Sherlock gun

I am reusing an old post as I though it might do for a DS106 Tutorial.

I’ve used this application for both creating gifs from short sections of movies and form video footage shot on my phone.

Last year I was following some of the DS106 fun and playing with animation gifs. Instead of using photoshop or the like I fell upon the command line application
Gifsicle which works very well indeed on OSX (and is available for lots of other platforms) Gifsicle is © Eddie Kohler.

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. Update I’ve made a new build that works on Lion (2012-02-14).

There are very few features, the application will grab 10 frames and you can choose to grab them every 1-20 frames. It will export a selection of these 10 frames and allows you to do some simple colour reduction.

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.

I’ve found the odd .mov file that will not play in my application, opening it in QuickTime and exporting to iphone format seems to fix these.

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.


My first attempt at a ds106 assignment. I was reading Alan Levine’s post Building the No English Words Translation Tool about a new DS106 assignment Make The Untranslatable Understood the task is:

Use the Random Words with No English Translation tool to generate a word that could be better understood with a photo or image. Find a creative commons image or make your own, and include the word somehow in the image (using a desktop photo editor or web tool like Aviary or PicNIk). Then share it with someone and ask if it makes sense.

I click through a few and then got sidetracked (more about that later).

Today I reloaded the tool and Uitwaaien popped up.

“Literally, this Dutch word means to walk in the wind, but in the more figurative (and commonly used) sense, it means to take a brief break in the countryside to clear one’s head.”

I slightly disremembered this, thinking of head in the clouds which reminded me of the cover of On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious by Douglas Harding. This lead me to this (click for larger versions):

Uitwaaien 440

and this:

Uitwaaien Crop 440

Checking images for the cover of On Having No Head it seems that my memory was faulty again, not quite how I remembered it. Not to worry.

One of the resions I am joining in with ds106 is to learn how to photoshop, having a fairly unused copy on my work laptop, but here I went for my comfort zome of fireworks 8 (the last one with a really good edu discount). I mostly use fireworks for cropping and maybe dropping the odd shadow but Feathered selections and transparent gradients in Fireworks 3 go me on the right track

Howto 8

I faded the head a wee bit too much but I know how to do it now. I had 2 photos ofthe same place one with me in it one without (Credit to my daughter Christine). I tool my head area out of the photo without me and cropped it to a wee rect round my head as a layer on the photo of me. I then masked the layer with a graident as per instructuions.