Gifski – A Cross-platform High-quality GIF Encoder
As a content writer, I need to add images in my articles. Sometimes, it is better to add videos or gif images to explain the concept a bit easier. The readers can easily understand the guide much better by watching the output in video or gif format than the text. The other day, I have written about Flameshot, a feature-rich and powerful screenshot tool for Linux. Today, I will show you how to make high quality gif images either from a video or set of images. Meet Gifski, a cross-platform, open source, command line High-quality GIF encoder based on Pngquant.
For those wondering, pngquant is a command line lossy PNG image compressor. Trust me, pngquant is one of the best PNG compressor that I ever use. It compresses PNG images upto 70% without losing the original quality and and preserves full alpha transparency. The compressed images are compatible with all web browsers and operating systems. Since Gifski is based on Pngquant, it uses pngquant’s features for creating efficient GIF animations. Gifski is capable of creating animated GIFs that use thousands of colors per frame. Gifski is also requires ffmpeg to convert video into PNG images.
Make sure you have installed FFMpeg and Pngquant.
FFmpeg is available in the default repositories of most Linux distributions, so you can install it using the default package manager. For installation instructions, refer the following guide.
Pngquant is available also available in the default repositories of most Linux distributions. To install Pngquant on Linux, refer the following guide:
After installing the prerequisites, install Gifski. You can install it using cargo if Rust programming language is installed on your system.
$ cargo install gifski
You can also get it with Linuxbrew package manager.
$ brew install gifski
If you don’t want to install cargo or Linuxbrew, download the latest binary executables from releases page and compile and install gifski manually.
Create high-quality GIF animations using Gifski GIF encoder
Go to the location where you have kept the PNG images and run the following command to create GIF animation from the set of images:
$ gifski -o file.gif *.png
Here file.gif is the final output gif animation.
Gifski has also some other additional features, like;
- Create GIF animation with specific dimension,
- Show specific number of animations per second,
- Encode with a specific quality,
- Encode faster,
- Encode images exactly in the order given, rather than sorted.
To create GIF animation with specific dimension, for example width=800 and height=400, use the following command:
$ gifski -o file.gif -W 800 -H 400 *.png
You can set how many number of animation frames per second you want in the gif animation. The default value is 20.
For example, to use one animation frame per second, use the following command:
$ gifski -o file.gif --fps 1 *.png
We can encode with specific quality on the scale of 1-100. Obviously, the lower quality may give smaller file and higher quality give bigger seize gif animation.
$ gifski -o file.gif --quality 50 *.png
Gifski will take more time when you encode large number of images. To make the encoding process 3 times faster than usual speed, run:
$ gifski -o file.gif --fast *.png
Please note that it will reduce quality to 10% and create bigger animation file.
To encode images exactly in the order given (rather than sorted), use –nosort option.
$ gifski -o file.gif --nosort *.png
If you don’t want to loop the GIF, simple use –once option.
$ gifski -o file.gif --once *.png
Create GIF animation from Video file
Some times you might want to an animated file from a video. It is also possible. This is where FFmpeg comes in help. First convert the video into PNG frames first like below.
$ ffmpeg -i video.mp4 frame%04d.png
The above command makes image files namely “frame0001.png”, “frame0002.png”, “frame0003.png”…, etc., from video.mp4 (%04d makes the frame number) and save them in the current working directory.
As one of the reader Dennisk stated in the comment section, the above command will generate thousands of output frame images depending upon the length of the video file. If you want to limit the number of output images, you can use -t option like below.
$ ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -t 10 frame%04d.png
The -t 10 option instructs ffmpeg to stop after 10 seconds of video.
After converting the image files, simply run the following command to make the animated GIF file.
$ gifski -o file.gif *.png
For more details, refer the help section.
$ gifski -h
Here is the sample animated file created using Gifski.
As you can see, the quality of the GIF file is really great.
For more details, refer the project’s website given below.