How to Split a GIF

by Darrin Koltow

Use GIF Ninja, GIMP, Photoshop, or another image manipulation program to split an animated GIF's frames into separate images. Note that only animated gifs can be split because this is the only GIF format that can store multiple, separate images. The desktop programs that split these images can do so because of their layering tools. Layers are virtual transparencies that you can stack to form a unified image. Imaging programs also use them to hold the frames of animated GIFs.

GIF Ninja

1

Open your Web browser onto the GIF Ninja page for splitting GIFs.

2

Click the "Select file" button

3

Navigate to and double-click an animated GIF file on your hard drive. When the "Split happens" text appears, proceed to the next step.

4

Click the button whose label reads "Download a zip file."

5

Click the "Open" option to open the file in your system's default program for opening ZIP files. You'll see a list of JPEG images, where each image corresponds to a frame in the original GIF.

GIMP

1

Click the "File" menu's "Open" command, and then navigate to an animated GIF file you'd like to split with GIMP. GIMP will load the GIF for you to split, with each animation frame on a separate layer. The "Layers" menu will display thumbnail images of the frames.

2

Click the item in the "Layers" palette that corresponds to GIF frame you want to split into a separate file. For example, if you want the frame that shows a person screaming, click the thumbnail showing this image.

3

Click the tool palette icon shaped like a dashed rectangle to run the "Rectangular selection" tool.

4

Press "Control" and "A" simultaneously to select the frame, and then press "Control" and "C" simultaneously to copy the frame to the clipboard.

5

Press and hold the "Control" and "Shift" keys, and then press "V" to paste the selected frame onto a new canvas.

6

Click the "File" menu's "Save" command, and then type a filename for the image in the "File name" text box. Click "Save" to save the image, and then repeat steps 2 through 5 for each GIF frame you want to split into its own file.

Photoshop

1

Click the "File" menu's "Open" command, and then navigate to and double-click an animated GIF file you'd like to split with Photoshop.

2

Click the thumbnail in the "Layers" palette that shows a frame you'd like to split into its own file.

3

Press "M" to run the "Rectangular marquee" tool, which selects rectangular image regions.

4

Click the "Edit" menu's "Select all" command, and then click the "File" menu's "New" command.

5

Click "OK" to accept the default parameters for the new document, and then press "Control" and "V" simultaneously to paste the selected GIF frame into the new document.

6

Press "Control" and "S" simultaneously, and then type a file name for the new document in the "File name" text box. Click "Save" to save the frame, and then repeat steps 2 through 5 to separate other frames into new image files.

References

About the Author

Darrin Koltow wrote about computer software until graphics programs reawakened his lifelong passion of becoming a master designer and draftsman. He has now committed to acquiring the training for a position designing characters, creatures and environments for video games, movies and other entertainment media.

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