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Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Aug 6, 2013

GifCam combines a screen capture tool with an animated GIF maker to make it super-easy to create animated GIFs with 1001 uses. You just open this portable freeware, place its transparent window over the screen area you wish to capture, and press a button. GifCam automatically records frames, inserts spaces, and saves the clip as a GIF that you can open and play in any program that handles animated GIFs (like your browser). But GifCam does more than simply take screenshots and string the frames together: It also goes to great lengths to pack the most animation into the smallest files. For instance, it saves file space by inserting a delay instead of recording a new frame when the next frame is the same as the one before it. When frames change, GifCam uses a combination of transparent and new pixels instead of drawing all new pixels, further reducing file size. GifCam's editing features let you remove frames, too, and five color reduction schemes not only let you customize your GIFs with interesting effects but also further reduce file sizes by discarding color data.

GifCam is portable, so you only need to extract its program file to run it. GifCam's user interface is small and basic but well configured, with a transparent main window and four buttons: Record, Frame, Edit, and Save. GifCam's basic principle could hardly be easier: Drag the transparent area over the part of your screen you want to record, and then record it. Testing GifCam was just as easy: We played a video, dragged GifCam over part of the player's screen, and pressed "Record." We opened our saved GIF inside Internet Explorer, and it played back the exact view we'd recorded. Clicking "Edit" opened a frame-by-frame view of our GIF that offered dramatic visual evidence of GifCam's pixel-saving technology: By the end of the file, the frames were little more than abstract patterns on a green screen. Right-clicking any frame let us delete or edit it, including adding text.

GifCam is a clever and effective, little tool for creating animated GIFs with the greatest of ease.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.0

General

Release June 11, 2013
Date Added June 11, 2013
Version 2.0

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 36,786
Downloads Last Week 6
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User Reviews

3.2/5
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Developer's Description

GifCam is easy and fun animated GIF making app. GifCam has a nice idea where the app works like a camera that stays on top of all windows so you can move it and resize it to record your desired area. When you're ready, click "Rec" to start recording or click "Frame" to record a single frame.

While recording whenever GifCam finds the previous frame is same as the new recorded one it automatically adds delays (milliseconds the frame stays on screen) instead of adding a new frame and increasing GIF size. Add to this GifCam doesn't draw the whole frame it draws greenscreen (transparent pixels) by comparing the alternately frames and just draw the different pixels, that saves a lot of kilobytes.

GifCam comes with simple and powerful frames editing, To delete frames/add or remove delays, click on "Edit" button then right click on the frame you want to edit. When you are done recording and editing, you can save your GIF in 5 color reduction formats.

GifCam can be used in many creative ways like: creating an animated painting using MS Paint (264 frames just 17.4 KB); or delivering an animated message in notepad (123 frames just 13.4 KB); or creating a retro GIF (monochrome color redaction) from YouTube video (41 frames 219 KB);