How to Convert a Video Into a Looping GIF

Written by matt gerrard
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How to Convert a Video Into a Looping GIF
Looping GIFs are short, but require much less disk space to store than a similarly-sized movie file. (Patrick Ryan/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Animated GIF files display a sequence of still images, much like a traditional, non-computerised animation. Looping an animated GIF so that it plays the same piece of video over and over is commonly used as an avatar for message boards, or as a way to send a short video clip via e-mail, that requires no additional software to play it back. The clip is viewable within the body of the message, which you can create from a series of still image files, or from a video file, with a number of free tools.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • VirtualDub software

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  1. 1

    Download VirtualDub from or SourceForge. Double-click the installer file on your hard drive and complete the installation process, selecting an appropriate folder to store the application. Navigate to the application's executable file and double-click it to launch the software.

  2. 2

    Click the "File" menu in the top left corner and select "Open." Alternately, press "Control" and "O" Use the dialogue that appears to navigate to the file you wish to convert, highlight it and click "Open."

  3. 3

    Click the sliding brackets at either end of the video timeline to reposition the start and end points of the video file, cropping off the material outside of them. Position the brackets on either side of the clip you wish to convert to a GIF. Bear in mind that the animated GIF should be less than six to eight seconds long.

  4. 4

    Click the "File" menu in the upper left corner of the screen and select "Export." From the list of file types that appears, select "Animated GIF." A sub menu will appear as you select this option, regarding looping. Choose from "Play once," "Play X number of times," or "Loop infinitely." Select "Loop infinitely," then click "OK." Allow the video to process.

  5. 5

    Open the newly-created GIF in your web browser to check it has processed satisfactorily.

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