Why GIF?

GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, is a file type that supports both static and dynamic images. The greatest benefit is that it is a lossless file format, which makes it ideal to be used for sharing across different operating systems and applications. That's one of the reasons it's so popular in social media today. YouTube videos, on the other hand, are more cumbersome and heavy, so they're not ideal for sharing via mobile. GIF bridges the gap between images and video content by bringing in the dynamic element. So that's why many users want to convert YouTube to GIF.

What's special about the GIF format that makes it better than video formats in many cases? What are the tools required to make a GIF from a YouTube video? How to make a GIF from a YouTube video online? And is there a way to convert a YouTube video to GIF for free? These are the questions we'll attempt to answer in this article. Just keep on reading!

Best Online Tools to Convert YouTube Video to GIF

There are tons of online resources to convert a YouTube video into a GIF. All you need is a video downloader on your desktop to fetch the video, and you're good to go. Many tools, such as the one listed first, allow you to simply insert a URL and it will download and convert the video for you. Below, we've listed three of the top online tools to convert a YouTube video to GIF free or for a nominal amount.

1. Kapwing

Kapwing is a versatile platform with several online tools that include video conversion, video joining, captioning, image editing, and lots more. The YouTube video to GIF conversion is essentially free and it's a very simple process, as described below.

How to Convert a YouTube Video to GIF Free with Kapwing

  1. Head to the website and go to the Convert Video page.
  2. Paste the URL of the video to be converted or upload it.

    Kapwing Online

  3. On the next page, select a clip in the video by using the trim sliders, then choose GIF as your output format. Hit Create when you're done.
  4. Download the GIF file and upload it to social media or save it to your local memory for future use.

Kapwing Key Features:

Aside from video conversions, you can do a lot with the Kapwing platform. As we saw, the site offers video editing, captioning, and other similar features, but the list goes on to include a meme creator, a full-fledged online video editor, video slideshow maker, background remover, GIF audio tool, filters, image editing, and even a special video editor for YouTube. It is one of the most versatile tools around if you're keen on using an online platform. However, it's not completely free although many of the tools can be used without paying.

Limitations of the Free Version:

Kapwing offers all its tools without watermarks but there's a catch. The maximum file size is 250 MB on the free plan and you can only export videos that are up to 7 minutes long. There's a limit of 3 hours per month in total for publishing videos through the platform and you can only store the content for a couple of days. Nevertheless, all the tools are free if your needs fall within those limitations. The Pro version offers additional tools like SRT file downloads, the ability to make your content private, and uploading custom fonts, but there is no free trial for this version.

Price:

Pro version is $204 if billed annually - works out to $17 a month, which is quite reasonable if you're going to be using a lot of video tools. $20 per month if you pay monthly.

Pros

  • Extensive video and image editing tools
  • Convenient platform - no software downloads
  • Access from anywhere with a modern browser and an Internet connection

Cons

  • Content is public by default
  • Free version has limits
  • No free trial for the Pro version
  • Video processing times are slow if the traffic to the site is high

2. MakeAGIF

MakeAGIF, stylized as makeagif, is another online platform that focuses purely on converting multiple video and image file types to GIF. As a free platform, it is ad-supported but also offers a premium version with no ads. The premium version offers additional features such as HD GIFs, custom watermarking, social link additions, and permanent saving of GIF content on the company's servers. However, even the free version offers a lot of options like captions and stickers, enabling audio, applying effects.

How to Convert a YouTube Video to GIF Free with MakeAGIF

  1. Go to the URL for YouTube to GIF conversion in the MakeAGIF website.
  2. Paste the YouTube URL - there's no option to upload a video on this page.

  3. Click Continue to Editing.

    MakeAGIF

  4. On the next page, you'll see several options mentioned earlier, such as captioning, adding stickers, etc. In the main section, under the video, you can set the parameters for conversion, including start time, duration, speed, etc.
  5. When you're done, click Continue with Publishing and then Create Your GIF. You will also see options to remove the watermark, which will prompt you to sign up for a free trial of the premium version.
  6. Wait until the GIF file has been generated and you can then download your file or save it to an online album.

Makeagif Key Features:

Makeagif is intended to let users create GIFs from a variety of sources, including YouTube links, Facebook videos, videos from your local desktop memory, webcam captures, and even normal images. You can also use it as a GIF editor if you already have GIF files that you'd like to modify. On the whole, it is quite a comprehensive tool for converting images and videos to GIF as well as editing them with customization options.

Limitations of the Free Version:

The free version is great if you don't mind the makeagif watermark on every file you process, which is the one major drawback compared to a platform like Kapwing. In addition, you only have access to low and medium-quality GIFs. You also won't get features like permanent storage or an ad-free experience.

Price:

The Premium version is available at $11.95 a month but it comes with a full three-day unlimited trial during which you can enjoy all the Premium features without restrictions.

Pros

  • Comprehensive GIF conversions and file management
  • Extra effects for free
  • Download processed videos as GIF or MP4

Cons

  • Watermarks on all output files if you're not a Premium user
  • The conversion process is quite slow if you're a free user
  • Pricing is unclear for the Premium plan; users have to click on the trial button to see the pricing

3. GIFRun

GIFRun is a great site to convert YouTube videos to GIF free and without any watermarks. The site is supported by advertising but not in an overly intrusive way. The best part is that as soon as you paste a YouTube video link, the site downloads it and shows you the GIF creation page without you having to click any extra buttons or links. In that regard, it's quite intuitive. There are also other elements you can add to your GIF that we'll discuss later.

How to Convert a YouTube Video to GIF Free with GIFRun

  1. The main website URL is actually the conversion page as well. Click here to get started.
  2. As mentioned, the site will automatically take you to the editing page, where you will see several controls and the video itself.

    GIFRun

  3. Select the duration of your output GIF by moving the slider or inputting a number on the right.
  4. Choose the start time for the GIF from the video section.
  5. Optionally, you can add text to the video and also change the resolution of your output. The default is the highest.
  6. Wait for the file to be converted and click the Download button to save it to your desktop.

GIFRun Key Features:

This is a pure-play video to GIF converter where you can simply paste a link from your favorite social media site and convert it to a GIF in seconds. The website boasts that it can convert embedded videos from "hundreds of sites" so you won't have to worry about platform support. The best part is that it's totally free although, as we mentioned, it is ad-supported.

Limitations of the Free Version:

Since there is no paid version, there are no limitations in the free version. However, the features are quite basic. Other than text addition and the ability to control output quality, you won't find any advanced settings like including audio and so on. That's probably the only downside to this website.

Price:

Free for all users

Pros

  • 100% free
  • Supports all major social media and video hosting platforms
  • Fast conversion

Cons

  • No premium features
  • Basic interface with simple controls
  • No other output format options

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Best YouTube Video to GIF Creator

With most online platforms, your video content is essentially made public unless you pay a premium and upgrade to a paid plan. All of them accept video URLs for conversion, but what do you do when you've already downloaded a video and need to cut a small section and convert it to GIF? Alternatively, what if you need to do extensive edits or color corrections before generating the GIF file? That's not possible on most online platforms, which means you will need a robust video editor that allows you to get GIF outputs.

The Easiest Way to Turn YouTube Video to GIFs

If you're looking for reliability, ease-of-use, and a host of rich features to edit your videos and prepare them as GIFs, iMyFone Filme is the tool you're looking for. And with Filme version 3.0 that's just been released, you'll get all that and more.

Filme is a professional-level video editor that is also popular with beginners because of its intuitive interface. Version 3.0 builds further on the usability side, bringing powerful features.

  1. Import media files and folders from your smartphone.
  2. Create custom highlights with panning and zooming.
  3. Enjoy new font types, transitions, effects, and themes for creating video slideshows in fast mode.

Using Filme, you can create eye-catching and amusing videos to engage your online audience in a strong manner.

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How to Edit a Video and Export as GIF using Filme

  1. After installing Filme and launching the application, use the File 鈫 Open Project option to upload your YouTube video; you can also simply drag it from Explorer and drop it into the software interface. You will also see a new option in v3.0 that lets you import folders and media files from a connected smartphone.

    Import Media Files

  2. Select the media and add it to the timeline editor by dragging it to an available video track.
  3. You can now do whatever edits you need to. The standard editing features include video cropping, trimming, video speed control (fast and slow motion), color balancing, and much more.  All these features are easy to use and require just a simple click or two.

    Edit Video

  4. Once you're done with editing, you can export the file as a GIF image by clicking the Export option and choosing GIF as the output format - additionally, you can save it as other file types if you need to.

    Export Youtube Videos to Gifs

  5. As a new option in Filme 3.0, you can directly share the video to your account on sites like YouTube and Vimeo, which can save you a lot of time because you won't have to download and upload all over again.

    Export to Youtube Vimeo

It's that simple! Filme is one of the best GIF to video converters that gives you all the flexibility to control your video and GIF libraries the way you want. Using this amazing piece of software, you can turn a boring video into viral content just by making a few simple edits. Also, your GIF will be of the same high quality as the video since it is essentially a lossless format. With the kind of flexibility and power that Filme puts in your hands, you'll be well on your way to becoming a social media superstar!

Photoshop can be a Great Helper, Too!

The process of creating a GIF is a little complex in Photoshop, especially if you've never done it before. However, it is definitely possible to create GIF from a video if you know the process. Here, we explain how to do it the easy way.

  1. Since you can't import a video as a video in Photoshop, the workaround is to import it as individual frames, which will be treated as layers of an image - you can do this by going to the Import option in the File menu, and then choosing the option called Video Frames to Layers.

    Use Photoshop to Create Gifs

  2. Trim the video to an appropriate length for the final GIF output - this can be done by choosing Selected Range Only in the pop-up window when you import the video file; in the same window, you can also pick how many frames to skip for each frame that is chosen for the final GIF.
  3. Next, set the delay for each frame - select all frames in the timeline and click the collapsible menu arrow below the first frame to choose the delay in seconds or fractions of a second.
  4. In the loop setting at the bottom, choose Forever to create an infinite loop. This is the hallmark of a GIF so don't forget this step!
  5. Finally, choose Save for Web as your Export option and select the GIF format as the output file type.

Of course, this method is not for everyone since it involves a working knowledge of Photoshop at the very minimum. It does give you much more editing control over individual frames, but that's not really a requirement when capturing a quick GIF for social media. That's why it's much better to use Filme to create GIFs because the interface and the controls are so much simpler and easy to understand, even if you're a first-time user.

Tips You Shouldn't Miss When Converting YouTube Videos to GIFs

For really professional-looking GIFs, there are certain things you'll need to be aware of when doing YouTube to GIF conversions, especially if your social media reputation depends on it! Here's a list of useful tips when performing the following actions:

YouTube Video to GIF High Quality

  1. Make sure the video you download has an HD or higher resolution. If you're doing extensive edits like zooming in with Filme, it might make your GIF look excessively grainy. Control this during the editing if you don't have a high-quality source.
  2. Check if the video has been shot at the appropriate speed if you're going to do slow motion in your GIF. A higher frame rate will give you a smooth slow-motion look rather than a jerky one.
  3. Trimming the video at the correct spot is very important if you don't want random scenes at the beginning or end of your GIF file.

YouTube Video to GIF with Sound

  1. Does your video editor allow conversion to GIF with sound? Make sure it does because not all of them support this feature.
  2. To ensure that the sound is audible and clear, test out the GIF by playing it on different devices with different types of speakers. You can even cast it to your TV to see how it sounds on larger speakers, but a good pair of multimedia headphones will do the job.
  3. Set the volume level to about 80% or less to avoid the jarring effect on older or low-spec speakers. Video editors such as Filme allow you to control audio volume.

YouTube Video to GIF with No Watermark

  1. If you're converting YouTube to GIF free, make sure that before you begin, the platform or software does not add a watermark. You don't want to waste precious time only to see an unpleasant watermark in your GIF that spoils the whole effect.
  2. If a video that you've already downloaded has a watermark, you can consider using a free watermark removal tool online. However, make sure you're not violating any copyright when doing this - this is very important.
  3. Proprietary watermarks for usable videos are okay to leave in - if someone is promoting their work through the video, you should give them credit for it. Your audience will respect you for doing this.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Making GIFs from YouTube Videos

Can I use a video longer than 15 minutes to create a GIF?

The question is, why would you want to do that. GIFs were made popular because they're short, funny, and appropriate to a particular moment. Converting a long YouTube video to GIF without trimming it to a short size defeats the whole purpose of creating a GIF.

How can I use a GIF in a YouTube video?

Yes, but you'll need a video editing software application like Filme or a special utility that does this. In Filme, you can use fast mode to create a video from a mix of images and video clips, and you can also have an audio or music track added to it automatically. However, remember that the final output will be a video file, not a GIF. That's the only way you can export it and upload it to YouTube. With Filme 3.0, you can create your video slideshow and upload it to your linked YouTube account directly.

Why can't I convert a YouTube video to GIF on Imgur?

If you're having problems converting videos to GIF on Imgur, you should be aware that the online conversion doesn't work all the time. There's a warning note on the site that says so. See if it works after you wait a while. If not, there could be a problem with the format or the file could be corrupted. See if it plays on a media player like VLC to see if that's the problem. If not, try converting a different video on Imgur and see if it works. If you're out of luck, use a video editor like Filme.

Is there a way to turn a massive YouTube Video into short GIFs?

Yes, absolutely. What you need is a robust video editor like Filme 3.0. This will allow you to split your video into small sections that can then be converted to GIF. In addition, you'll have access to Filme's advanced editing features so you can make the clips really pop before converting to GIF.

I tried gifs.com but the YouTube video did not load. What should I do?

First, try one of the three online YouTube video to GIF conversion websites we suggested above. If none of them work, then use a video download tool to save it on your desktop and try again. If that fails, you can install Filme and work locally on the video to convert it into a GIF or several GIFs.