[Project Cheerio] How to make a .gif from a movie

Just laugh. (Click the pic if it is not moving)

HAI ppl!

I am pretty sure a lot of you have seen .gif files being used as forum avatars, signatures, and who knows what else, but for a lot of you, you don’t know a way of doing, you believe it is too hard, or you might believe it might lead to a Nice Boat ending. Whatever your reason might be, I’ll show you how to make a high quality .gif file.

If anyone was wondering why I am writing this, I spent 5 hrs one day to find a way to directly convert a .avi into a .gif in a simple and convenient way, but fragmented tutorials, bad drivers and plug-ins, and a flood of other silly things just made me waste 5 hrs. In the end, I wanted to document what I did to make sure no one else suffers from that pain [MAKE THEM SUFFER!!!].

Goal of Project Cheerio:

A lot of you may be are wondering what in the world is with the name of this new series. If you guessed that it is named after a cereal, you are wrong (there’s a reason there is no “s” after cheerio). If you guessed it is named after the phrase someone used to try to revolutionized Japan, well he was not talked again after his exploits xD. In short, this project stands to revolutionize the lives it can affect, however few it may be. Now you might be asking, what is the point of such a silly project and idea? Well, I made this project so I can help revolutionize your lives and maybe the lives of others as well. Therefore, if you have something you want me to teach you how to do and/or a question you want to ask, tell me about them, and if I find a subject that I think deserves an article, I’ll write one.

Now that all the explanations on the name are done, here is how you can make the project help you. As I stated earlier, the project is meant for you to ask for help and/or questions. I would like it if you guys have questions related to anime and/or technology, but you are free to ask whatever you want (I will probably ignore you if you ask something that does not relate to the blog). That should be the only rule, so go learn and ask away. (Because of Madoka, I feel like I am heading toward a tragic end, but oh well) Wall of text. @_@

Tools/ Software: (Version I used is in orange, but any recent version should be fine)

Avidemux 2.5 (free)

VirtualDub 1.9.10 (free)

Bridge CS5 (I used this to have all the pictures be on the same layer, but you can do it manually or find another way)

Photoshop CS5 (used since it is one of the most popular photo editing programs)

Note 1: Make sure you have a high quality source to start because the output can only be as good as the input (assuming you don’t try redrawing things, apply filters, or attempt to make other touch-ups)

Note 2: I am assuming almost all of you are going to be starting with a .mkv file since that is the most popular format to save anime in. If you have a .avi, skip to step 6. If you have another format, I advise using SUPER [Note that the downloading site for this software is quite hard to go to without any proper help from other people] to convert your file into a .avi using a lossless format to preserve quality (If you are worried about space, remember that you can delete the video after using it).


1. Open avidemux and open up your video. Since .mkv has b-frames, you will get a warning about this, but just press okay.

2. To prevent a few issues that might arise later, go to “Audio” ->” Main Track…” and change “Audio source:” from “Video” to “None” because .gif files can’t have audio xD. After that, press “Ok”

3. Now, find the frames that you want to capture. After you find them, go to the first frame you want to capture and press the “A” button. Afterward, go to the last frame you want to capture and press the “B” button.  (I advise you write/type down the frames somewhere because this program has a tendency to crash)

4. Look to the left-hand side of the screen. There, you will see a whole bunch of settings. Change “Video” to a lossless codec of your choice. I tend to prefer FFV1, but you are free to use whatever you want. Also, make sure the “Format” is .avi.

Note: If you want to go from here and turn your file into a .swf, I find YV12 to be more friendly with programs than the other lossless codecs.

5. Save the file where you want, and let’s move on to the next program (make sure you write out the .avi at the end because Avidemux might not do it automatically for you).

Note: If your program crashed during encoding, try running it again. If it still crashes, I found switching computers to be of help sometimes xD (Not exactly feasible for everyone, but oh well xD) To be truthful, I am not exactly sure what to do then. The program does have a beta version available for download, so you might want to give that one a shot.


6. Open up VirtualDub and open up your video. Why does this step sound so familiar. It might be the start of endless eight xD

7. Go to “File” -> “Export” -> “Image Sequence…,” designate a folder to save the images (I advise you make a separate folder for the images to keep it nice and tidy), and save the entire series.

Adobe Photoshop/Bridge:

8. Open Photoshop and press “File” -> Browse in Bridge…”

9. Find the folder with all of your images and select all of them.

10. Now to bring the photos to photoshop in a single layer, go to “Tools” -> “Photoshop” -> “Load Files into Photoshop Layers…”

11. Go to Window -> Animation to open up the animation window

12. Press the button on the top right of the animation panel, and then press “Make Frames From Layers”

13. Press the button on the top right of the animation panel again and press “Document Settings…” to set the frame rate of your movie (if you have a bunch of squares in the animation panel, unlike the picture for step 12) select the little button with the lines and stars in the bottom right to do this step)

14. Press the button on the top right of the animation panel yet again and press “Convert to Frame Animation”

15. Go to the bottom left of the animation panel and set the animation to loop “Forever”

16. Now you might have noticed that your frames are playing in reverse, to fix that go Press the button on the top right of the animation panel yet again and press “Reverse Frames”

17. Go to “File” and click “Save for Web & Devices…” and make sure all the settings are right. I advise you run a preview to make sure everything is to your liking (.gif/s tend to lag though). When you are satisfied, save the file and be impressed that you made a high quality .gif file. If you didn’t like what you made a .gif of, just stare at the top of the page and laugh with it xD That’s naughty of you. 😛 Why do you say that? Sorry, wrong word. >_<

Hopefully this guide was useful for you. If it was not, then T_T. Feel free to leave any comments, questions, samples, or anything else below. Remember, I’m taking suggestions for more topics, so ask away! With that, that ends this night and this episode of Project Cheerio.


One response to “[Project Cheerio] How to make a .gif from a movie

  1. Wow, thanks for the guide blissfulyoshi! Lots of pictures and easy to follow, if I needed to make a .gif now I know where to refer myself to :).

    >>That’s naughty of you
    WHAT! I didn’t even think of it until you mentioned it D: Project Cheerio: I’ll never look at :O the same way again…

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