If you’ve had a Tumblr account for any great length of time, you’ve probably noticed a bunch of tiny, four second video clips showing up on your dashboard. Regular Tumblr users tend to post these little animated images to express emotions or to respond to something they’ve reblogged. These are GIFs.
You can make your very own GIF in one of two ways. The first option is to edit a video clip down to about three or four seconds with an editing program and then convert it. Unfortunately, this often requires software that could be costly and also takes time to learn how to use. The second option is much simpler — and it’s free to boot.
Simply find a set of pictures you’d like to use. Generally between three and five will do the trick. A lot of Tumblr GIFs are made from popular television show clips. An easy way to make your own is to search for episode screencaps of your favorite television show and save a few to your computer directly. You can also use any personal pictures you’ve taken. Here are the four I used:
There are a number of different online GIF-making programs you can use without even having to download anything to your computer. For this example, I used Gickr. All I had to do was upload those four pictures to Gickr, and decide on a GIF speed. In a matter of seconds, my GIF was created:
Easy, right? And Gickr’s just one of many sites where you can create custom GIFs for free. Some others I came across even had additional features that could come in handy, depending on how you want to use your newly created moving image.
MakeaGif, for example, allows you to choose whether to have your image continuously loop throughout the uploaded pictures or simply have it run one time through. Picasion lets you pick what size you want your GIF to be. And gifninja even lets you convert a video to GIF format if you don’t want to search out pictures. Now, thanks to web applications like these, making your very own GIFs for your Tumblr page or any other occasion couldn’t be simpler.