How to Make a GIF on a Mac

We learned in class how to make GIFs – but those computers were Windows computers and I have a Mac. I wanted to learn how to make GIFs without downloading all the crazy programs and files we needed on Windows. I also wanted to know how to make GIFs without having to download videos off of YouTube through weird websites (which I feel very wary about using). I figured there must be a way to do all of this on a Mac with the programs that are already installed on it (and there are a lot of speciality programs on Macs, I think). And I did. And now I’m going to share it with you. These are the programs you will need to make a GIF:

-Gimp (this is a free picture manipulation tool that you download from their website. This is the only thing you will probably need to download!)



That’s it! So to start, find a video clip that you want to make into a GIF. (It could be on YouTube or anywhere, really). And here are the rest of the steps:

1. Open QuickTime and go to File > New Screen Recording. Queue up your video to the moment you want to make into a GIF and start recording. Once your clip finishes, stop the recording.

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.10.32 PM

2. This will create a .mov file most likely named “Screen Recording.” Open iMovie. From there go to File > New Project and then File > Import > Movies. Find your movie file (it will most likely be in the Movies folder).

3. Select the portion of the clip (adjusting the size of the yellow box on the video) you want to be your GIF (don’t worry too much about the ends of the clip – you can always edit it once you have it in Gimp)

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.40.26 PM

4. Copy and paste this section into the project section of iMovie.

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.42.05 PM

5. Go to Share > Export Using QuickTime Choose where you want to save your file. Make sure you select Export:Movie to Image Sequence (this breaks the clip up into image files of each frame).

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.42.49 PM

6. Open Gimp. Go to File > Open as Layers. Find where you saved the image files of your clip. Select them all and click open.

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.44.55 PM

7. At any time, if you want to preview what your GIF will look like, go to Filters > Animation > Playback (Make sure you select 12 fps as this is what your GIF will eventually be exported as)

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.46.54 PM

8. If you decide you want to shorten your GIF, you can delete layers on the right panel. Select the layers (or frames) you don’t like and click the trash can icon.

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.48.01 PM

9. You can also resize your GIF by going to Image > Scale Image This will allow you to change the size of the picture.

10. If you would like to crop your images, click on the scalpel tool (hover over each tool if you can’t find it) on the left panel. It will allow you to crop your image with a rectangle tool and it will crop every layer.

11. After you decide you’re finished editing your GIF, go to File > Export

Give your GIF a name followed by .gif

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.52.16 PM

12. When exporting, make sure to check the “As Animation” box and to change the delay between frames to 80 milliseconds (this is roughly equivalent to the 12 fps I discussed earlier – it’s the best rate for easy viewing).

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 10.52.49 PM

13. Your GIF is finished! Now all you need to do is publish it on Tumblr or another Internet site and it’s ready for the world to see!


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