Monday, September 15, 2014

How to make an animated GIF for your blog! And 5 reasons to try!

Bindi Jumps for Beggin' Strips - A furry animated GIF

Today I'm sharing a quick and easy tech HOW-TO!
"Uh, Jenn, why are you going all tech on us?" you ask.
Because I'm on a mission to keep you all young and hip. I know you are either a teenager, or you have one in your life who you would like to think that you're not obsolete. Am I right?

You may have caught Friday's blog post where I needed an animated GIF to show a Thaumatrope business card in motion. It only took me a few minutes to figure it out and I knew I wanted to share the process with you as soon as possible. My apologies to the non-iOS users, this is a how-to on an iPhone. There are hundreds of ways to make animated gifs, if you don't have an iPhone, I recommend you take 30 minutes to give it a try on your Android or other smart phone app.

First, let me take a second to share a little extra knowledge about the .gif file format. I have always pronounced it (even from art school) with a hard g, but it actually is supposed to be pronounced like the peanut butter (JIFF). Here's the proof. But, I'm not going along without a gripe or two.

Why should you make an animated gif for your blog or website? I'm so glad you asked! Here is my list of 5 reasons to try making a .GIF:

  1. You'll learn something new and you'll be a little smarter
  2. You can show a technique like folding paper or hand stitching in a loop for your reader
  3. You can have fun showing something in fast or slow motion
  4. The draw attention to something specific in your blog with motion.
  5. Sharing GIFs can go viral in social media

Are you ready to try? Here are the directions. Read them then turn a short video into a gif and post it! tag it #MakingGifs. I can't wait to see them all!

To get started, I downloaded the FREE 5secondsapp (@5secondsapp) from the iTunes App store.

Then I wanted to shoot a quick video. Bindi, the Wonder Pup, said I should definitely shoot her getting some Beggin' Strips.

Clip of Bindi in motion

The whole clip in my photo stream.

Tap the Camera button to get this
options. Choose Video from
Your clip may be too long. If so
you'll get this warning. Move the
yellow slider to adjust the section.

Once you have the slider
where you want, tap Choose.

The app will then trim the video.

Then the app will convert it.

There are multiple editing options
along the bottom of the screen.
First tap at the top to add a title.

Like this.
Note the speed change along the
bottom, too. That can make
a crazy jumping dog!

Then use the crop square option
 and crop the video to where
the action is.

Now you can share or save it.

Mail it to your friends!

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