I have a confession to make. I’ve never made an animated GIF in my life until today. Not only did I never make one, I also never found them very appealing, unless the subject matter was amusing (i.e. not a person making faces) and the GIF itself really well made. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled onto PsykoGif, and discovered that making animated GIFs is not only fun, it’s actually a challenge!
PsykoGif comes to us from the same awesome people who made PsykoPaint, a drawing tool you really should try, especially if you’ve been dreaming of painting beautiful pictures but never really had the talent for it. PsykoGif is another of PskyoSoft’s well-made tools, which can turn even the most indifferent person into an animated GIF enthusiast. Here is what I managed to make.
Creating Your Animated GIF Masterpiece
PsykoGif lets you create animations using your webcam. Unfortunately, it uses Flash, and in order to get started, you’ll have to grant the website access to your camera and microphone.
When that’s done, your face (or whatever your webcam’s pointing at) will appear inside the frame. As you can see, PsykoGif’s interface is anything but bland, which definitely adds some life into the creation process.
Since this is an animated GIF, not a stop motion movie, you only get 6 frames, so use them wisely. To capture your first frame, simply click on the camera button. The first image will appear under the main frame. In this manner, you can go one capturing until you have 6 frame.
You can easily erase an image by clicking on the X button, or erase the entire project by clicking on the waste basket. You can also click on the play button to see what you’ve created so far, even when you’re in the middle of the process.
Once you have 6 frames, you’re good to go. Click the play button to make sure your creation is perfect.
If it’s not, don’t worry – you don’t have to start all over again. If one or two frames are off, you can get rid only of the frames you don’t like. But how do you replace them? This is also easy. PsykoGif lets you change the position of a single frame by dragging it to its right place in the sequence. You can take a new shot of a specific frame to replace the one you erased, and drag it to where it should appear.
That’s pretty much it for options. You can’t change the speed or size of the GIF, or add any text or doodles onto it, but at the end of the day, this is probably a good thing.
Now that you have your perfect GIF, it’s time to share it with the world!
Sharing Your Masterpiece
There are several ways to share your GIF through PskyoGif. If you take a look at the right side of your screen, you’ll find two buttons. Save Offline and Save Online.
Save offline lets you save the GIF onto your computer, where you can view it any time you want, or share it with your friends using services such as Dropbox, or even via e-mail. The image size is small, and the GIFs themselves are not heavy – the one I saved turned out to be less than 300K.
If you choose to share online, you get quite a few options.
First, you can get a link to your GIF, which you can share with anyone in any way you want. You’d have to save this link somewhere if you’re going to want to use it again – it’s gone once you close this window.
You can also share your creation on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, and if you think it’s really good, send it to the gallery. Currently the gallery seems to be filled with animated GIFs of young girls making “funny” faces, so if you think you can contribute something slightly more interesting, please go ahead and do so.
And because I know you’re really curious, here is my masterpiece!
PsykoGif brings out the fun part of creating animated GIFs, and makes you feel almost like you’re creating an actual 6-frame movie. It’s hard to believe, but creating a GIF with this tool almost made me feel like I was creating actual… art! Be sure to give it a spin, even if you find animated GIFs horrible, and you too can capture an Android giving a paper bowtie to a Kindle.
Let me know in the comments if you know any other awesome tools for animated GIFs, and, of course, let me know what you think of PsykoGif.