Creating Animated GIFs From Videos With Workflow For iOS

Apple's Workflow app allows you to create a variety of automations on your iPhone or iPad. An example is a workflow that takes a video from your library and creates an animated GIF from it. You can store this in your Photos app even though Photos doesn't display the animation. You can then share it online instead of the video.

Video Transcript
I've talked before about using the Workflow app to create some interesting automations in iOS. It's kind of like Automator for iOS. Apple acquired this app awhile ago so it's an official Apple app. You can do things in it that you can't do with official Apple apps and processes in any other way.

As an example here I've downloaded the Workflow app. It's free so just search for it and download it in the App Store. I'm going to create a workflow that will take a video and create an animated GIF.

So I'm going to hit Create Workflow there. I'm going to make sure it's set to Normal. I'm going to swipe left to right to go to the Actions. I'm going to look first for, under Photos & Video, the action to Select Photos. Which you can read about and it says Prompts to choose photos and videos from your photo library. That's exactly what we want. So I'm going to drag it to the right and add it to my workflow. So the first thing it's going to do is ask for a photo or video. I'm going to leave Select Multiple off. I just it to allow you to select one video.

Now next we want to convert that to a GIF. So I'm going to slide back over and I'm going to search for GIF, or Gif if you prefer. You can see I've got one there called Make GIF. So I'm going to look at that. Create an animated GIF from the images or video passed into the action. Perfect. That's exactly what I want. I'll drag that and I'll stick it underneath there.

So now that it's going to create the GIF I need to save it somewhere. I want to, of course, save it to my Photos Library so I can use it in all sorts of things. So the next part I want to add is the ability to save it to an album. Save to Photo Album is one so let's read about that. Adds the photos and videos passed as input to the specified photos album. So that sounds about right. Let's add that. Let's drag it in here and you can see the default is All Photos. Which is perfect. It means it's really not going to add to a photo album. It's just going to add it to your Photo Library and not a specified album.

So this should do everything we need. So let's test it out. I'm going to hit the Play button at the top. It's going to ask me to select a video. So I'm going to go to Videos, select this one, preview it, and I Choose it. It compresses the video and makes the GIF and saves it. I see the result there inside of Workflow. But the important thing is that I know it saves it to the Photos Album app.

So let's go and take a look at Photos. I can see here that it's the last item in my All Photos list and there it is. Now the Photos App doesn't actually play animated GIFs so you have to trust that it is one. Sure enough if you export this from the Photos app on your Mac you can see in the Finder that it's an animated GIF or if you just were to share that somewhere that you would see that is actually an animated GIF even though it can't play it back in the Photos app. Animated GIFs are sometimes preferable to videos in certain different places where you post things online.

Now if you wanted to make a segment of your video an animated GIF then it's pretty easy. You just go into the Photos app, edit that video to trim it to the exact portion that you want to make it an animated GIF, use this Workflow here and you're set.

Back in Workflow you can go to the Settings there by pressing the gear at the top right and you can name it and now you can see that it appears there in Workflow. In addition you can also go into Settings there, change it's icon, add it to the Home screen so that you can then run this as a Workflow kind of as an app for easy access.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Creating Animated GIFs From Videos With Workflow For iOS”

    Kika WaiʻAlae
    8/3/17 @ 11:32 am

    Is there an app for iMac?

    8/3/17 @ 11:39 am

    Kika: An app to create GIFs? Many. Just search the app store. I did a video on one a while ago: https://macmost.com/creating-animated-gifs.html

    Jeff White
    8/4/17 @ 3:18 pm

    can you do this with automator on your mac?

    8/4/17 @ 3:44 pm

    Jeff: There’s no Animated GIF export action in Automator, so no, not really. But many ads install their own Automator actions, so it is possible that one such app will add this to Automator. But there are plenty of GIF-maker apps for the Mac if that is your goal. This tutorial merely displays another use for Workflow.

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