What is your process? I’m interested in gifmaking.

I’ve tried a bunch of methods. The gifsets I’ve made before this were captured using LICEcap (after trying half a dozen other things) and then optimized/cut/resized/compressed in photoshop. That works pretty well, though LICEcap is CPU hungry so to get decent performance you need a machine with some power.

This was an issue with my underwhelming attempts at Wind Waker gifs: emulators take a fair amount of CPU to run, and Dolphin in particular seems to be sensitive to fill rate (essentially the resolution you output the game at). I wasn’t getting good captures, and even when I did I had trouble fitting them into the 1MB file limit for tumblr.

Recently there’s been some nice changes in my workflow. First, tumblr raised the file size limit to 2MB, which is HUGE for making gifs look nice. Second, I got a toy to play with. Offloading the capture work onto the device (plus, you know, being able to capture footage from consoles) has increased the quality of my source material.

Since I’m dealing with footage, somebody let me know that Adobe Premiere has good tools for exporting video directly to gif. (It turns out this is only available on Windows.) I then took those into Photoshop for optimization like before.

I hope that helps!

Hello followers!

I wanted to let you know that I’ve not been posting foliage so I can experiment with making nice-looking gifsets.

I don’t think I’m gonna get many complaints for some nice Journey gifs, even if the dunes are sparse in the way of plants. Expect more like this as I can make them!

Journey (2012)

A delightful set of ruses.

For a game on iPad, Fates Forever sure looks lush. It manages that by using as many tricks as possible to use the fixed-angle camera view to reduce the geometry complexity of the foliage.

The neatest trick they manage is the ground plane. All those plants on open ground right next to the path are actually just baked into the texture and are part of the ground plane.

Most of the other plants are just a texture on a card angled towards camera, but some clever texture work gives them perspective and depth. With some aggressive asset reuse I imagine they can fit a lot of plants into just a few texture sheets.

These tricks operate on the same principal as those sidewalk chalk pictures: they look 3D from the designated angle, but the illusion breaks if you were to just rotate the camera a bit. Thankfully this is video games, and you can control what angle the camera is set to.

Fates Forever (2014)

A single level of detail.

Usually in a game where you can find your camera pulled very far away or put right down into the grass you find some kind of level of detail system, which replaces lower-polygon versions of art assets which are acceptable at a distance with higher-polygon versions for close up. It works, in general, because a close-up shot is going to have fewer objects on screen at a time.

Elven Legacy takes the middle-ground approach: a mid-level polygon count at all distances - I’m not sure if it replaces far-far-away trees with 2D impostors - but enough small details like the reeds to sell the close-up views. It’s an approach that really optimizes the art production and placement process.

Elven Legacy (2009)