Tool Taste: Make a Gif

On a walk with my dog today, I saw a funny failure of an automatic, or timer-controlled, sprinkler. It’s recycling day, and the sprinkler is under a beautiful collection of cardboard boxes, so on one hand it’s great that this household is recycling so much. On the other hand, however, because of the sprinkler, the scene appears to be a waste of water and an inefficient use of resources.

To be clear, I really don’t have a judgment of this household or the situation. Living in the suburbs is wonderful– it’s beautiful, peaceful, safe, and friendly. But it is also a lifestyle that must grapple with unintended consequences. I also order things from Amazon (the source of some of the cardboard boxes) and wonder how these orders impact the environment, workers’ conditions, and inequality.

But the real purpose of this was to try out making a gif from a video.


Here was my process:

  1. I made a brief video of the boxes and sprinkler on my iPhone.
  2. From the collection of tools and ideas in the Ballast Online Collections Pinterest board, I went to a link called // How To Make Gifs Like A Pro (Using GIF Brewery).
  3. As you may discover, this will bring you to a “Page Not Found” from Buzzfeed.
  4. So I googled: buzzfeed how to make gifs
  5. I clicked on the first link, “How to Make a Gif without Photoshop.”
  6. I read through the post, which featured some cute gifs, and it appeared the article was promoting a certain app, which costs $5. I really don’t like to pay for something I can get for free, so I was pleased that after one of the free sites, there was an update (that came from a comment): “UPDATE: MakeAgif founder Troy Osinoff tells us that you can avoid the watermark by creating a free account and logging in. Thanks, Troy!”
  7. I went on to Make a Gif, signed up for an account, verified with my email address, exported the “MOV” file from Photos (Mac) to an mp4 file, uploaded the video file, played with the settings a bit (expanded it from a 5-second gif to a 10-second gif, changed the quality, titled it), and voilà!

Next steps? Perhaps an animated or enhanced gif? Try to “perfectly loop”? I would also like to explore cinemagraphs or creating a clip from a preexisting video.


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