How to Create Animated GIFs from YouTube Videos

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There are millions of YouTube videos online. From time to time people like to borrow a few moments from these videos and create small animation from them. The most popular format for doing this is an animated GIF. Today, I will look into the options one has to create animated GIFs from YouTube videos.

There are dozens of services for doing exactly this. However, only a small number of them is able to stand up to the following conditions:

  • The service is provided for free.
  • The user is never “given an opportunity” to sign up for a paid version of the service.
  • The user is never implored to donate money to support the author of the service.
  • The user doesn’t have to create an account and log in to use the service.
  • The service is easy and intuitive to use.
  • The service enables the user to select the exact start and end points of the animation.

I was able to find only two services that fulfill all of the above conditions.

gifsforum.com

To create an animated GIF from a video site, you simply paste the video’s URL into gifsforum.com and click on the Create Gif button.

The video loads instantly.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

You can create an animated GIF or a WebM video. You can set the animation’s exact start and end points down to a tenth of a second.

In the additional settings, you can also set a filter (normal, black & white, sepia), the speed of animation (slow, normal, fast) and add a top or bottom text. You can set the size, type and color of the text and when it should be visible.

After the GIF is processed, you have to right-click on the image and select Save image as… to save it to your hard drive.

Or you can click on the Blog this Gif button. But then you have to sign up and log in to the service.

As a bonus, gifsforum.com supports not only YouTube videos but videos from lots of other video sites as well. Here is a complete list of all supported video sites.

gifs.com

Gifs.com is a super intuitive service to use. What it lacks in settings and options, it makes up in speed and aesthetics.

Click to view animation

Click to view animation

All it let’s you select is the exact start and end points for the animation before you click on the Create GIF button.

It then shows you the animation on its own page where you can switch between GIF and WebM formats of the animation. Check it out.

To download the animation to your hard drive, you have to right-click on it and select Save image as… from the drop-down menu.

The service doesn’t even add a watermark to the animation, unlike gifsforum.com.

youtube.com

In the last few days, Google rolled out a new feature for YouTube videos — the possibility to create animated GIFs from them.

I mention the feature here, although it clearly doesn’t meet the conditions set out at the beginning of this post:
– you have to have a Google account (but on the other hand, who doesn’t have one, right?)
– you have to be signed in to your Google account to use the feature
– the video’s author has to enable the functionality for you to use it

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Once you are signed in, using the feature is quite easy.

Click on Share > GIF below the video. Select the start and end points of the animation. You can also add some text at the top or bottom of the animation.

And then click on the Create GIF button.

Have fun giffing!

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