After creating photoshop images (and teaching everyone else how), I decided to up my game and create some animated .gifs (and hopefully teach everyone else). I had three requirements for creating .gifs. The process needed to be fast, easy and free. I have a workable solution for myself with the only problem being that the .gifs are a bit grainy. I am now letting everyone have the ability to waste even more of their time creating them. Let me know if anyone knows of a way to improve the process.
- I got this process to work on a Windows platform. If a person is using an Apple or Linux OS, I have no idea on how to get it to work.
- Download and install HyperCam 2. When installing it, use the custom install procedure and make sure 2-3 unwanted programs are not installed. This programs turns online video to AVI (video) files.
- Download and install Microsoft GIF Animator. This program turns the AVI files into animated GIFs
- Find the video you want to turn into a GIF. I am going to use this video of Moose I took in spring training a couple of years of ago (with a nice F-bomb drop at the end). I know it is grainy, but it will work for this example. I want a recording of just his swings.
- Open HyperCam2. With it, make a few changes. In the Screen Area tab --> When recording --> Click Leave HyperCam Window Opened; AVI File tab --> Click Browse for File Name --> navigate to the folder you want the AVI file saved; Sound tab --> Uncheck Record Sound from, Options tab --> Uncheck Record Cursor. All of these steps will need to be done only the first time when opening HyperCam 2.
- Set the recording area. Resize the browser so both the video and the HyperCam 2 are visible. This setup will be needed when recording. Goto Screen Area tab and Press Select Region. Click on the area of the video you want to record.
- Now, pause the video a couple of seconds before the point you want to record. Start the video, Go to the the Screen Area tab in Hyper Cam 2 and press Start Rec. Don't move your mouse and press Stop Rec. when done. It is fine if the video is a bit long at the beginning or end. The extra can be deleted later.
- Open Microsoft GIF Animator. On the Options Tab, set Import Color Palette to Optimal Palette, set Import Dither Method to
SolidError Diffusion (update - better graphics). These two setting seem to create the clearest images.
- Click on the yellow folder on the top. Navigate and open the AVI that was just created. The imported file should look like this:
- The next item is to get rid of the unwanted frames. Select the frame on the left and use the X button (circled in red above) to delete unwanted frames.
- Now, if you want to add another scene to the GIF, it can be done easily right now. Create another AVI (I did of Moose's foul ball in the previous video). Select the last frame, press the paper with the plus button (circled in red above) and select the new AVI. Once added, clean it up as well.
- Select the Animation tab and check Looping and Repeat Forever (circled in red above) . If these aren't click, the GIF will only run once.
- Finally click the multiple disk button to save the GIF. Enjoy.