How to Make a GIF

February 16, 2022 • Devin Partida


The GIF is a relatively new but popular form of media that features an endless silent loop of the same video clip. It’s often used as a meme to express a wide range of emotions and make subtle pop culture references, making it a highly entertaining form of content. Here are all the ways you can make a hilarious GIF.

Make a GIF From YouTube Videos

You can use several websites to take a snippet from a YouTube video and turn it into a GIF. The easiest way to do this is with GIPHY, a website specializing in creating fun GIFs from scratch. Go onto their website and follow these instructions:

  • Click Create to begin your project.
  • Copy and paste the video URL you want to make into a GIF.
  • Trim the video to your liking using the Duration and Start Time sliders.
  • Customize the GIF’s settings, such as the speed, loop type and dimensions. These traits will have limits, depending on the size and resolution of the video you selected.
  • Decorate your GIF with a caption, filters and other features.
  • When you’re finished making the final touches, upload your creation to GIPHY.

GIPHY allows users to create a portfolio of GIFs that fall under different hashtag threads and categories. If you make an account, you also can share your creations with other users. However, GIPHY is easier to use on desktop than mobile, so if you need to use your phone, you should try other options first.

Use Your Apple Device

You can create a GIF variation with your iPhone’s “live photo” feature. Live photos are high-quality and operate in a similar looping fashion as GIFs, but the transition isn’t as smooth. The image simply fades back to the beginning instead of cleanly repeating. They also don’t have the same file format as GIFs and thus won’t loop on non-Apple devices.

Still, you can’t beat the convenience of making a GIF right from your phone’s Photos app. It just takes three steps to turn your live photos into GIFs:

  • Open the Photos app and click on the live photo you want.
  • Swipe up on the photo to access the Moving Picture Menu.
  • Tap on the “loop” feature. It’s that easy!

Work on your smartphone picture-taking skills if you want to get the most out of this method. What about other non-Apple mobile devices? Not to worry, Android users: there are other ways to create a fully-functional GIF from any mobile device.

Make a GIF With Mobile Apps

Applications like GIF Maker, ImgPlay and GIPHY allow you to make GIFs from your mobile device. You can screen record videos from other sources or take images/videos yourself. These apps operate similarly to Snapchat in both function and features. 

If you want to make a GIF of your own image or recording, just follow these steps:

  • Open the app and tap the photo button to take a picture, or hold the button to take a video.
  • Add the features you want, such as filters and text.
  • Save the creation to your phone.

Alternatively, if you want to take a screen recording of another video, the steps vary between Apple and Android devices. 

Here’s how to screen record on your Apple device:

  • Go to Settings, then Control Center.
  • Click on Screen Recording to add the function to your shortcut controls.
  • Swipe down on the top of your screen, and you should see a new recording icon next to the other controls.
  • Click on the icon. After a brief countdown, the screen recording will begin.
  • Press the icon again to end the recording.

If you have an Android device, follow these steps:

  • Swipe down on the top of your screen twice.
  • If you don’t see the screen record icon, click Edit and add the screen recording function to your quick settings.
  • Click on the icon. After a brief countdown, the screen recording will begin.
  • Press the icon again to end the recording.

Once you have finished recording the video you want, save it to your gallery. Then you can upload the video to your GIF-creating app and edit the content from there. The video quality might suffer after going through these apps, but downloading an app is the best way if you want to stick to using your mobile devices.

Make High-Quality GIFs With Photoshop

You can create a high-quality GIF with Adobe Photoshop by putting a series of images into a satisfying sequence and layering them together. If you’re unfamiliar with Photoshop, use these instructions to guide you through the process.

  • Load your files onto photoshop in a stack with natural transitions.
  • Check off the automatically align source images feature to make the GIF look neater. 
  • Once you select your images, click “OK,” and photoshop will layer the images together.
  • Change the order of the images and crop them as needed.
  • Go to the Timeline window and click on Create Frame Animation.
  • Click on each layer and duplicate the frames as you see fit to make the GIF flow better.
  • Adjust the timing of each frame (.5 seconds, 1 second, etc.)
  • Use the Layers feature to ensure each image has its own corresponding frame.
  • Click the Play icon to preview the GIF.
  • If you’re satisfied with the result, save the project under GIF file format.

GIFs made from images have higher resolution and look pleasant enough, but even with some fine-tuning, they can look choppy if the images don’t flow together properly. Make sure you take your photos in rapid succession so you can make the best GIF possible.

Go Viral With Your Next GIF

GIFs are unique among other meme formats in that they have completely random sources: a self-made video, a YouTube clip, a movie or TV show, the list goes on. Also, the viewer doesn’t necessarily have to understand the reference to find it funny. The next viral GIF can come from anywhere. So what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to make a GIF, make your next one go viral!