Dev Depot: ImgFlip, Creating Mobile Video Previews in a Snap

Stephen Yagielowicz

As Flash fades and new devices come to market, it’s important to explore new ways of presenting video samples — regardless of the platform that they are viewed upon.

Fortunately a wide range of free online tools are available for making mobile friendly video previews from still images or videos, such as the Imgflip Animated GIF Generator (www.imgflip.com/gifgenerator).

In addition to its video capabilities, Imgflip can generate GIFs from uploaded images, with options such as specific delay in milliseconds, height, quality and width, along with tags and titles for better discovery.

According to its publisher, the Imgflip Animated GIF Generator is the best GIF maker on the planet — allowing users to create custom animated GIFs online from their own videos, from YouTube videos, or directly from other video websites.

Using the generator is easy: Simply enter a URL or select a local video file to upload, with the best results obtained by using MP4/OGG encoded video files, which will enable instant previews. Hundreds of other formats are also supported, including 3GP, ASF, AVI, FLV, h.264, MOV, MPEG, MPG, Real Media, SWF and WMV.

Several options for size and speed, such as specifying the rendered GIF’s frame rate, are selectable. A quick click of the “generate” link results in a downloadable file that can be shared at will.

While the tool’s free version adds an “imgflip.com” watermark to its generated GIFs, these watermarks are not required for the $9.95/month Pro account holders.

“The Imgflip watermark helps other users see where the GIF was created,” states a company rep. “We really don’t want your GIFs to look bad though, so we made it as small as possible while still being readable, and it will not even show up on tiny GIFs.”

It is a branding policy that some tube sites allowing user uploads could benefit from.

Although the free version has a 35MB cap on videos, Imgflip Pro provides 100MB uploads and 70MB direct captures from video site URLs.

“Large videos can take much longer to download and convert to GIFs, and they are rough on the servers,” the rep explains. “If you’re only using a few seconds of the video, you can try to find a shorter version or use a computer program to chop up the video.”

Imgflip Pro also allows for higher quality GIFs by raising limits on various settings.

“Make sure the video resolution is 480p or higher for any videos you upload. This is the YouTube format Imgflip uses most, and gifs will generally look great up to a width of 640 when using 480p video,” the rep explains. “Frame rate (FPS) is also very important — your GIF will be slow and choppy if the FPS is too low.”

In addition to its video capabilities, Imgflip can generate GIFs from uploaded images, with options such as specific delay in milliseconds, height, quality and width, along with tags and titles for better discovery. Additional settings mark clips as NSFW or “private.”

Users can drag and drop selected images, correctly ordering them, or using the auto arrange button to sort images alphabetically. The “delay” value can be adjusted until the GIF animation speed looks normal.

The generator currently supports PNG, JPEG and GIF images, with the Pro version offering better quality and unlimited sizes.

One helpful tip: The generator’s default quality setting is 10 (worst) so that GIFs are created faster. Try bumping it up to 1 (best) — although this will take longer to process.

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