2013 / 24 March

The Future of Pictures Is Already Here

Moving Pictures Don’t Need Magic

Sirius Black GIF Harry Potter Newspaper

I’m Sirius about the future of GIFs.

Everybody knows the pictures in Harry Potter that move within the frame. We’ve thought to ourselves, how cool would that be if those of us muggles could having moving pictures of our friends and family and in our newspapers and magazines.

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) was introduced over two decades ago,  in 1987, and allows us to have a little bit of the magic that Harry and his friends experience in their daily lives.

For More History Click Here

On Tueday, Google announced  a new search filter making it easier to search for only animated and/or transparent images. In other words, GIFs are here to stay – and why wouldn’t they be with their hilarious animation?

Classic dancing banana GIF

Classic dancing banana GIF Courtesy: Mashable.com

So how can you make a GIF? Here are a few of the best and easiest ways:

Make a GIF Using Your Phone


GIF Camera (Free)

GIF Camera App Symbol

There are quite a few apps available apps available on Android to make and share GIFs, but GIF Camera blows away the competition with the fastest and easiest platform to create animated graphics. The application records 20 frames and you can pick and choose which to include in your creation, or even reverse the order for some fun. You also can easily keep your creations private as the application does not force you to share, giving you storage in the app instead. There is even an option to build a GIF using pictures you have taken on your phone.

Other apps I explored on Android include GifBoom and fotodanz.

  • GifBoom creates a community sharing GIFs publicly with user profile pages and newsfeeds. Most GIFs tend to be selfies and there seems to be a young audience using the application. I did not see an option to keep private a GIF, but you can share the URL with ease.
  • Fotodanz advertises on their page “If you love taking pictures, here is a treat for you,” (my underlying opinion of GIFs) but there are some unique positives and negatives with the app. You can choose to record for 3 or 5 seconds, add a filter, and save privately, but what sets Fotodanz apart is the ability to select different sections of the media for animation. The problem, this is a slow, painful, and choppy process from my experience testing it out.


Cinemagram (Free)

Cinemagram App

Film for 4 seconds from your iPhone and you’ve got yourself a GIF. Easily add video effects with filters and speed adjustment inside the app. Once you’re done making your creation you can easily share “magical hybrids between photos and videos” on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

Make a GIF On Your Computer

1.8 BILLION results for googling create a GIF

There are a lot of choices!

There are a ton of different choices online to make a GIF. The problem with most of them is that they only allow users to compile a few pictures into a GIF.

The site I liked the most was imgflip. This site allows users to easily create memes, animated GIFs, or even pie charts. The best part is that it is easy to upload video or pictures to create your GIF. It is simple, fast, and clean with a few special features as well. Users can select which section of a video to use, speed of the GIF, which frames to use from the selected media, whether to share publicly or privately, and can even reverse the order of frames. This blows away the competition.

Here is a sample from Monty Python and the Holy Grail I was able to concoct in only a minute or two:

Monty Python Meme

Click to see animation

If you want to be a pro and use Photoshop to create a GIF check out this Gizmodo article which gives you the five step process.

Do you think GIFs are the future for pictures or just meant to be humorous blog posts? Let me know in the comments.

  • Those pictures in Harry Potter really would be cool. They had something like that when I visited HP World in Universal.

  • Merideth Tumasz / March 24, 2013 AT 7:50 PM

    I have thought about GIF’s for awhile now and I honestly can’t decide if they are just a fad or not. How can they improve? How can they change with today’s fast-paced culture? I don’t see it. They’ve lasted awhile now, so I’m sure they’ll be sticking around for a little bit. They have no information associated with them, though, no news value, just entertainment, so I don’t see them getting as big as other entertainment mediums have in the past.

  • This was such an interesting blog topic. I never knew about any of these apps or how to make your own GIFs. Thanks to your diligent research, I downloaded the app for my IPhone!

  • Cameron Soojian / March 25, 2013 AT 10:36 AM

    I love gifs, for some reason they tap into humor that I’m not used to feeling!



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