GameDev Resource Pick: GifCam

spaceFoxesGifResized
Gifs like this one (with a static background) end up with TINY filesizes!

I might have been somewhat late in the game to start using GifCam, but this post is for people who still think that it’s easier to, I dunno, record your screen with FRAPS [shudder] or even OpenBroadcaster and then use Premiere or something to export a snippet of that video as a gif.

That’s what I was doing for a while, and gosh if I didn’t wonder how anyone had the patience to gif-ify their gamedev. File sizes were as huge as the quality was bad. How did people embed those 20 second long gifs on Twitter when it has a 3mb image size limit?!

Well, I’ll tell you how. Or at least one way. I started by using good ol’ GfyCat, but even that didn’t play as nicely with Twitter as I would’ve liked. So, after a few false starts, I started using GifCam … And it is awesome.

It’s very easy to get the resolution to exactly what you need, and it’s not too difficult to trim your recording down to size. You then simply save it and see if the file size is what you need. If it’s not, trim it some more and re-save. It’s relatively painless.

INATAGifResized
This gif, having only two colors, is even smaller than the Space Foxes one!

It’s not 100% perfect, though. You might run into issues with transparency – which is one of the ways GifCam keeps the file size down. If you encounter big green swatches in your gifs, you need to change the transparency color. Resolutions can get messed up if you continue recording after changing the window size without clearing all the footage you have so far. It could also be a lot easier to edit the footage you capture – a timeline with frame preview would be amazing.

These are minor foibles, though, and the creator is fairly active and periodically releases new versions with new features.

So, check it out, and you’ll likely like it. You can find it here. The download link is sandwiched between the bottom of the post and the top of the comments, so it can be a little tricky to locate. It’s right above the Wreck-It Ralph gif.

If you have suggestions for other programs that do what GifCam does (but better), please let me know in the comments!