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Making GIFs

  • how are people making gameplay GIFs? I tried taking video caps of my game and using sites like ezgif.com but the gifs end up being tiny and resizing them makes them all blurry.. any suggestions?

  • LICEcap has worked OK for me:

    http://www.cockos.com/licecap/

  • I think GifCam is pretty good.

  • I really like LICEcap.. playing with gifcam now... thanks!

  • LICEcap and GifCam are both great tools, and the best freeware for GIFs. I find them both useful depending on what I need, so do some experimentation. : )

  • +1 to Licecap, it works great. When I actually want a decent gif I record with Licecap at 30-60fps, then I get a really large file - I import it into Photoshop and optimize it there.

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  • May I ask the point of a gameplay gif? Is it used on some websites to have a sort of preview of the game and cannot be replaced by a video Due to how said website works?

    Also yeah try to always have a maybe too large but hi quality recording, then optimise its size later, as you cannot undo the degradation due to the recorsing settings

  • Aphrodite I suppose gifs are popular for short game clips because they're good for showing pixel art without compression artifacts & are a universally compatible format. Plus there's lots of good free tools to make them, as opposed to something like animated pngs. Gifs are crap though <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy">

    @jobel try https://screentogif.codeplex.com/ - it's as convenient as gifcam with a few more options, & unlike licecap there's a greenscreen optimization thing to reduce filesize.

  • Aphrodite I've seen lots of devs show a quick little demo of what they are working on and Tweet a short gif showing it.. thought it was cool. In my space game, I just created a chaff upgrade (defensive cluster missile that blows up incoming missiles) and wanted to Tweet a short gif showing it off.

    @mattb interesting you mention pixel art... since my game is 1920x1080.. so I probably need to somehow zoom-in on the area I want to record. thx!

    Also, making cool gifs is not easy! I guess it depends on your game.. but for me, I never know how it's going to play out, so I have a tons and tons of screen caps! it's like a whole other job..

  • here's my first impression reviews of these 3 apps.

    LICEcap

    Pros

      -simple. -easy to use. -small output file. -cool stop after X seconds option

    Cons

      -no export options. -awkward recording process. you hit 'record', then it prompts for filename, then gives you a countdown to recording

    GifCam

    Pros

      -has an awesome 'Always On Top' windows feature which all the others lack. -lots of different export presets and preview to see what those presets will look like (as well as filesize). -allows you to export as many times as you want. (others release the recording after an export) -some interesting editing options like: delete even frames (although couldn't find a way to slow the speed after)

    Cons

      -non-standard UI. super confusing, dropdowns that are also buttons? buttons like "Frame" that add to your gif? right clicks for editing.. not impossible to use, just strange. -can't fine tune export presets

    ScreenToGif

    Pros

      -easy to use -has hot keys to trigger start/stop recording -lots of different export and editing options -fine tune exporting

    Cons

      -crashed a couple times on me. -approx 2 second delay when hitting record (or hotkey) which is awkward when you are trying to only capture 10 seconds -file sizes were bigger for some reason (5x bigger!), not sure why. probably because there were so many options..i.e. Quality slider -because there are so many export options it's really annoying for the capture to go away after you hit "Done" and it does not estimate filesize so it's all trial and error.

    final verdict: it depends on what you are doing. I'm trying to get a 8-10 second clip and have that be under 3MB which is proving to be very difficult. My window size is approx 600x400.. feels like I should be able to do since I'm willing to sacrifice quality, but so far.. no go. It feels like GifCam/ScreenToGif is better for me since there are more options.. still both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    I can see where pixel art would be better suited for this (gifs).

  • also another good way I found is to Preview your game, resize the Chrome window so it's small-ish. Then use ScreenToGif and resize it to where the action is and record. Short and sweet is also good...

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