Lately I’ve been getting a lot of messages asking me what I use to make my gifs, and my friends on my other tumblr liked the idea of me making a tutorial so here it is! Hopefully this will be of some use to someone.
I am going to show you all how to make this gif, guest starring the lovely David 8:
What you’ll need for this tutorial:
- Adobe Photoshop CS5 or CS4 (extended)
- Basic knowledge of Photoshop
Hopefully this is detailed enough to where I’ve covered everything. If you still have any questions after this don’t hesitate to ask me!
First, you need to download and install KMPlayer. Once you have that situated, open it up and hit CTRL+g which is the shortcut for continuous screen capture.
It should look like this:
full size image
These are the settings I use, but feel free to change it to whatever works best for you. Some people have it set ‘5 Every # frame’ but I use 1 because with more frames, the smoother the gif looks. The default image extension is set to bitmap but that can make a single cap be way huge so .png or .jpeg is best.
KMPlayer will automatically set up a folder in your documents where your screen captures will go to so you don’t have to worry about that unless you’re anal like me and have folders for all of your caps. To switch folders just click the little folder icon next to ‘open’ and select the folder you want to use.
Once you have that done, don’t close that window out! You can either go to the top left hand corner of you KMP, click that logo and go to ‘Open File’ to open your video or just drag and drop your video to get it started. You can either cap the whole clip or just a certain part of the video if you want. Either way hit ‘start’ then play your video and you’re on your way! Simply hit ‘stop’ when you’ve gotten all the caps you need.
Take note that KMP wants ALL of your attention when you’re doing this in that it over laps onto everything else you’re doing while it’s taking screen caps. So it’s best to keep the screen small and in one of the corners before you start capping. That way it doesn’t get in the way of whatever else you’re doing.
I’ve already got the entire David 8 video capped, so now to open up Photoshop.
Once you have it open, go to File » Scripts » Load Files into Stack
A window will pop up. Click ‘browse’ and go to the folder where you have your caps stored. To select all of the files you want to use for your gif just hold the shift key then select your files. Hit ‘open’ then when all the files load in the box hit ‘ok’. The files will load into multiple layers and it will looks something like this, hello David!
full size image (and yes as you can see they are in .bmp i forgot to set it to png when I was capping it lmao)
If you don’t have your animation timeline opened yet go to Windows » Animation and it will show up.
Now hit ctrl+n to make a new file and set it to 500x500. Once you have that, go back to your caps and select all of your layers which you can then drag into your new file. With all layers selected re-size them so that the scene you want fits into the frame nicely. Then go to the animation window and click the drop box, then click 'make frames from layers'. After that, go and click ‘reverse frames’ so that your gif won’t play backwards.
Now select all the frames and click the arrow on one of the frames and change the timing to 0.1 seconds (of course you can always change it if you want to what makes the gif look best). Make sure that you have ‘forever’ set on your looping options (it’s next to the play button).
At this point let the animation play a few times so you can decide where to delete any excess frames. This gif had about 100 frames, but I cut it down to 25.
Now for coloring! What I use most of the time:
- color balance
The important part is to EXPERIMENT! Play around with the numbers and decide on what you think looks the best. Note that the darker the colors the easier it is to keep under 1MB. Also remember that when you do your coloring to do it all in the first frame so that it will also effect the rest of your frames.
Now to sharpen it! Select all of your layers (but the color filters) and all of your frames. Then go to your animation window and in the right hand corner and click ‘convert to timeline animation’:
Then go to Filter » Convert for Smart Filters a window will pop up and just click ‘yes’. Then go to Filter » Sharpen and that will make all of your layers sharpened all nice and pretty.
NOTE: this option of sharpening all of your layer is only available if you have an extended version of photoshop. Otherwise you will have to click on each layer and it’s frame and sharpen it manually.
At this point you can go to File » Save for Web & Devices to save your gif.
These are my settings for this gif:
For this one I set it to diffusion (which is best for 500px gifs because then you can mess with the lossy to make it under 1MB), but having it set on pattern makes for a nice clean look as well. Playing around with the number of colors is also important.
After you have your settings to what you want all you gotta do is click ‘save’ and there you have it! Your gif is all done.