If pictures are worth a thousand words, then an animated GIF image is worth a million. That may help to explain why GIF images are so popular. Animated GIF images are everywhere you look on the web. Millions upon millions of websites, social media sites and image pages, contain every type of GIF image you can think of. But what exactly is it that has made them so popular these days? Why are so many people creating their own GIFS and uploading them online? Especially on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
What GIFS Are All About
An animated GIF image (Graphics Interchange Format) is what you call a file which contains a graphic bitmap image that has movements. The bitmap format of GIF images was developed by Steve Wilhite who was a United States software writer. He first discovered the GIF images back in June 15, 1987. GIFS are typically found on websites and come in banners, icons and pictures. In addition, GIFS loop infinitely which give off the impression that the file has not finished playing out.
The average length of a GIF Image is between 10 to 15 seconds max. They can also be made from still images that show a few sequences and stop afterwards. GIFS are not the same as JPEG image formats because they do not degrade the quality of the images. They use lossless compression and include a maximum of 256 colors. Even though animated GIFS only contain 256 colors, people still use them widely. However, they are not the ideal format for anyone who wants to store their digital photos.
Why GIFS Images Became So Popular
Before animated GIF images were available, people had to resort to viewing still pictures. The only other way to see animation or movement in images was via videos. However, videos take a long time to upload and are often too huge in size to share. At the same time, a person must watch the entire video or skip to the part he or she is looking for to see it. Apart from that, videos take long to buffer and pose a problem for those who have limited data or slow speed internet connections. GIFS began to gain popularity when epic fail videos started popping up all over the web.
Many users took the parts of people doing crazy, embarrassing or unusual things, and turned them into 10 to 15 seconds mini movie clips. Before long, funny, crazy or wild animated GIF images were all over the internet. Since they took such little space, it made sharing, storing or saving them a cinch. In fact, their ability of a GIF image to be shared so easily, has helped to turn people into internet sensations. There are millions of GIFS images found on the web which are very popular and have turned unknown people, into online celebrities. GIFS images also help to spread clips of celebrities, athletes and famous people taken from movies, TV shows or games.
Making GIFS or Changing Formats
Another reason why animated GIF images have become so popular is because they are now very easy to make. Years ago, people had to use sophisticated software or programs. Others had to use photo editing tools such as Photoshop to create and edit them. These days, there are many websites which let you create an animated GIF image quickly and easily.
You can use our Convert files to GIF tool here at Online Convert to make a GIF. In case you have any type of an image which you may want to convert to another format, you can use our other image conversion tools as well.
Animated GIF images are one of the best thing to happen to internet users who wanted to view animated images quickly and easily. That is one of the many reasons why they are so popular.
Animated GIFs, images that loop clips like a video, are very popular. They are used to express different moods or react to posts on social media or elsewhere online. They capture short sequences of a video or animate still images to loop after one another.
Sadly, animated GIFs are not supported by all social media platforms yet. Facebook and Instagram, for example, disable the animation. If you upload an animated GIF to either of them, all you will be able to see is the first frame of the image. Thus, it might be interesting and even necessary to convert your animated GIF to video. That way, you can post it almost everywhere!
Following, you will find the tutorial on how to turn your animated GIF into a video.
For the conversion, we suggest you use the MP4 video format. This format is widely supported by most social media platforms and devices. This will make sure that your video can be viewed in the largest number of browsers, players and devices.
The GIF we will use for this tutorial was taken from Giphy.com.
Enter a URL to a GIF (we would have to use http://i.giphy.com/Ol2yHMEFJdYEo.gif )
Upload a GIF from Dropbox or Google Drive
3. Convert your file
The optional settings can be ignored for a simple conversion of animated GIFs to video. Thus, head straight to the bottom of the form and click on “Convert file.”
4. Receive your video
You will be immediately redirected to the page where you can download your new video. Depending on your browser, it will be automatically saved on your computer or you will be asked where to save the MP4. Using iOS devices, you might have to save the video to Dropbox since the iPhone, for example, doesn’t allow you to save files from the browser.
And that’s it! Now, you have your animation saved in a versatile video format!
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That we can turn short snippets of movies and video clips to animated GIF is a known fact. If you want to know hos this works, check out our movie to animated GIF tutorial!
Today, however, we want to talk about the reverse of this. Animated GIFs can be turned (back) into video clips as well. Let us first have a look at why you’d want to do that and then jump right into the tutorial.
One of the main and probably most crucial reasons is that many social sharing sites do not support animated GIFs. And if, they only allow uploads of a certain file size.
Instagram and Facebook, for example, do not support animated GIFs to be shown. You can upload them, but all you will see is the first frame, no animation. Social blogging sites like Tumblr have a restriction in both image dimension and file size when it comes to uploading animated GIFs. Files over 1 MB or larger than a height or width of 500 px can not be uploaded. Or they also show up as still images.
In order to still share your favorite animated GIF, you can easily convert it to video. Video clips are supported by most if not all social media platforms. Thus, the format provides a great way to share your animated GIF.
Whether you need your GIF converted for the reasons mentioned above or your own personal needs, let’s have a look at how this is done. Just two more things I want to add before we start.
The conversion is an online service. That means that you won’t have to download or install anything. Perfect for mobile usage.
For smaller files (100 MB and smaller), this service is completely for free!
Upload the animated GIF you want to convert. We used an atmospheric GIF of the irish countryside from Giphy.
There are three ways to do so: Upload from your hard drive, entering a link and uploading it from Google Drive or Dropbox
Click on “Convert File” at the bottom of the form.
After a little while you will be redirected to the download page.
The download of your video will start automatically. Depending on your browser and setting, it will immediately download it or ask you for permission and a download location.
Now you have it, your video-turned GIF! This short video clip can now be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram or any other page that did not support your GIF before. And, of course, you can use it for other purposes as well now. Our video can be watched above. Coincidentally, the GIF was too big to upload. 😅
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Instagram is the perfect way to share images and videos with your followers and the world. The focus is on the image, with the text being merely complimentary to the visuals. There are so many ways to draw attention to your pictures, with filters, editing, and Instagram stories allowing you to draw and write on images.
Yet, have you ever tried to upload an animated GIF to Instagram?
If you did, you have surely noticed that it will not be animated. Instead, there will only be a static image of the first frame. What if we tell you that you can upload animated GIFs to Instagram though – with a little trick!
Of course, Instagram is mainly used to share images and videos of yourself, of your daily life. However, it is also used to share images you found on the internet for example. So far, there had been no real way to share animated GIFs with someone since Instagram only posts a static image of the animation.
The tutorial below will show you a little trick on how you can still post your favorite animated GIF on Instagram!
1. Get The Link Of Your GIF
We bet that you have your own sources for amazing, funny or even calming animated GIFs. No matter if you found it on tumblr, google, 9gag or giphy – what you need is the link to the GIF image. On giphy.com, for example, you can find the link underneath the GIF under the “Advanced” tab.
Copy the link to the clipboard.
2. Go To Online-Convert.com
Online-Convert.com is a free online file conversion service and we’re going to use it for our GIF. The page is optimized for mobile usage, so don’t worry about having to use a computer.
However, instead of going to the image converters there, go to the video converters. There, choose MP4 as the target file format.
3. Convert Your GIF To Video
There, you can paste the GIF link from your clipboard into the URL field. Of course you can also upload a GIF if you saved it on your device or upload it from Dropbox or Google.
You can ignore all the optional settings and click on “Convert file”.
4. Receive Your Video
After a short wait, the service will successfully have turned your animated GIF into a video. Download it to your device. To do so on an iPhone or other iOS device, you might have to use Dropbox or iTunes for that.
5. Upload The New Video To Instagram
Open your Instagram app. Now, all you have to do is choose the video from your gallery, edit it, add a description and upload it to your profile.
If you are a blogger or content writer for several blogs and platforms, you know your content management systems by hard. Typo3, WordPress, Blogspot, you got that down. SEO and keyword optimization shouldn’t be a problem for you either. You know how to create your content and blog articles according to your, your readers, or your client’s standards.
However, there may be the one or other tool or helpful gadget you are still missing out on. Writing blog articles is more than just creating text and adding one or two nice pictures (and even finding those can be pretty hard). Make the very best of your content by adding more value, visuals, or fun gimmicks.
To enable you to make the acquaintance of some helpful tools, we have set up the following list with screenshots and description of several handy tools and web services for your blogger needs.
This is essential. If you are an ambitious blogger already, you already found the blog system of your choice. For those that want to start, we have gathered three well-known and versatile platforms that are not only suitable for beginners.
Bloggeris the blog system under the big umbrella that is Google. To create a blog on blogger, all you need is a Google account. If you have one already, you can already set up your blog using one of the many customizable layouts presented by Google.
As everything that is operated by Google, you can promote your blog easily on various channels, and the management of the blog itself is very easy and straightforward. If you want to give your first blog a try – and if you have a Google account anyway – Blogger is a quick and easy way to start.
Contrary to Blogger, WordPressis a CMS not only used for private blogs, but to create company blogs and even websites as well. As a ‘beginner’ you can choose and customize either one of the default WordPress themes, or you can download and install a free theme from the huge community WordPress has.
Additionally to a very easy and intuitive blogging system, WordPress also provides many widgets and plugins you can install and use for your blogs. They range from SEO Tools to picture optimization, from spam protection to your own personal ‘hiatus’ page.
If you want to dive into blogging and website creation even more professionally, you can change to the paid version of WordPress as well. This version leaves way more room for customization of the layout, CSS, and HTML. Many website hosts provide WordPress as a standard CMS as well.
Tumblrcombines having your own blog with the social networking idea. While you do have your own blog with a personalized layout (many Tumblr users offer amazing and free layouts on their pages, just try the search option), the Tumblr dashboard itself works as a constantly refreshing array of posts. Creating different kinds of posts yourself is easy, whether you want to upload a link, text, video, song, or picture set. The posts appear on your blog as well as on the dashboard of your “followers”. Furthermore, you can reblog other people’s posts or answer the. They appear on your blog as well.
If you do not look for a more fun platform with a big and lively community to share your thoughts and interests with, Tumblr is your place to go.
You are in need of a beautiful picture to underline your blog post content, but you can not take or create one yourself? Then check out these websites that provide free stock photos and images for you to use.
One of the largest image resource pages on the web surely already heard of is flickr. On flickr, people upload graphics and drawings, but mainly photographs. You will most likely find pages worth of images to every topic imaginable.
However, when using the images, do not forget to give proper credit. Many images are are copyright protected, but if you use the search filters to browse for images you may not only be allowed to use but even alter, you will still find many appealing images for your purpose.
Choosing from 420.000 pictures, Pixabaymay be not as big as the flickr community, however all images you find on this page are free for your usage. Illustrations, vector graphics, as well as photographies can be found here. The usage is for free, however you can buy your favorite artists a coffee to support them.
Don’t be repelled by the first image suggestions though, they refer to the stock image page shutterstock. Underneath, you will find the pictures you can download in various sizes after entering a captcha.
The underdog of the three websites presented here is Unsplash. The variety of the photographs displayed is not as big as with the other two, however, Unsplash takes a more artistic touch to the concept. The images are all free to use and especially appealing for social media websites like Pinterest or a generally more ‘romantic’ and visually ambitious audience.
In an earlier blog entry, we have given you a list of open source image editing programs and web services, that allow you to enhance and edit your pictures without having to install Photoshop. However, there are more visual aids you can add to your blog to not only attract readers, but also generate some additional value.
1. Text Effects & Logos
Want to quickly create a logo, banner, or text? Then check out CoolText. On the page, you can choose form different logo styles using different fonts, styles, and even animation. The styles are customizable to a degree, allowing you to change size, color, gradient, shadow, outline, and more!
You can download the logo for free, depending on the style even choosing between various image file formats. PNG and GIF images support transparency.
Add some extra value to your post by summarizing your findings or ideas in an appealing infographic. And you do not even have to set it together using some image editing software. Easel.ly allows you to choose between existing layouts or a blank canvas. Drag and drop different items like graphics, texts, banners, and backgrounds onto your canvas. Uploading your own graphics and icons is possible too, of course.
3. Comparison Tables
Another great way to add some extra value to your blog post is by adding a comparison chart of the most important facts – if it fits, of course.
An easy and visually appealing way to do so is registering for a free account at CompareNinja. With your basic account, you can at least create three comparison tables for free. The different layouts let you choose between different styles, fonts, and colors. Adding text and check boxes is easily done with one or two clicks. However, if you use the code provided on your blog entry, at least when using the basic version of CompareNinja, your table will show a banner of the page.
A free if and almost equally visually appealing variant is Eric’s Estimate’s Free Comparison Table Generator. Create your tables to your liking, choosing colors and even different icons displayed instead of text, and generate the according HTML and CSS code for your blog post.
4. Word Clouds
Word clouds are still a fun eye catcher. At WordItOut, you can generate your own word clouds. Background color, color, color gradient, font, font size, and many more options can be toggled to create a word cloud that matches your layout design or “mood” of your blog post. After entering your email address, the image containing your word cloud will be sent to you.
More often than not, there are better open source and otherwise free software alternatives to native Windows or Apple products. In this article, we want to have a look at the Windows picture viewers and the alternatives that offer you more and better features.
When browsing the help forums on the internet, you quickly come across some problems with the native Windows 7 and Windows 8 image viewing options. Windows Image (or Photo) Viewer from Windows 7 and 8 is unable to display animated GIFs, for example, only showing the first frame. The modern ‘Photos‘ app of Windows 8 does show animation in most cases, yet the app is set to full screen by default, overlapping all other programs in the background.
Thankfully, many free alternatives allow animation as well as the bypassing of full screen mode.
IrfanView is a free image viewer that works on all Windows platforms. Under certain cirumstances, the program runs on Linux and Next to displaying images, videos and audio files can be opened as well. The possibility of editing and converting pictures is given in some extend as well.
The following files can be viewed. For an exhaustive list, have a look at this list.
GIF (also animated)
PSD (Photoshop file)
RAW camera files
Other interesting features involve:
Creation of screensavers
Communicate with scanners
Brightness & contrast
Furthermore, IrfanView is available in over 20 languages. It allows for several plugins to be installed to advance the features even more, and has a thumbnail function for better picture organization. The most striking feature, however, is the compactness of the program, with the basic version occupying about 1.6 MB only.
Picasa is an image viewing and organizing software owned by Google. It’s available for Windows from XP up to Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Linux via Wine.
Edit: However, depending on the color profile of your image, Picasa can hit it’s limitations. CMYK pictures are not always supported (errors regarding PSD files saved in CMYK are common).
The following file formats are supported by Picasa. For an exhaustive list click here.
GIF (not animated)
PSD (Photoshop files)
some RAW camera files
Other features provided are:
Tagging on Google+
Red eye reduction
The image viewer Imagine was developed mainly for Windows platforms (up to Windows 8). While the program features some useful features, it’s last update unfortunately came out in November 2012.
Files supported include:
GIF (also animated)
PSD (Photoshop files)
RAW camera files
XCF (Gimp files)
Imagine has very strong support for different kinds of animations. The features provided include the following. An exhaustive list can be seen here.
Extracting frames from animations
Creation of animations
The XnView software is a file manager with support of image viewing. It’s available for Windows and it’s mobile versions, as well as OS X and Linux.
Numerous image, audio, and video formats are supported by XnView, including:
RAW camera files
Some of the most common features of XnView are:
Search for similar graphics
Filters & effects
FastStone Image Viewer
FastStone Image Viewer is available for Windows platforms from Windows 98 up to Windows 8. It’s an image viewing and organization software with stable releases.
The most common file formats are supported by FastStone Image Viewer, including:
GIF (also animated)
RAW camera files
Among others, the program offers the following features:
Slide shows (including music and effects)
Side-by-side image comparison
Red eye removal
A more exhaustive list of supported file types and features can be seen on the FastStone Homepage.
Sometimes, however, you may encounter an image file none of these free alternatives are able to open. In such cases, you can still convert the file in question quickly and easily with an online image file converter.
They are smaller in size than movies and focus on the short sequences you want to re-watch or share. They are view-able without a problem in all browsers on almost every device. Reactions to forum posts, funny sequences from videos, pointing something out in a specific scene – those are just a few reasons for why you may want to create a moving and animated GIF.
Most people use Adobe Photoshop or another photo-editing software to create these small moving pictures, but not everyone knows how to utilize them – or can afford buying such a program. Using a GIF converter, however, is a quick and easy way to get your favorite scene as an animated GIF – and it doesn’t cost a thing!
How to make Animated GIFs
At first, you need the movie or video you want to convert, of course. It doesn’t matter which format the movie is in – MOV, AVI, MP4, MKV, etc. – what counts is that it isn’t too long.
When uploading a longer video, only the first 30 seconds will be converted into an animated GIF. Thus, if you want a specific scene to be “giffed”, it would be better to cut the video into short portions of no longer than 30 seconds. This can either be done with a video editing software, or by using the option of cropping a video e.g. on this free MP4 converter.
Once you have the cut or short video – or several short videos – you can start with the “real” GIF making process!
Get that GIF
After you have the video(s) you want to convert, visit the GIF Image Converter page. There you can browse for your video and select it. Basically, you are good to go now. Click on “Convert File” and wait. Your animated GIF will download after the conversion is finished.
Yet, there are a few ways in which you can edit the GIF by choosing different options before the conversion.
Change Size: Change the size of your resulting GIF, e.g. 400 px width (height will be adjusted in proportion)
Color: Change the color of the GIF to greyscale, monochrome, negate, or another color scheme.
Enhance: Add different filters to your GIF, like sharpening, despeckle, and more
Here you have a few examples on how the GIFs can turn out: