I was trying to convert an MP4 into an animated GIF for an answer on here.

I tried opening the file directly in Photoshop, and then clicking on the timeline menu and choosing both:

  • Convert Frames → Flatten Frames into Clips and

  • Convert Frames → Convert to Frame Animation

Photoshop timeline menu

But neither of them worked. They appeared to just flatten it into a single image.

How can I create an animated GIF from a video file in Adobe Photoshop?


1 Answer 1


To Convert the Video File into a Compatible Structure for the Animated GIF File Format

  1. Open Photoshop without opening the video file.

  2. Go to File → Import → Video Frames to Layers.

  3. In the options that appear, make sure the "Make Frame Animation" checkbox is ticked.

    At this stage you can also select only a specified range of the video and only import every 2nd, 3rd, 4th, nth frame. Useful for many reasons, the most obvious being to reduce file size.

To Save / Output an Animated GIF from the Generated Frames

  1. Go to File → Save for Web... (or File → Export → Save for Web (Legacy)... in newer versions)

  2. Choose one of the GIF options from the preset menu, or choose the GIF option in the dropdown list underneath the presets and adjust the options based on your needs.

  3. Click "Save", give it a name, and enjoy.

  • Thank you for your assistance. For Photoshop CC 2015, you have to select 'Export' Under the "File" tab in order to get the option "Save for web...". But everything else is still in point, thanks.
    – user70089
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 3:07
  • 1
    If I end up using the "Limit To Every x" frames option, how do I then slow down the GIF so that it plays at normal speeds? Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 1:35
  • You don’t necessarily have to use “Import Video Frames to Layers”. You can import the video and still use “Save for Web”. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:12
  • Thanks, that's a wonderful tip, is there any way to give the gif a shape other than a rectangle or square? Like cropping it, but cropping it while giving it a shape.
    – Hunter
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 21:36
  • Ummm not able to get a timeline below, I imported a mov file, it loads, correctly showing the number of frames, they are distributed in layers, but each image is the same, not like what it is in the movie.
    – Hunter
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 21:57

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