What is a GIF, and How to Create it?

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a widely used graphics format for both images and animations on the World Wide Web.

What is a GIF, and How to Create it?

What is GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)?

Gif was created by CompuServe in 1987 to provide a color image format for download areas and replaced the old black and white RLE format.

It has become one of the most used formats today, as it can use the LZW (Lempel Ziv Welch) compression algorithm to perform image compression, which is more efficient than the Run-Lenght Encoding (RLE) algorithm used by GIF, PCX and MacPaint formats.

Thanks to this compression algorithm, large animated images can be downloaded in a very short time, even on a very slow Internet connection.

Features

GIF is a lossless format for images of up to 256 colors, and this is limited to a limited palette of colors.

Therefore, images with more than 256 colors must be adapted in such a way that the colors of the image are reduced, resulting in loss of quality.

A GIF image can contain between 2 and 256 colors (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, or 256) between 16.8 million of its palette.

Therefore, the images produced in this format are often very small, as the palette has a limited number of colors.

However, because the LZW compression algorithm is proprietary, all software publishers using GIF images had to pay royalties to Unisys, who owns the rights.

This is one of the reasons why the PNG format is becoming increasingly popular due to the GIF format’s copyright issues. However, later on, such problems were resolved and Gif files were widely used in social networks.

Patents

Unisys, the owner of the patent for the LZW algorithm used in the process of making animated GIFs, has been claiming copyright for its use for years.

Compuserve did not know that the LZW algorithm was covered by a patent when developing it, and so it had to meet the demands of any program that could open or save GIF files compressed with LZW.

The GIF can also be created using other compression methods not covered by patents such as run-length and encoding methods.

On June 20, 2003, the patent for the LZW algorithm expired in the United States. Additionally, in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada, these patents expired in 2004.

And so now, using Gif on popular websites on the Internet is completely free.

How to Make Gif using Camtasia Studio on Windows 10

If you want to create and share animated Gif on your website or social platforms using a program, the easiest way to do it is to use Camtasia Studio.

This is because if you don’t have access to the Internet, it would be advantageous to have the software installed on your computer. If you say I don’t want to use a program, you can register on the Giphy website and create a gif file from both your photo album and a video URL there.

Now let’s create an animated Gif file for the use of the CMD prompt to ping Google servers through the Windows 10 operating system.

   Step 1

After installing the Camtasia Studio program, click on Camtasia Recorder and then select the area you want to create Gif as Custom and click the REC button to start the video recording as in the image below.

Record Ping Process as Video

   Step 2

After opening the CMD prompt, type the command “ping 8.8.8.8” and then press Enter. Here, wait for the ping process and end the video recording by pressing F10 when the process is completed.

Ping 8.8.8.8

   Step 3

After taking the video recording of the ping process, identify the unnecessary or broken parts from the Track section and click the right button to delete.

Deleting Parts of the Video

   Step 4

After deleting unnecessary parts of the video recording, the average length of the file was 14 seconds. Now, to keep the length of the recording less, right-click on the file and click Add Clip Speed.

Adding Clip Rate to Video

   Step 5

After setting the clip speed of the Gif from the Seconds section, press Enter.

Clip Speed ​​Adjustment

   Step 6

After preparing the gif file, now click the Share button and then the Local File option.

Convert Video with Camtasia

   Step 7

Continue with the Custom option selected by default in the Production Wizard window.

Custom Production Settings

   Step 8

Select the GIF – Animation File option for the video type and click the Next button.

Animation File

   Step 9

You can change the frame rate at this step, but since this will increase the file size, click Next while Automatic is selected.

Encoding Configuration

   Step 10

Likewise, you can configure the size of the video format in this window. Accept the original size of the video recording and click Next.

Adjusting the Video Size

   Step 11

In this window, you can add watermarks to the video you created, change the file information, or create a web file for HTML. If you do not want to make any additional settings in the Video Options window, click Next.

Adding Watermark to Video

   Step 12

After typing the name of your file in the Production Name section and the location you want to save in the Folder section, click Finish to start the process of converting the video to gif.

Typing the File Name and Location

   Step 13

Since the length and size of your file are small, the process will be completed in a short time. Now, click on Finish and close the window.

Converting Video

   Step 14

Open the C:\ drive and right-click on the PingGIF.gif file and select Internet Explorer or any browser from the open with option.

Opening Motion Image in Browser

   Step 15

Once the browser is opened, you can see your Gif file has been created successfully!

Running Gif File in Browser

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