Installation

The conversion process requires the following command-line tools:

  • ffmpeg to process the video file
  • gifsicle to create and optimize the an animated gif

If you use homebrew and homebrew-cask software packages, just type this in:

$ brew install ffmpeg 
$ brew cask install x-quartz #dependency for gifsicle, only required for mountain-lion and above
$ open /usr/local/Cellar/x-quartz/2.7.4/XQuartz.pkg # runs the XQuartz installer
$ brew install gifsicle

Instructions

To capture the video using the free "QuickTime Player" application:

  • Open "Quicktime Player",
  • Go to File -> New Screen Recording
  • Selected screen portion by dragging a rectangle, recorded 13 second video.
  • Go to File -> Export -> As Movie
    • Saved the video in full quality with the filename screen-recording.mov

To convert screen-recording.mov into coolest.gif (filesize: 48KB), open Terminal to the folder with screen-recording.mov and run the following command:

ffmpeg -i screen-recording.mov -s 600x400 -pix_fmt rgb24 -r 10 -f gif - | gifsicle --optimize=3 --delay=3 > coolest.gif

Notes on the arguments:

  • -r 10 tells ffmpeg to reduce the frame rate from 25 fps to 10
  • -s 600x400 tells ffmpeg the max-width and max-height
  • --delay=3 tells gifsicle to delay 30ms between each gif
  • --optimize=3 requests that gifsicle use the slowest/most file-size optimization