How To Speed up an Animated GIF
The prevalence of the GIF format is due in part to its accessibility, but mostly due to its longevity. The format has existed longer than the internet itself. For a long while, GIFs were the only choice for short video files on websites. Today, we have many other formats, but GIF remains the most popular.
If GIFs aren’t optimized correctly, they can overburden a website or be too cumbersome for short messages. The GIF format tends to produce large files when it’s applied to animated images. To reduce the size and make them less bandwidth hungry, a good choice is to speed them up a bit. Here are some simple ways to speed up and streamline your GIFs.
Change GIF Speed
The most straightforward way to speed up a GIF image is to use an optimizing service. There are many quality online options, though for the purposes of this tutorial we’ll go with Ezgif. The process is very intuitive; once you have your GIF downloaded navigate to the website and follow these steps:
- In the bar menu, hover with your mouse cursor over “Effects” and select “Adjust Speed” From the drop-down menu.
- Click the “Choose File” button and use the file explorer to find your image or paste a URL in the search bar. When you find the file you’d like to use, click on the “Upload!” button.
- Choose a percent by which you want to increase the speed and enter it in the text box below.
- Click on “Change Speed!” Your output image will be displayed below.
- Click on the “Save” button to download your image into your default downloads folder.
You can continue to change the speed as you want. If you need the GIF to be slower, you can do so too. Use any number between 1 and 99 percent to slow the GIF down.
Resize Your GIF
A resized GIF may load faster but it won’t be faster. This is a very effective way to shave size from a GIF, though, and make it more web-friendly. Since a GIF is a collection of frames, normally you would have to resize every frame in the animation. You can still do that, but there are many good editors that can ease the process.
Resizeimage is a very powerful tool that has a glut of features for resizing. To use it, all you have to do is upload your image to the website and then use the subsequent menus to make adjustments. Aside from cropping and resizing, you can also rotate it and make the background transparent. You can change the output format, but you should select GIF to maintain the animations.
Reduce the Frame Rate
Another way to speed up a GIF and optimize it is to cut out superfluous frames. Again, there is very little merit to manually removing frames. Any decent GIF editing tool, such as Ezgif listed above, will allow you to cut frames out of the file.
You can choose to cut out one frame in every two or four frames and you should use one of these two options for consistency. This will speed up the GIF significantly but it will have an even greater effect on the size of the file. Keep in mind that the removed frames will reduce the quality of the GIF.
Use a Different Format
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to approach this problem is to step away from the GIF format altogether. MP4 is the preferred format for videos in most browsers. Converting a GIF to MP4 makes your file significantly smaller and allows you to edit it as a video rather than a collection of frames.
A very quick and easy-to-use platform for converting GIFs to MP4 files is Convertio. It’s a broad service that allows converting files between many different formats. Once you convert the file to MP4 you can use an MP4 editor, such as Lightworks, to edit and transform the file. You’ll find that, when you convert the file, it will be considerably better optimized for use on the web as well.
There are other file types that you can resort to, but MP4 is supported by just about all web browsers. Also, MP4 files look a lot better than other formats since it’s a format designed for streaming video.
If Everything Is Under Control, You’re Not Going Fast Enough
There are many reasons to speed up and optimize your GIFs. Surely, one of the methods listed here will work for you. The best method, if you just need to speed up a GIF, is to use an online editor such as Ezgif. If your goal is to optimize the GIF, you should consider other options such as reducing the frame rate or resizing the GIF. If you’re not committed to the format, it might be better to just convert it to MP4 or something more manageable.
Why are you trying to speed up your GIFs? Is it to optimize them or to shorten the duration? Tell us in the comments below.