Simple Video to GIF Converter
key review info
- Application: Any GIF Animator 1.5
- Reviewed on:
- Adjust number of frames
- (4 more, see all...)
Animated GIFs practically represent a new form of humor, but it is amazing how many people are still in the dark when it comes to creating them. One solution, and free, is Any GIF Animator.
The application generates the animated GIF from video files, either stored locally or from a couple of online video repositories.
The installation procedure is nothing complicated, but you should pay attention to the process if you do not want to end up with unwanted software on the system.
Any GIF Animator itself does not push third-party code, but it requires codecs in order to work with the video files. In this case it is Cole2k Media, a codec pack that includes Ask toolbar. However, keep your eyes peeled and you can easily avoid this.
Looks are not the strong point of the program, but don’t think for one second that it brings to the table a skimpy set of options; on the contrary, Any GIF Animator makes available a wide range of choices that allow you total control over the end result.
The application does not offer support for a wide number of video formats, but it can work with the most popular ones: AVI, MP4, MPEG, WMV, MOV and MKV.
Looks are plain and simple, with all the configuration options out into the open, allowing you to start making the settings for the output result straight from the main application window.
It includes a preview screen for the video, where you can select the part of the clip you want to turn into an animated GIF. Navigating through the file can be done either by skipping 0.1 seconds at a time or an entire second. The panel provides the possibility to trim the clip and set the start and end time as well as play the selected section.
Crop function is also present in the video preview screen. Simply drag by the margins to get the part of the image you want. These settings are also available in the Clip & Crop section; however, making the settings from this window is not as comfortable as making the adjustments in the preview screen.
More advanced options include defining the frame rate value for the resulting file, which is set to 8 by default or the size of the GIF. Furthermore, the Any GIF Animator makes available several dithering methods, which can help reduce banding in color gradients. The options at hand are Floyd Steinberg, Stucki and Sierra.
Apart from offering the means to cut out the video part you want to turn into an animated GIF image, the application also provides a short list of effects. The choices you can fiddle with allow adjusting the lightness, saturation, contrast, darkness and greyscale.
However, do not expect too much from them. In our case, saturation was to the maximum for all the videos we used during testing. Contrast did not make too much of a difference. Greyscale, on the other hand, worked well.
Additionally, Any GIF Animator offers the possibility to overlay custom text on the final result. The text can be personalized in terms of font type, style and size. Color options are also present, but we noticed that our choice was not reflected in the preview screen.
Position is also subject to your choice, but we encountered some trouble because we could not move the text on the screen easily and the “update” button failed on us, so we were not shown a preview at this stage.
When all the settings and trimming is complete, you are ready to convert the clip into an animated GIF. The entire process does not take long to complete, but you won’t be able to save the result locally.
You are first shown a preview and then you have to publish it to anygif.org server and then save it to your computer from there. However, the result is also watermarked with the developer’s name.
This may very well be a good reason for many users to drop the application for a solution that provides fewer customization knobs, or none at all, but does not watermark the end result.
Previewing the clipped media while you make your adjustments is a big advantage. You can also fiddle with the size of the end result, pick a dithering algorithm or add your own text to the image.
Processing the video selection is completed in a very short amount of time.
Not all the options worked during our test. The output is watermarked. It can work only with video files.
It could become more flexible by adding support for drag and drop to load files or for positioning the custom text.
Any GIF Animator makes available a wide list of customization settings compared to other solutions on the marked, but it also has its drawbacks. We noticed that some of the functions do not work properly.
During the installation procedure, you may end up with third-party software on the system, not because of Any GIF Animator but because of the codec pack it needs to install in order to carry out the media processing.