A GIF is a type of image file that supports short animations loops. The format was designed to animate images using the smallest file size possible. Since the birth of the GIF in 1987 by US software writer Steve Wilhite, the format has become an essential part of the internet and cultural phenomenon.
Make Your Own with a GIF Maker
Anyone who can operate a computer can pump out infinite creative GIFs if they have the right tool. This article will review the most popular GIF makers available; after reading, you will know the perfect tool that fits your skill level and marketing (or entertainment) needs. We've sorted 23 of the most popular GIF makers online by the following categories:
- GIF Maker software
- Basic online GIF Makers
- GIF Makers Anyone Can Use
- Advanced Online GIF Makers
- Unusual GIF Makers
How Are GIFs Used?
Everyone loves sharing their favorite GIFs in social media comment sections. When someone posts about a recent achievement, you will likely see a short soundless loop or Leonardo DiCaprio toasting from the movie the Great Gatsby. And if there's a heated argument, you may come across a short clip of Michael Jackson eating popcorn from his iconic Thriller video.
GIFs are massively popular for entertainment, but they are also critical for any skilled online marketing agency. While the short movie and TV clips are the most recognizable GIFs, the file format also allows designers to add lean animation to their online content. Because a GIF is just a series of images looped together, they can come in the form of a logo, sales copy, or any other short animation that adds uniqueness to a webpage.
GIF Maker software
If you are running an agency or need a steady flow of GIFs for social media, downloading software to support your GIF-making may be your best option. You won't have to worry about having an internet connection, dealing with ads, or stopping production if the site has connectivity issues. GIF maker software is reliable and designed explicitly for animators. In addition, sharing and saving GIF files from any of our favorite software platforms is performed locally rather than downloading from a GIF maker website, making the process seamless and convenient.
If you already have Photoshop and are comfortable working in the essential design software, you don't need to download a GIF maker; Adobe has built one into PSD. The best thing about Adobe is their documentation and internal tutorial videos are among the best available from any design software company globally. There is also a seemingly unlimited number of tutorial videos on YouTube due to the industry-wide adoption of Adobe products.
Many designers prefer dedicated software just for making their GIF files. Easy GIF Animator and GIF Animator are great options if you are operating on Windows. Create banners, animated photos, buttons, and GIF videos with an unmatched number of powerful tools to make your animations stand out.
The Giffing Tool is another solid choice for GIF maker software. The software has a beautiful UI that makes creating GIFs fun and simple.
Basic Online GIF Makers
The rest of our selections are available online, some require a subscription, but most are free. Our top basic choices cater to the designer who prefers working with a UI that looks like it was built in 2005 and doesn't want to make an account or even navigate to another page. These basic online GIF makers allow you to upload an image or video or a URL and make changes directly on their homepage. Features are limited, but all these options will get the job done.
GIFmaker.me is incredibly simple and easy to use but also has powerful capabilities. Upload up to 300 JPG, PNG, or GIF images into the GIF maker; you can adjust the frame, speed of the animation, choose repeat times or infinite loop, and add music from YouTube all on the home page!
EZgif offers a similar simplistic approach to GIF-making with more features, including reverse, rotate, crop, split, and the ability to add text.
Kapwing GIF maker has similar tools built-in but also offers free cloud storage with an account and the option to upgrade for more features. Out of our basic GIF maker options, this one reigns supreme. Kapwing is highly capable of creating short animations and has the infrastructure built into its platform to make GIFs at scale.
Another basic option is Imgflip; what separates this platform from others is the social media aspect. You can upload the GIFs you make to the website's feed and even land on their weekly leaderboard if you create something that takes off.
Picasion is unbelievably fundamental and has a UI that resamples 4chan. GIFRun is another simple option with limited capabilities but allows you to loop video clips from YouTube in seconds.
GIF Makers Anyone Can Use
Are our basic options not simplified enough?! We get it; GIFs don't need high production value to trend. Some of the most shared GIFs ever have been low quality. However, if you want to make GIFs for web design, we suggest using a more advanced tool.
Try Gifmaker.net or GIFnText for a simplified approach to production. These are barebones options that allow anyone who can use a computer to make GIFs in seconds.
Unusual GIF Makers
Making GIFs has become a pastime for many of us who enjoy the sense of community online culture brings. While we don't recommend using these GIF makers for your marketing needs, they are a lot of fun to play with.
Brush Ninja allows you to create unique designs with a Microsoft Paintesque user interface. Draw designs, loop them together, and export as a GIF for one-of-a-kind creations.
Web developers or bloggers looking to add effects to existing GIFs should try BLOGGIF; the website allows you to convert videos to GIF files, add blur, music, create an animated 3D cube, and other cool effects.
Some excellent tools to add to your GIF production workflow are Online GIF Tools, 3D GIF Maker, and ScreenToGIF.
- Online GIF Tools allow you to choose what type of edit, action, or effect you want to add to your GIF with a simple click.
- Convert images into 3D-rotating GIF files with 3D GIF Maker.
- Turn your screen into a GIF in a few easy steps with ScreenToGIF.
Advanced Online GIF Makers
The following GIF makers contain the best options for designers looking to use GIFs in their campaigns. Because GIFs are so simple, even the advanced platforms are simple to use.
GIPHY is possibly the most popular free GIF maker online. The platform is an excellent resource for creators to get inspiration, find other artists, and check out what GIFs are trending. GIPHY's social media component is head and shoulders above competitors both aesthetically and by sheer numbers. But our favorite GIPHY feature is the API. Developers can use GIFs from the platform in their code without downloading and including the file in their repository.
Canva is an online digital marketing platform built on templates and drag and drop functionality. If you've ever been on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably seen a Canva design template.
The platform also offers a free GIF maker focused less on building hilarious short video loops and more centered around marketing. Canva is our favorite option for designers looking to incorporate GIFs into their online digital marketing. While the free version will get the job done, more templates, stock photos, editing tools, and cloud storage is available when you upgrade to Canva Pro or Enterprise.
Makeagif is another GIF-making platform with a social media component. The following isn't as big as GIPHY, but it's a great alternative if you want to gain recognition in the world of internet GIF creators or inspiration from their trending feed. You can make GIF files from images, online video platforms (FB, IG, Youtube, Vimeo, LiveLeak, Daily Motion), or your webcam.
Visme is a super-advanced GIF-making tool with a library of resources and templates to help marketing agencies produce unique content. The platform is marketing-focused and offers the tools to make presentations, infographics, mockups, and printable content. There is a free version, but you won't be able to download in .GIF format and features are limited. You'll have to pay $30/month to take advantage of the platform's full capabilities.
Two of the best GIF makers available in 2021 are Animaker and Veed. Both require a monthly subscription and offer a ton of features beyond adding text to a video loop. Animaker allows you to make custom animations for their extensive library of professionally designed characters, perfect for informational videos.
Veed is our favorite paid GIF maker. The platform is super simple but has all the features you need to produce high-quality short videos. Upload files, make the edits you want, and export as a GIF file; the process couldn't be more accessible. Veed does offer a free version, but your file will be watermarked. We suggest paying; the tiers are only $12 and $24 per month; if you are producing GIFs at scale Veed is well worth the monthly fee.
Our Top GIF Maker Picks
With so many incredible options online, it's hard not to try your hand at making a GIF go viral. For a community of like-minded GIF fanatics, there's no better place than GIPHY.
As animation professionals, we are more focused on how we can help our clients add unique features to their web content to boost engagement. For marketing purposes, we like Photoshop's Gif Maker, Canva Pro, and Veed. Each requires a monthly fee but are well worth the cost to our professional designers.
If you don’t have time to learn how to make your own GIFs but need animations to keep users engaged, we recommend checking out Creattie. We have a massive library of JSON animations perfect for any industry. When you purchase from us, the GIF file is included in the package.