Needless to say, GIFs have become an emotional currency on the web, allowing people to react in ways words just don’t allow. But if you can’t find the perfect GIF for your current feeling, why not create one yourself? Whether you know the exact clip you want to lift from YouTube, or hope to act in one yourself, there are a variety of tools out there for creating these animated, silent loops. Here, we’ve rounded up the best apps and websites for doing so.
Websites and desktop software
To get started, let’s look at the extremely clean and useful GIFs.com, a site that makes creating GIFs incredibly easy. To get started, paste the URL for the video you’d like to use as the basis for your GIF. The site currently supports YouTube, Instagram, and Vine — or rather, Vine archive (R.I.P.) — and users can also upload their own video files.
Once you’ve picked out your source material, you’ll come to a simple editor. Select the frames you’d like to convert into a GIF using the timeline located below the video. Then, add a caption, stickers, and a few effects, if desired. There’s even a one-clip “thug life” option, if you want to meme like it’s 2009.
Once you’re done tweaking things, you’re ready to share your GIF with the world. You can use the provided URL, or download the GIF for re-uploading to another site.
Giphy has long been the default search engine for GIFs, since its library is endless. Giphy’s own GIF Maker lets you simultaneously create and share your creations, and it’s really easy to use. Just pick your source material from YouTube, Vimeo, or Giphy Links, and you can select any portion of the video to turn into a GIF. You can also add captions, if you want.
The process doesn’t take long, and the resulting GIFs are instantly uploaded to Giphy. From there, you can share them, download them directly, or tweak them using a variety of tools. You can turn a collection of still images into a GIF, for instance, or edit any of the existing GIFs on the website. In all, this is a powerful tool for any GIF fan, and one worth checking out.
The two aforementioned tools are great if you want to use existing material to create a GIF, but what if you intend to create original content? And then i was like… is just what you’re looking for. This simple website turns your computer’s webcam into a machine for creating GIFs, and it couldn’t be easier to use. Just head to the site, click “I want to make a GIF, ” and enable your webcam.
Then, simply pick which of your recorded frames you want to keep and you’re ready to share your GIF. You can then copy the provided URL provided, or download the GIF for your own use. Enjoy!
With Screen to GIF, you can select a portion of your screen and record anything that happens in that specific area — or at least that’s the idea. The software functions as a simple Windows application, one that makes GIF creation simple. Start the program and you’ll have a few options.
The first option, Recorder, lets us pick a region of the screen to record. The second, Webcam, lets you record GIFs using your computer’s camera. Board lets you record yourself drawing, and Editor lets you edit existing GIFs.
To get started, click Recorder. You’ll see a frame window, which you can resize to select your desired portion of the screen.
Fit this over a video you’d like to turn into a GIF, or into a region of the screen you’d like to record. Then, when you’re ready, hit the Record button. Hit stop when you’ve got what you want, and you’ll be taken to the editing screen.
From here, you can delete sections of your recording, and do things like add captions. A ribbon-based interface means fans of Microsoft Office will feel right at home.
If you want an even simpler way to record a portion of your screen, RecordIT is what you’re looking for. This simple application lives in the tray or menu bar, and allows you to start recording with just a couple of clicks.
Once installed, click Record, and pick a region of the screen to record. When the recording is done, click the resulting notification to see the result online. From here, you can easily share your creation, or download it for future use.