Customize Your Own GIF Through Photoshop

One of the reasons we love the internet so much is memes, especially in GIF form! Seeing funny (and sometimes punny) memes being shared on social media makes our day. What more if they’re in looping animation?


Animated GIFs are also best for making that memorable moment on video even more immortalized. And of course, aside from entertainment purposes, animated GIFs are also a great way to make a point more powerfully.


And with the popularity of GIFs, there are now a lot of websites and applications that allow us to easily create animated GIFs. All we need to do is upload a clip (or convert a YouTube video) or a series of photos, add a few customizations, and voila! The GIFs are ready and can be shared through various social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit, or even embedded in a web page to add more flair to your blog or landing page.


And with all these tools that make generating GIFs easy, those who are not well-versed in editing software such as Photoshop can get into the GIF game. But if you’re capable of using this program, know that you are at an advantage.


The process will be longer, but the output will be worth it. The GIFs that you can make out of Photoshop are more customizable and more optimized for the internet. Plus, you will have more freedom on how you want the GIF to come out.


Don’t know how to make GIFs using Photoshop? The steps are actually pretty simple.

  1. First, choose the video you want to use. Remember that the longer the video, the larger the GIF file size will be. This is important to consider when the platform you will upload your GIF to has file size restrictions.
  2. Before bringing the video into Photoshop, trim it first to the part of the video you’d like to convert into GIF. You can do so with preinstalled programs on your computer such as Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Save the clip as a new file; this file is the one you will use in Photoshop. You can skip this part if your video clip already has the start and end point you desire, but make sure to keep it short – maximum of 5 seconds. Animated GIF that lasts for 10 or more seconds will create a large and unmanageable file.
  3. Now import the video clip into Photoshop. Click File > Import > Video Frames to Layers. The bottom-most layer is the first frame, and the top-most layer is the last frame.
  4. Go to Window > Animation to see the series of frames that will appear in the GIF. Here you can remove frames to improve the GIF’s loading time. However, be careful when removing frames. You don’t want the GIF to look choppy.
  5. Now you have an animated GIF. Next is to edit and optimize. Animated GIFs look better when they are looping. To make a looping GIF, click on the menu at the bottom left side under the frames and select “Forever”.
  6. You might also want to reduce the image size of the GIF by selecting the “Rectangular Marquee” tool from the top left of the toolbar. Then, select the part of the image you’d like to focus on. After selecting, click Image > Crop to resize the resulting image.
  7. Now you’re ready to convert and save the animated GIF! Just go to File > Save for Web. In this part, you can modify the file further by choosing among the options for GIF quality: “Color”, “Dither”, and “Lossy”. The target here is to make the GIF file size 1MB or smaller so that it will have a quick loading time. Then, save the file.
  8. You now have a good quality animated GIF! To embed it on web pages, you can just upload the file directly. But for sharing in social media, you may need to find a platform where you can upload it and the website will generate a link for you to share. Popular platforms include Photobucket and Giphy.


If you need professional-looking and high-quality animated GIFs for your website, presentation, and branding campaigns and don’t have access to Photoshop or don’t know how to use it, don’t hesitate to consult with MicroCreatives! Our team has graphic designers that will cater to all your design needs. Moreover, we also have a video editor and motion graphics artist if you have more complex video and animation needs.