The entire history of human expression, slightly abridged
There are a few animated .gif tutorials that I’d like to point you toward, as you’re getting started. I find the Gimp one easier (take that, Gimp haters!) because it walks you through every step and I’ve had pretty good luck with it in the past.
Before I give my overview, here are the links
Feel free to check out those tutorials. If you find success there, there’s no need to come back here for instructions unless you want to re-watch my totally bad ass exploding-Penguin-head (the Batman villain, not the antarctic creature).
Okay. A broad overview of both programs for people who are navigating one or both styles.
First you need a program that allows you to transform the video clip into individual frames. I use MPEG Streamclip, some people I know have used AviDemeux (I haven’t used it, and so can’t endorse it). Jim Groom’s tutorial on the DS106 wiki goes through step-by-step how to use MPEG Streamclip, and this Youtube video goes through how to use AviDemeux if you’re interested:
With Photoshop CS5 (the version we were using in the lab), you can, if you want, import the video by going to FILE>IMPORT>VIDEO FRAMES TO LAYERS, which cuts out that first step.
Once you have the frames, you import all of them as layers into your project. In Gimp, you go to FILE>OPEN AS LAYERS and select all of the images that you want to use for the .gif.
For Photoshop, you’ll need to go into Adobe Bridge (a separate, supporting program) and select all of your images there. Once you have selected them (using SHIFT-CLICK to highlight a string of images next to each other or CTRL-CLICK on images that are part of an interrupted sequence), then go to TOOLS>PHOTOSHOP>LOAD FILES INTO PHOTOSHOP LAYERS, and they will all become part of the same image.
For saving the file, I will refer you back to the original tutorial list:
Here is the animated gif that I made this time:
A long time ago (two years and fifty-one weeks ago), the A.V. Club did a review of an episode of Batman: The Animated Series that was originally broadcast in November 1992. I hadn’t seen the original series (I had just stopped watching cartoons and started listening to Ice-T and Nine Inch Nails when the show originally aired), but I was looking for some Batman pop culture to get me through until The Dark Knight Rises came out.
The A.V. Club reviews are thorough and fun to read (if incessantly, occasionally hilariously, typo-ridden). In the review of the episode “Dreams of Darkness” (a Scarecrow episode from Season 1, for those following along at home), Oliver Sava (the reviewer) wrote “There needs to be a GIF of that Penguin head-pop.” As I was sitting down to make a .gif for UMDSt, I remembered the line, it just popped into my head again. So I set off to make it.
I re-followed the DS106 wiki Gimp tutorial (penned by Jim Groom), and set out to complete the journey that Oliver Sava challenged me to take (okay, this language is ridiculously overblown, I know). At the end, though, the gif looked squashed, so I widened the whole image by 150 pixels. It was also pixelated (especially the half-moon of the Penguin’s right lapel), so I cut the size of the whole thing in half. The end, where Two Face’s face pops out was also way, way too short, so I duplicated that final layer two more times. All of that helped.
Here’s the original dream sequence that the .gif comes from.
PS: If you’re using Photoshop and want to do your own animations–meaning not just grabbing a scene from a movie–you can use the animation feature (Under WINDOW>ANIMATION) to add text or something else to a piece, to create motion, have one image appear on another one. Here’s a solid tutorial on that (the layout looks much more basic than CS5, but all of the stuff works, so).
I’ve created the two following .gifs with the animation tool, the first using appearing and disappearing text, and the other using appearing and disappearing image layers. I’ll do a short tutorial on the North Quad gif next.