Storyboard and Gifboard

I saw a link from somewhere in my RSS reader, probably hacker news, to Storyboard: Read your TV and Movies..

Storyboard creates pdfs from movies with subtitles, one page per subtitle.

Storyboard transforms your videos into other types of media.

Make a GIF of a favorite joke from a TV show, or make a book out of a movie you love.
Starting with subtitles included in the video file or available online, Storyboard scans a video for scene changes and is able to put together a PDF that you can put
onto your phone or e-reader, letting you read instead of watch.

Gifboard, another program included with Storyboard, can use those same subtitles to create a GIF based on a line of dialog in the video.

from: Storyboard: Read your TV and Movies.

This would seem to be right up DS106’s street.

Getting started

Storyboard is a commandline, ruby, application and the installation and running needs you to use the terminal. I do not spend a lot of time in the terminal but can manage a few things. StoryBoard also need a few other things in place first. Most of these can be installed using Homebrew! I mostly followed the instructions on the storyboard page. I got a fair number of errors, needed to install other things etc but managed to guess my way through.


The bit I was interested in was creating gifs for movies. This is how it works. I did a quick search on my mac and found a Movie, Smultronstallet aka Wild Strawberries, that had a subtitle .srt file.

In the terminal I went to this folder, and issued the command:

gifboard -t "kiss" Smultronstallet.avi

This then presented me with a choice of subtitle tracks, and after I choose one, a list of subtitles with the word kiss in it, I choose one, after a bit of messaging in the terminal window, my gif was created.


It turns out that some AVI files have the subtitles incorporated in them and gifboard can handle them too.

The quality of the gifs is not as good as many of the ones I’ve seen produced by ds106ista and the files sizes seem big, I shrunk some by deleting every second frame and increasing the delay, others are improved by simply deletign a frame or two.

I see occasional errors but mostly repeating the command in the terminal seems to fix this.

AS to how useful this is I am not sure, the storyboard option produces and interesting alt view of a whole movie. Gifboard is another tool that some ds106 folk might enjoy playing with.

Here are a couple more gifs, any guesses as to the movies?

grunt kill_us_all kill_rich


Here are my storyboard install notes which show some of the problems I had (just a txt file).


The Big Steal

More BBC inspired giffing. nice to see some B&W back on the box. The Big Steal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia described as a noir/comedy staring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer is great stuff.

I just marched through the movie grabbing some sections with Movie2Gif – John’s World Wide Wall Display doing a little extra cleaning up in fireworks.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to find any section to illustrate the most interesting aspects of the movie. Firstly the female lead was I feel treated as more of an equal that usual. The only North American who could speak good Spanish, the movie is set in Mexico, she held her own bantering with Robert Mitchum, driving a car and firing a gun in fairly high heels. , the villains all shouted at the Mexican characters. The two main Mexican characters spoke good English and displayed intelligence.

I didn’t manage to gif any of those moments but here is a few I did:







Beat Gif

Wandering round youtube I found Jack Kerouac (rare footage) / Cat Power – Good Woman – YouTube. Most of the Kerouac I’ve seen have been chat show footage with a drunk Kerouac. This clip shows his gentler side. Unfortunately to get the gif file size down I had to crush it hard.



  1. Downloaded the mp4 with Fastesttube in Safari.
  2. Loaded it into Movie2Gif and exported some gifs, all with 15 frames.
  3. Opened fireworks and did a wee bit of cropping of some of the gifs.
  4. Created a new document in Fireworks, imported and placed the gifs.
  5. Made a new layer for the ‘frames’.
  6. Used the export wizard to get the files size down to 1.1MB

I guess this is a ds106 Assignments: Multi-Frame GIF Story.

5 from 39

Enjoyed the original 39 steps on the TV the other night. Some giffable moments:











I just skimmed through a downloaded version in Movie2Gif and exported a few gifs. One or two I edited  a wee bit in fireworks.

Most of the DS106 croud seem to use GIMP or photoshop for giffing but I like Fireworks. Movie2Gif is just a fronted for Gifsicle which does a nice job of stitching frames together from stills. Fireworks is good for grabing a bit of a frame and ‘spreading’ it over all the other frames to freeze that section of the gif.

This sort of fits the ds106 Assignments: Multi-Frame GIF Story. If I get some more time I might go on with the movie, maybe get 39 gifs from it.

As usual, not much any refection on the movie from me.

Train to Anywhere

I am getting on The GIF Train and Riffing a GIF working off Alan’s The Faultless Feed (GIF) Train.

going for the quick and dirty rather than any precision train engineering. Taking the CogDog Express across Scotland,


Over Glasgow:

And over the moon:


Here is a greenscreen train, if anyone wants to take the train a bit further.