Reducing the file size of a gif:
For the past… I don’t know. Year? I’ve received tons of messages regarding this and to make up for my lack of posting this week, here’s one whole post about it.
Reducing the file size is probably the worst part of the gif-making process. It could get extremely frustrating at times, trying to keep your gif below the gif limit (1MB). But WITH GIF-MAKING COMES SACRIFICE
Contents: Basic Tips / Settings when Saving / Dark Backgrounds / Freezing the Background / Photosets / Black&White
1.) Basic Tips
- fewer amount of frames → smaller file size
- more dark areas → smaller file size
- smaller image size → smaller file size
2.) Settings When Saving
I hate resorting to this process the most so you can skip to the other steps first. If all else fails and your gif size is still too high, you can go back to this one.
When saving a gif, there are extra settings you can fiddle with to try to lower your file size. For best results, I use Pattern with 256 colors, but sometimes it can’t be an option because of the large file size. You can change Pattern to Diffusion and play with Dither and Lossy. Reducing the amount of colors also helps lower the file size. You just need to play around and see what works.
3.) Dark Backgrounds
- Remember: the smaller the image size, the smaller the file size. Dark backgrounds also reduce the file size of a gif. You can use this only on certain gifs, usually ones with a really dark background. I have used this in almost every single AVPM/AVPS gif I’ve made. You can go check them out.
- Okay, first resize your gif (Ctrl + Alt + I) so that it has a width of something less than 500px. For this gif, I changed the width to 400px.
- Add your adjustment layers to color your gif.
- The standard gif width on Tumblr is 500px and I know a lot of people don’t like reblogging or posting things that are less the size than that so what we can do is increase the canvas size (Ctrl+Alt+C).
- Move the arrows around to position the gif on the bigger canvas. That grey box in the middle of all the arrows represents the position of your gif. The position of your gif should depend on where the darkest part of the gif is. Since mine is on the left, then I should position the gif to the right. Confusing? You’ll get where I’m coming from in a bit.
- After you’ve clicked OK, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Choose whatever color the background of your gif is, hit OK, then move that new Color Fill layer to the bottom of all the layers.
- Then that’s it! You now even have a little bit of extra space so you can add some text there and design it some way like I did for this gif and majority of my Starkid ones.
4.) Freezing the Background
- You need to be careful about when you choose to use this method. It reduces the file size by a great deal, but if you don’t use it properly, your gif will look really weird.
- Once you’ve converted your caps or video into frames, you need to select the last layer and the last frame of your gif.Right-click on the last layer and select Duplicate layer.
- Drag the duplicated layer to the very top, above all the other layers. If you’ve already added colouring and text, you’ll need to drag it only until your adjustment layers start. So, basically above all the main gif frames.
- Next, select the first frame and the duplicated layer. Then, select the Eraser Tool and start erasing the parts of the gif you don’t want frozen. Make sure you keep the duplicated layer selected. Also, be sure to keep it as clean as possible so that no random part is moving in a weird looking way or a small portion of the subject is still frozen while the rest is moving.
- Once you’re satisfied, File > Save for Web and Devices, save it the way you normally would and you’re done!
- Remember: the smaller the size of the gif, the smaller the file size. Photosets are marvelous things. You can cut scenes to up to 10 gifs or split a gif into two like I did in this photoset or allow you to fill up the 500px width of a post on your dashboard instead of uploading one small gif. They’re fun! Follow these sizes so your gifs do not appear blurry.
- To make my gif black and white, I like using a Gradient Map.
Select a gradient, or create your own, that will make your gif black and white.
See, the colors are down to 70 but the visible quality of the gif didn’t really change from when it had 256 colors.