Last Thoughts

Here we are at the end. I realize that there’s a lot in this tutorial that will be daunting for many. The average person will likely never use the terminal/commandline and won’t use the tools or workflow described. Which is fine, remember how I said the best tool is the one that gets the job done?

However, if some intrepid person decides to take on this tutorial and try it out, they’ll be learning more than just making gifs. Here are a few of the possible takeaways:

  • Experience the commandline and understand its value.
  • Learn a little about using ffmpeg which is a very flexible and powerful tool for dealing with all audio and visual needs.
  • Learn a little about using imagemagick which is also very flexible and powerful (but for images).
  • Come to understand how these tools work together. In the section, Making Gifs the Easy Way, I point out a few tools that allow you to go straight from screen capture to gif. But one of the first steps towards writing your own scripts is learning how they work together. A shell script (like the one I linked to before) is simply a document instructing the computer to do certain tasks in a certain order.
  • As I mentioned, one of the reasons I wrote the script was for batch gif creation. Say you have a video where you want to gif several clips, doing it one by one could be tedious. Using a script like mine, you can note the timestamps (and other info) in a CSV, execute your script, and have it all automagically result in the gifs you want.

In any case, I also hope you had a little fun. Given the role gifs have assumed in social media it definitely can be fun.


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Making Gifs for Tutorials by York University Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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