Animation, once available only for the trained and extremely patient, has always intrigued, entertained and distracted humans in any given culture or country. Who among us didn’t have a friend that spent countless hours with an old video camera or early digital camera, carefully moving whatever clay-model or toys they might have at hand before snapping yet another in a long series of frames? They too desired to join the ranks of filmmakers around the world.
I recall, sometime ago, doing a bit of research in creating my own animated GIF. I was quickly lost amongst the jargon of the ‘Photoshop’ world, and promptly gave up. True, I only tried for about an hour, which in the grand scheme of animation schedules is hardly a frame or two.
Enter an app called VideoGIF for MacOS, brought to us by PearlMountain Technology, which has been developing graphics software since 2006. Their goal: offer a super simple way to create your own animated GIF!
What is VideoGIF?
Let me give you the postcard version…
- Use your webcam to capture or load a video from your Mac.
- Crop, filter, overlay text, and trim the video file down to what you want in your animated GIF.
- Set a few parameters such as frames-per-second, frame delay, and quality.
- Save your sparkly, new animated GIF or export to an email/Tumblr and share it with the world!
That’s it! Not nearly as complicated as I remember (“layers? What are layers?” –Me 3 years ago)! If that still seems too complicated check out the video below.
What I Like:
- VideoGIF puts every option on a rather obvious button at each stage, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with complexity.
- There is a preview of your GIF that loops as you tweak the frames-per-second and quality so you can see exactly how the changes effect the final outcome.
- It was incredibly easy to send a GIF to a friend without having to search and attach the file.
What I Don’t Like:
- I feel like there aren’t enough sharing options, but I’m used to having everything easily portable to Facebook or Twitter, who are pretty strict with GIFs.
- Not much feedback: I would love to see a bit of guidance from the app as you go along; e.g. ‘that might be too many FPS to save easily’ or ‘this is the maximum FPS for the length of clip if you want it under X KB.’
If you feel a constant need to show your friends/coworkers exactly how you feel about something in a looping short video, then VideoGIF goes above and beyond the call of duty! Did you capture a hilarious video of someone tripping in the lunchroom? Manage to record that singing telegram your boss received this morning? Do you never really get tired of cats falling off of things? VideoGIF can capture your favorite moments and get them into an email before the buzz has really worn off.
The app is currently on sale for $4.99 in the US, but you should hurry, as it will jump back up to its usual price of $19.99 before long. Definitely worth the purchase if you’re constantly on the prowl for a good animated GIF!