Creating a GIF might seem like witchcraft to the uninitiated, but it’s really not that difficult. Apps like GIFBrewery for OS X make quick work of taking your videos from full-length to looping clips in seconds. Thanks to Imgur, you can do the same with any video, now. Via their GIF creation tool, which is now live, videos from a hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo can become GIFs. Keep in mind that whatever GIF you create becomes public domain.
The tool is pretty simple: add a video’s URL to the input field of the Imgur GIF tool, then set your start and end points for your GIF. Once you’re happy with what you have, just click “Create GIF”. No, seriously, it’s that easy.
It’s not the best solution we’ve seen, but it is free to use, so there’s that. In our experience with the tool, it didn’t give a preview of what was created. If you didn’t plan ahead, knowing which start and end points you wanted on the video, you could create several GIFs unnecessarily via trial and error.
It’s also pretty slow, and you either get a GIF file or a GIFV file, Imgur’s new file type which acts more like video than a traditional GIF (typically better quality, but comes with embedding issues). The tool says “GIFs larger than 10MB are automatically optimized” after you create a GIF, but you don’t get a preview of size ahead of creation. Imgur’s new GIF creation tool can’t be used to create GIFs for sending via messaging, either. Still, for a free tool anyone can play with using publicly posted video, it’s not bad.