First of all, the following guide is based on this old one:
But if you are a completely n00b about graphics like me you will appreciate my version of the guide since I have updated some stuff and added nice screenshots to point out some details
Btw, There is another old guide for the same purpose on this forum which is a little more complicated:
1) Mozilla Firefox with Fast Video Download add-on
2) Magic Video Converter
Fast Video Download is an add-on which allows you to download videos from popular sites like youtube.
I have found Magic Video Converter and ImageReady on Demonoid, ImageReady comes with Photoshop 7. Don't donwload the portable thing, it didn't work for me
VirtualDub is freeware and will always be
If you only use Internet Explorer it's your chance to try Firefox now, or you can just google for a website to do the same job,
You can also search for the flv file in your Temporary Internet Files Folder:
In Control Panel. open the Internet Options list item. In either case, a new window titled "Internet Properties" appears. In the Temporary Internet Files section of the Internet Properties window, click the "Settings..." button. A new "Settings" window appears. In the "Settings" window, click the "View Files..." button. After a brief delay, a new Windows Explorer window appears. This window displays all of the Temporary Internet Files stored on the computer and their location on the local hard drive. The window also displays the URL where each temporary file came from.
If you already have an avi file which have a scene that you want to convert to an animated gif you can skip the first step.
1) Install the Fast Video Download add-on: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3590
2) After you find the video you want to convert click on fast video download icon which is at the right bottom corner, save the file and rename it properly.
3) Open Magic Video Converter, click on Open to select the input file (the flv), then click on Browse to select an output directory (the folder where you will save the avi file), and last click on convert.
Now you have the avi file which is compatible with VirtualDub.
1) Create a folder where you are gonna save the image sequence. In this case I have created F:\DONE as you can see in the screenshot below.
2) Press Ctrl + O and select your Video file, the avi one.
3) Press control+g or Edit--->Go to.
4) Use Jump frame at time: XX:XX:XX
First XX are minutes, second XX are seconds, XX are fractional seconds (dont worry about this one)
5) Go to the first frame of the scene you want to capture and press the MARK IN button.
(At the bottom of the screen the last set of buttons to the right, a black left and right arrow)
6) Go to the last frame of your scene and press the MARK OUT button kinds looks like _>
7) File -----> Save image sequence
8) Choose the location of the folder you made before.
9) Set number of digits to 3 or more, just to be safe (the number of digits wont affect anything but if you only choose 1 digit and your animation numbers in double digits you will get problems with ImageReady)
10) Name the files and push OK
11) Wait for it to save your screnshots (the little window in the middle of the window will disappear when its done)
1) Open ImageReady
2) File -----> Import ------> Folder as frames
3) Choose the folder you saved your Image Sequence to
4) It will load all the pics in order as frames
5) Add the rulers to your view to make easy to crop the image later on.
6) Image ------> Image size Change the image size to 100 or 150. 150 is accepted in most sites like Private Trackers but most public Forums only accept 100.
7) If you save it as it is now the file will be the right dimensions and you will have an animated gif but it will most likely be too big, you might also want to do some more editing.
8) At the bottom of the screen there is a wide window that has all the frames in separate thumbs.
9) Delete frames to decrease file size
10) If you select a frame and select the new frame button under the thumbs it will make a new frame and in it will be the same pic as the one you had selected before (usefull for loops)
11) Also use the rectangular marquee to select the area you want to show if you want to show a certain part.
12) Image ------> Crop.
13) Cropping and deleting frames (click image then trash can) really makes your gif smaller
16) When your done go to File ------> Save Optimized Image As
NOTE: Most of the videos from YouTube have an aspect ratio of 4:3, so In the examples below I resized the height to 150 and the new size obtained was 200X150, then I cropped the pic on both sides, left and right, to make a 150X150 image. But rememember that deleting frames is the best way to reduce the size of your file. I have taken scenes of 20 seconds and deleted 80% of the total frames, from 500 frames to 100 frames approx., and even so the files are too big for this Forum because FST doesn't allow avatars bigger than 175KB. However, ImageShack can host pics up to 1536KB and most trackers allow avatars from ImageShack without restriction.
These are commercials of walkman from the 80s I found on Youtube:
If you want an animated avatar for FST you must use less than 26 frames 100X100 or less than 14 frames 150X150 like these ones:
This is one of my favorite features about ImageReady. You can basically have the program "remember" what you do, sort of like teaching it how to do things. I use this to have it "remember" how I did my borders so I can just click the play button and it will do it automatically for me, its very useful and saves you a lot of time:
Locate the window that has "Layers" tab in it
1) Click on the "Actions" tab, to the right of the "History" tab.
2) Click the "Create new action" button. It looks just like the new layer button.
3) Name it, when you press enter you will see a red dot (recording)
4) Just about anything you do will be recorded, make a border and hit the stop button. (to the right of the red dot and the left of the "Create new action" button.
5) Thats all there is to it! Now when you click the play button, it will imitate exactly what you recorded, performing each step in sequential order. click the ">" and it will drop down all the actions it does. You can alter each action to adjust it.
Please post your comments and feedback and pm me if you find any grammatical error