Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Applications Folder: GIF Brewery 3

Ahhh, where would the Internet be without GIFs? Well, Twitter would hardly bearable for one thing. Some might say that between them and emoji we’ve lost the art of communicating in plain text, but I think it simply adds a whole new dimension to the way human beings interact. Our life would be poorer without the animated GIF, for sure.

While there are plenty of ways to find the perfect GIF for any situation (Google searching, Giphy, Tenor, and other similar services), what happens when you can’t find the exact GIF you’re searching for? Obviously, you need to make it yourself. And for that you need the right tool, which, on the Mac, is unquestionably Gfycat’s GIF Brewery.

GIF Brewery lets you take any video and convert into a GIF. Which, in and of itself, might be enough. But it also adds a whole boatload of other features to let you turn that video into the GIF…of your dreams. You can easily set the start and end points of your clip, resize it or crop it to your specifications, and, choose whether the clip loops, goes in reverse, or bounces. Those, however, are just table stakes. GIF Brewery supports multiple overlays that can fade in and out, control over frame count and frame rate, and, of course, add text or even stickers. You can even add multiple video clips and combine them into a single GIF or add filters on top of your clip, for those of you who have graduated from the Advanced GIF Making seminar.

Sure, there are other ways to make GIFs, including easier solutions on iOS, but GIF Brewery lends a lot of power and capability that you won’t find elsewhere. There’s also integration with Gfycat’s online service if you want to export and upload your GIFs, though you can always just save them directly to your Mac.

GIF Brewery’s not an app I launch every day, or even every month, but it is one of those great specific tools that’s always there when I need it, and makes short work of a specific sort of task. Plus it does it all with an easy to understand interface that doesn’t get in your way if you don’t need all of its bells and whistles. And, on top of all of that, it’s free—so it’s certainly hard to argue with that.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at dan@sixcolors.com. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]


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