Let's Talk about GIFS, Baby | Five GIF Tips

dakota chasity photograph.gif

You know a post is going to be interesting when it starts out with a modified song title.

GIFS are hot right now & I’ve gotten several questions about them lately. So, I thought I’d take a whack at it (no pun intended, maybe).

#1. What I do want you guys to know is that it took me 6 hours to get through a video tutorial to figure out how to make my first gif. Back when I first started making them, I was not very familiar with photoshop. Even worse, I didn’t really understand some of the terminology, so I learned to make gifs on repetition. But I learned. This is not one of those things that you can microwave & expect results in 30 seconds. Everyone wants to know how to make them because they are super trendy right now, but a lot of people are not willing to put in the time to figure out how to do it. Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials. Get on ‘em. I can now make a gif in like 5-10 minutes and not feel like I’m about to sweat bullets.

#2. The best gifs are built on stability. If you’ve got steady hands or a tripod, this is going to make a huge difference in the way your gif turns out. The less stability, the more cropping you are going to have to do. No bueno.

#3. For those of you who have played around with or are familiar with making gifs, there is an awesome little tool when you run the script to stack your images that says “attempt to automatically align source images.” Even if you nailed the steady hands or used a tripod, this guy is going to make sure that it lines up all of your photos. The best way I can explain this is that a gif is like a loaf of bread. You have all of these slices that you want to line up together. Any excess that doesn’t line up with the loaf gets cut off. Same concept with the “attempt to automatically align source images” tool. Whatever doesn’t line up, you will have to crop off. I don’t ALWAYS use this tool, but I do about 75% of the time.

#4. Resize your animated timeline before you export. The files you are using to make a gif are huge. Photoshop does give custom options for this. I resize to 1136px x 640px 144ppi. This works for me, but you might find something that works better for you.

#5. When you are ready to export, you are going to “Save for Web (legacy)”, hit the tab that says “Original”, and save. This is GIF format. You can only use this to upload to platforms that support the GIF format.

#5, II: If you want to share your GIF on social media, you are going to have to turn this baby in to an MP4. Go down to where your animated timeline is & click on “covert to video timeline.” Then click “render video.” Make sure you are set to Adobe Media Encoder. My settings >>> Format: H.264, Preset: High Quality, Size: Document Size, Frame Rate: Document Frame Rate 30 fps, Field Order: Preset Progressive, Aspect: Document (1.0). Again, these work for me, but you might find something that works better for you. You can post the MP4 format to most online outlets & social platforms. These are the ones you want to send to your clients too!

I’m sure this won’t be the last time that I share on this topic & will try to share some resources on making GIFS soon! Until then, keep following #dakotamakesgifs or head over to my GIFS page to see more!

XO, Dakota Chasity

Dakota ArgoComment