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This snippet shows how to create a GIF screencast using only free OS X tools: QuickTime, ffmpeg, and gifsicle.

# OS X Screencast to animated GIF

This gist shows how to create a GIF screencast using only free OS X tools: *QuickTime, ffmpeg, and gifsicle*.

![Screencapture GIF](

## Instructions

To capture the video (filesize: 19MB), 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 ``

To convert into out.gif (filesize: 48KB), open Terminal to the folder with `` and run the following command:

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

    # ... or without gifsicle
    ffmpeg -i -r 10 -f gif - > out.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

To share the new GIF using [Dropbox]( and [Copy Public URL](, run the following:

    cp out.gif ~/Dropbox/Public/screenshots/Screencast-`date +"%Y.%m.%d-%H.%M"`.gif

## 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

## Resources

* (primary source!)

## Related Ideas

* Extend folder action for this use case
  * it would automate the conversion before copying Dropbox public URL
  * assign the folder action to ~/Dropbox/Public/Screenshots/gif
  * consider finding a way to simplify the dependency installation