Animating Gifs on a rainy afternoon


One of the things I’ve been trying to keep up with (and failing) in my RSS reader is Digital Storytelling | We jam econo

Digital Storytelling (also affectionately known as ds106) is an open, online course that will begin on January 10th, 2011. This course is free to anyone who wants to take it…

About ds106 | Digital Storytelling

I’ve been following mostly through bavatuesdays the blog of Jim Groom.

As an aside I first blogged about Jim a few years ago, pointing to the marvellous Welcome to the People’s Republic of Non-Programistan which seems to have vanished and The Party Line which is still there.

One of the things that the ds106 folk have been doing is creating animated gifs from very short sections of movies. I am still not sure if I see the whole point of this, but it becomes a very addictive process. Recently Jim posted: Creating Animated GIFs with MPEG Streamclip and GIMP and pointed to another tutorial Better Animated GIF Tutorial for PS CS4 « Bionic Teaching. This got me playing and thinking a wee bit on a rainy weekend.

I’ve not got Photoshop and have seldom opened GIMP, but was creating animated gifs just last week for a blog post. I used Gifsicle which is a command line application to create animated gifs and works very well indeed on OSX (and is available for lots of other platforms) Gifsicle is © Eddie Kohler.

I am only using a very few of the many gifsicle options here, you can see all of its features on the Gifsicle Man Page

I wanted to speed up my workflow playflow for messing about in this way and though of SuperCard, my favourite mac application. I’ve used SuperCard to create a simple application (mac only) that will, load a Quicktime compatible movie, grab a short selection of frames, and create an animated gif with a few mouse clicks. The SuperCard bit grabs the frames and then used the gifsicle app (which it contains) to create animated gifs.

I’ve tested the application only briefly on a few different macs (10.4, 10.5 & 10.6 or tiger, Leopard and mostly Snow Leopard) and it seem to work. On the old G4 10.4 machine there is a wee bit of lag grabbing the frames, but it works out ok.

Here is a screencast:

You can download Movie2Gif from my dropbox, it is a rainy afternoon project miles away from a polished bit of software but might be useful/fun for someone.

If you Movie2Gif and give it a try, let me know how you get on, if it gets any positive feedback I’ll do a bit to improve it. Please send any suggestions, bugs etc to me.

Hump Catch

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