Creating an Animated GIF on the Command Line
March 5th, 2019
I've been going through some pictures and video lately and found some video that I wanted to turn into an animated GIF. This project uses FFmpeg to extract frames from the video and ImageMagick to resize the frames and stitch them into an animated GIF.
I didn't have FFmpeg on my computer yet, so I quickly installed that.
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
Next, I need create a new directory for my image frames.
This is the command that will create individual frames from the video. The -r option will specify the framerate. In this case I'm using 10 frames per second. Lower values will result in a choppier GIF with a smaller file size.
I'm naming the images sequentially.
%03d will create sequential 3-digit numbers with leading zeroes.
ffmpeg -i pirates_caribbean.mp4 -r 10 'frames/frame-%03d.jpg'
The dimensions of the video are very large, and I want to make sure I get the filesize as small as possible. This command will use ImageMagick to resize every frame in the directory to 25% of the original size, as well as reduce the quality of the image by 50%. The video was already somewhat grainy from the low light conditions, so I'm not too upset at reducing the quality a bit further.
mogrify -resize 25% -quality 50% *.jpg
Finally, this last command uses ImageMagick to create an animated GIF with the name
pirates.gif with a framerate of 10 frames per second that loops forever with the option
convert -delay 10 -loop 0 *.jpg pirates.gif
After these steps, I have my animated gif! I'm wondering if I could optimize it further since 26.6MB is still quite a hefty file size. Still, I'm pleased with the results, and I'm looking forward to making more GIFs with this technique.