For a reason which escapes me, animated GIFs have made a comeback and that’s bad for users and the internet. Why? First a little GIF history, then a look at Puppetry GIF Maker, a Mac app that takes high quality video clips and turns them into low quality animated GIFs.
GIF means graphics interchange format, a bitmap image format that birthed on CompuServe back in the mid-to-late 1980s. Along with .JPG images, GIFs were one of the earliest image file formats when the internet went public in 1994-ish.
Unlike .JPG images, GIF images are limited to a palette of up to 256 colors, but it also supports animations and were one of the earliest forms of animated advertising on the web. The GIF file format is still around though used less. Interestingly, animated GIFs have made a comeback, with many iOS photo apps bringing new life to an old standard.
Mac users with video clips can have them converted to animated GIFs using Puppetry GIF Maker, an inexpensive and simple to use app that does the conversions.
Puppetry GIF Maker’s controls let you import a video clip (pretty much anything that can play on QuickTime Player), change the video size (dimensions), adjust the video frame rate, and even change the video speed.
Other options include loops, number of loops, as well as reverse loop (backwards). Click the Save button and the app converts the video to an animated GIF with the appropriate settings. Puppetry GIF Maker crashed a few times, but I found it simple enough to use for anyone who needs an animated GIF from a video clip.
The question I have is, “Why?” For the most part, animated GIFs at 256 colors will have lower quality than the original video clip source, so what’s the point? Why not just edit the video clip and share that instead?