially huge improvement in darker scenes, they’re no longer washed out. Gifski also supports up to 60 frames per second for crisp slow motion scenes. The downside though is that more colors + more frames = larger files. Watch out for green bar artifacts too. The green bars are a problem upstream that can’t be fixed, but you can get rid of them by making sure your dimensions are divisible by 4, which is fine. (Edit: This has been fixed.)

Gifski is free, it’s fast, and the quality is impressive, but it does lack GIF Brewery’s built-in text and sticker features, so I still keep it around for that. With that said, GIF making is more about fun than perfection.

You won’t learn anything about making GIFs by not making GIFs, so have fun! If you don’t know where to post your GIFs, consider opening a Tumblr or site just for them, and don’t forget to share your GIF’s source. If you’re using Tumblr, they have a special field for that.

If you’re just getting started with your own GIFs, I hope this helps! All of the GIFs embedded in this article were made with Gifsky, and for more, check out my GIFs from Ultraman Z.