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gif.ski

Highest-quality GIF encoder based on pngquant.

gifski converts video frames to GIF animations using pngquant's fancy features for efficient cross-frame palettes and temporal dithering. It produces animated GIFs that use thousands of colors per frame.

(CC) Blender Foundation | gooseberry.blender.org

It's a CLI tool, but it can also be compiled as a C library for seamless use in other apps.

Download and install

See releases page for executables.

If you have Homebrew, you can also get it with brew install gifski.

If you have Rust 1.49+, you can also build it from source with cargo install gifski.

Usage

gifski is a command-line tool. There is no GUI for Windows or Linux (there is one for macOS).

The recommended way is to first export video as PNG frames. If you have ffmpeg installed, you can run in terminal:

ffmpeg -i video.webm frame%04d.png

and then make the GIF from the frames:

gifski -o anim.gif frame*.png

You can also resize frames (with -W <width in pixels> option). If the input was ever encoded using a lossy video codec it's recommended to at least halve size of the frames to hide compression artefacts and counter chroma subsampling that was done by the video codec.

Adding --quality=90 may reduce file sizes a bit, but expect to lose a lot of quality for little gain. GIF just isn't that good at compressing, no matter how much you compromise.

See gifski -h for more options.

Building

  1. Install Rust via rustup or run rustup update. This project only supports up-to-date versions of Rust. You may get compile errors, warnings about "unstable edition", etc. if you don't run rustup update regularly.
  2. Clone the repository: git clone https://github.com/ImageOptim/gifski
  3. In the cloned directory, run: cargo build --release

Using from C

See gifski.h for the C API. To build the library, run:

cargo build --release

and link with target/release/libgifski.a. Please observe the LICENSE.

License

AGPL 3 or later. I can offer alternative licensing options, including commercial licenses. Let me know if you'd like to use it in a product incompatible with this license.

With built-in video support

The tool optionally supports decoding video directly, but unfortunately it relies on ffmpeg 4.x, which may be very hard to get working, so it's not enabled by default.

You must have ffmpeg and libclang installed, both with their C headers intalled in default system include paths. Details depend on the platform and version, but you usually need to install packages such as libavformat-dev, libavfilter-dev, libavdevice-dev, libclang-dev, clang. Please note that installation of these dependencies may be quite difficult. Especially on macOS and Windows it takes expert knowledge to just get them installed without wasting several hours on endless stupid installation and compilation errors, which I can't help with. If you're cross-compiling, try uncommenting [patch.crates-io] section at the end of Cargo.toml, which includes some experimental fixes for ffmpeg.

Once you have dependencies installed, compile with cargo build --release --features=video or cargo build --release --features=video-static.

When compiled with video support ffmpeg licenses apply. You may need to have a patent license to use H.264/H.265 video (I recommend using VP9/WebM instead).

gifski -o out.gif video.mp4

Cross-compilation for iOS

The easy option is to use the included gifski.xcodeproj file to build the library automatically for all Apple platforms. Add it as a subproject to your Xcode project, and link with gifski-staticlib Xcode target. See the GUI app for an example how to integrate the library.

Cross-compilation for iOS manually

Make sure you have Rust installed via rustup. Run once:

rustup target add aarch64-apple-ios

and then to build the library:

cargo build --lib --release --target=aarch64-apple-ios

The build will print "dropping unsupported crate type cdylib" warning. This is normal and expected when building for iOS (the cdylib option exists for other platforms).

This will create a static library in ./target/aarch64-apple-ios/release/libgifski.a. You can add this library to your Xcode project. See gifski.app for an example how to use libgifski from Swift.

About

GIF encoder based on libimagequant (pngquant). Squeezes maximum possible quality from the awful GIF format.

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