Categorized as geekstuff. I think a better category would be stuff I have too much fun with that wastes a ton of time. But it is kind of geeky, so we'll just put it here.
Over on the forums at meh.com, people use a lot of GIFs. A GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is a little animated graphic. Like a cartoon. When I first came online and eventually started playing with graphics, GIFs were mostly rotating banners. A series of images showing one after the other. Back then, you didn't see a lot of real life movies in the GIF format. They took up quite a bit of bandwidth (back then we spoke of kilobytes, not terrabytes, my first computer wasn't even a full GB). And the more bandwidth, the slower they loaded.
But now that things are way faster and there's a lot more bandwidth allowed, GIFs are no longer a big deal. Lots of little snippets of film and stuff, in the repeating, looping mode. The same thing over and over.
At the meh forums, I realized that I could make my own GIFs! I've always had the capability, but I used it for making banners (like the one for Fit Rite that shows up on the tractor forums, the ones where we pay for advertising). But I have a lot of little cat movies that might lend themselves to cute GIFS. And yesterday, I tried my hand at making them.
First I tried re-installing an old software program I'd bought. It ran, but I couldn't activate it to remove the company's watermark. They are no longer in business. Damn.
Then I found that one of my other programs, my go-to programs for video, AVS4you (you can buy a bundle that has ALL of their programs for under a hundred dollars and you have lifetime upgrades...one of the best deals I've ever come across in my time online) has the capability to convert to GIF. I tried it out and I liked the result. Now that I knew I could do it, I opened up my Corel Video Studio VI Ultimate (I have version 7, but my older NewBlueFX plugins don't work properly with it, so I don't use it) and found the movie I wanted, saved it in AVI format and converted it with AVS4You video converter.
For my first GIF, I chose the California Screamin' video, the one where the coaster goes around the loop. The one that I edited so that it looks like it's going around and around. (You can see it over on my YouTube channel.) Which is pretty much the concept of the GIFs. Unfortunately, the actual video was inside of a bigger black box and I wanted to crop the video out of the box. I couldn't figure out how to crop it with AVS4You or VS6. Then I did a little checking and I found that my Alchemy Mindworks GIF Construction Set would give me that ability. (This was my go-to banner making software way back when and I've kept up with updates throughout the years.) lt also makes resizing the GIFs a lot easier. Okay, I'm liking what I'm seeing here.
Now, to watermark my work. I could have tried doing it at the start, with the original looping AVI video that I started with, the one in VS. But I thought it might be better to do it as the last step. I'm sure there's someway to do it in all of my software, but I don't feel like figuring it out. I do a search for watermarking GIFs. I found some online watermarkers, where you upload your GIF and they watermark it. But the ones that I tried really messed up with the quality of the images. Then I found one that I could buy (ack!). It watermarks most kinds of photos (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG). The ones I've got on my computer will watermark a GIF, but only the first image. I want them all to have the watermark. The software I found is called WonderFox. It was normally $39.95, but had a $10 discount. Damn. More than I want to spend. I do more searching, but this time I'm searching for promotional codes. I find one. Fifty percent off! I got it for less than fifteen dollars. Yay!
I run into a problem. It's not running on my system. Crap, crap, crap. I didn't want to bother with it anymore last night (it was late, we saw St. Vincent, then back on the computers when we got home). This morning I tried it again, still had problems, then tried running it as administrator and it ran like a dream. Yay! We're in business.
So, here are the two that I've done so far. I like them. I'll do more. (I can see many hours scouring my little MOV files....)
The roller coaster:
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