How to Make a GIF

GIFs are the visually spectacular answer to the dual question: how do you make that image move and how do you let people passively surfing and scrolling see it without hitting “play”? Animated GIFs can be videos, graphics, text, even photos that have subtle or bold movement, and play automatically. And they play continuously or loop until your viewer leaves the page or scrolls past them. It’s a great way to draw attention to your content and make information and ideas more visually appealing.

The best part? No need for two or three tools to make them! You can design a GIF, assemble it and export it all in one place with PicMonkey’s GIF editing tools. We’ll show you how to do it, so you can see how easy it is, and we’ll explain all the ways you can use them.


How to turn a photo into a GIF

If you have a new product announcement or an epic sale to publicize on social media, you don’t need to get a full video rig to create an eye-catching GIF. Just make a few moves on this product. In this two-person design, we used a sliding animation for the photo on the left and a drop-down animation on the same photo on the right.

Steps to create an image to GIF:

  1. Start with a blank canvas or any design template with a photo that sits within a larger design.

  2. Add a photo from our extensive photo library — or replace any photo of a model with photos of your choice.

  3. Select the photo you want to move.

  4. On the Picture Tools menu, click the animate button and choose from eleven moves.

  5. Each effect comes with unique variations – test them out and pick your favorite.

  6. press the Cheek in the bottom toolbar to see the animation play.

  7. When you like what you have, click To download on the top toolbar and choose “Animated GIF Image”.

Once you have clicked To download, you can close it (“X” in the upper right corner) and do something else if you don’t want to wait—it should only take a few moments. PicMonkey will send you an email with a link to the file when complete.

Additional Credit: For a sleek, layered look, the subject in the photo on the right was extracted from the background using Background Remover, then a Outline effect was added to the layer and shifted using the tool Distance slide. knock out removed the photo subject so that the outline layer can be animated separately from a duplicate version of the same photo subject (without background). Divine, right?


How to create a GIF from text

You might think that text isn’t interesting enough on its own to capture the imagination in the visual feast that is modern media, but you’d be wrong. Test out all the text effects available in PicMonkey, set them in motion with animation, and export your text design as a GIF – stunning looks are achievable, in a click.

Text GIFs are a great way to spice up your brand’s interactions on Twitter, where tweets with animated GIFs get 55% more engagement than tweets without. And text GIFs are perfect for simple, emotive messages that connect your brand to the emotional atmosphere of an important cultural moment.

Steps to create a GIF from text:

  1. Start from a blank canvas and add text, or open a design template that contains text.

  2. Select a text layer you want to move.

  3. On the Text Tools menu, click the animate button and choose from eleven movements plus their respective variations.

  4. press the Cheek in the bottom toolbar to see the animation play.

  5. When you like what you have, click To download on the top toolbar and choose “Animated GIF Image”.


How to Create an Animated GIF from a Chart

Using animated graphic GIFs as images in Facebook status update posts is a no-brainer (why be static when there’s action to be taken?), but they also work well in comments and replies , where a little extra personality goes a long way. For inspiration, take a look at PicMonkey’s massive graphics library. You can even create your own graphic stickers by erasing an object from a background using Background Remover.

Steps to create a GIF from a graphic:

  1. Start from a blank canvas and add a graphic, or open a design template that contains a graphic.

  2. Select the graphic layer you want to move.

  3. On the Graphics Tools menu, click the Animate button button and choose from eleven movements plus their respective variations.

  4. press the Cheek in the bottom toolbar to see the animation play.

  5. When you like what you have, click To download on the top toolbar and choose “Animated GIF Image”.

To note: You can apply the same animation to multiple layers by selecting them in groups (hold down Shift, then click each layer), then click the Animate button, which will then be labeled “Animate: Multiple”. Then choose your animation move and they will all animate with that move at the same time.

You can always take the easier route: use one of our beautiful animated GIF graphics, add it to your background, and export it as a GIF. These animated graphics are all GIFs, so they loop continuously, and the categories range from seasonal graphics, accents, and borders to building blocks like shapes and animated brushes.


How to make a video image to GIF

Instead of an emoji to communicate a reaction in text threads with friends or colleagues, create a video GIF that humorously or seriously portrays your message. Add text or add doodles using the drawing tool. Add graphics, even animate the graphics. Then export to GIF and your Vibe library is launched.

Steps to create GIF from video:

  1. Click on Create a new and choose a video from our video library. Or upload your own video. Or select a photo layer in an existing design template and replace it with whatever you want to move into an existing design template.

  2. If your video clip is longer than you want (2-3 seconds is a good length), click the Cut video in the Video Tools menu, and the trimming window will open.

  3. press the Cheek button in the bottom toolbar to see the GIF video playing.

  4. When you like what you have, click To download on the top toolbar and choose “Animated GIF Image”.

Point: If you add text and graphics to your video, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the Layers panel (click the stacked squares icon in the lower right corner to open it). It lets you select and order the layers, so you can choose which one you want to be “in front of”.


Other ways to use GIFs

Found that presentation template and many more in our template library.

  • Add GIFs to presentations. Bring dry number slides to life by using animated GIF graphics to draw attention to important concepts.

  • Create branded GIFs for messages you end up saying often in messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Whatsapp; and responds on Twitter and Reddit. “Thank you for sharing our post”, “Contact customer service” or simple messages like “You are the best”, “My pleasure”, “Come back to me”. If you create a GIF with an authentic, brand-specific aesthetic, it really won’t look like a cut-and-paste response.

  • Create a colorful GIF to introduce new employees in meetings or presentations via email or Zoom. Just keep it in your PicMonkey cloud storage and replace each new person’s photo and name.

  • Use a GIF as the graphic cornerstone of any campaign, then drop it into emails, social media posts and ads – you’ll stay connected every time.

  • Create a GIF for a Facebook ad – continuously playing GIFs means your message and movement are perfectly in sync.

  • Spruce up the less interesting pages of your business website with GIFs that make them dynamic and engaging (pricing page, about us page, catalog pages).

  • Create unique end cards in GIF format to insert into your YouTube video. It’s an easy substitute for expensive motion graphics and keeps your closing moments lively.

  • Use animated GIFs to inform, show a process, or clarify things – how to fill out this form, where the second left turn is, whip the meringue to the appropriate stiffness.

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