NOTE: There are 4 animated GIFs in this article, if you don’t see them, reload or wait at least 5 seconds until they appear.
How many times have we opened our screen recording software to use it only for animated short GIFs? All those cool features, those megabytes of RAM just to record a small portion of your screen and export it to a very heavy GIF file and show it off on your website. Sounds a nice deal, but… what if I told you there are small apps for both the Mac and the PC (Windows) that are only focused in saving the recording as a perfectly configured GIF so you don’t have to worry about much things. All you need is a little understanding on what frames per second are, patience (in case you are having size limits) and something to record.
Note that saving as a GIF will almost always diminish the image quality if you want to keep the size under 1 Megabyte, if you are looking to create GIFs for sites like Tumblr or something, this is NOT your article, mate (you might want to check this tutorial, though). Try to keep the pixels as plain as possible, a recording of you writing something in a plain background is certain to have between 100 and 500 KB of size, depending on how much time you keep on doing it. If you focus on images, photos and moving graphics (please, don’t capture a YouTube video, use something else instead for this), the size will be more than just 1 MB, so, yeah!
A little demonstration, please?
For us Windows and Mac OS X users
There is a little program called LICEcap, both for Windows XP, Vista and 7; Mac OS X 10.4 or superior. You will need a fast CPU with more than 1 GB of RAM, otherwise you WILL experience lag and nightmares of my doge GIF. The usage is as simple as it looks, you load the app, move the screen to a desirable position, then re-size the window (or use specific values in the text boxes), click on Record (or press the SPACE key); it also provides the amount of minimum frames per second and when you are prompted to select a name for the GIF (and a directory to save it), you will have some options that you can leave with the default values (repeat infinitely, and you can opt to press a keystroke to pause). Once you are done, click on Stop and your file will be saved, locate it and enjoy!
Download and more information: http://www.cockos.com/licecap/
Recordit.co – A new app for the Mac (it kinda rhymed 🙂 )
I found this on a Facebook page, I tested it and the recording experience is nice if your computer is fast, but the web player idea is way beyond unnecessary, the GIF generator has some bugs and the overall image quality leaves something to be desired, but, it works and that’s important. Give it a chance to grow. You will need to have Mac OS X 10.8 or superior, it comes as a .app application and as I said, it’s a new option if you don’t dig LICEcap.
More information and download: http://recordit.co/
Last but not least, more options!
GIF Recorder: The thing is, it’s not free, though you can download a free trial. It’s for the Windows and it supports the latest (8) version.
More information and download: http://gifrecorder.com/
Cropper (using its GIF Plugin): Cropper is a Windows app apparently exclusive for screen snapshots, but using the Animated GIF plugin, your app will evolve and you’ll be able to do small screen recordings in that specific format.
Wrapping this up
Any thoughts? Mind to share your newly created GIFs with me? Have another piece of software that helps? Remember this is not a tutorial on how to export to GIF using other screen recording software, nor a tutorial to create animated GIFs in general. Please lave a comment down below and let me know what you think.