Help:Creating animated GIFs

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Acorn.png This page in a nutshell:
  • Programs to use: ScreenToGif for Windows 10.svg Windows & GifGrabber for MacOS.png Mac OS X.
  • Create distraction-free GIFs only showing the important aspects (like animation or a homing effect of a projectile)
  • Do not wear or use items that will distract the viewer from what you actually want to show.

This page covers the aspects involved in creating high-quality animated GIFs to demonstrate certain Terraria animations, including a step-by-step workflow guide.

See below for two free programs for Windows 10.svg Windows and MacOS.png Mac OS X for creating screen-recorded animated GIFs.

Examples[edit source]

Beam Sword
A good example of a clean GIF.
No distractions, high frame rates.
Beam Sword
A bad example of a GIF.
Too many distracting items and particles.

Workflow[edit source]

Step Explanation
1) Read the Terraria Wiki page of the item you want to demonstrate carefully.
  • Take note of all relevant unique properties of the item.
2) Determine the aspects you want to demonstrate, based on the wiki article's information.
  • The item might have a special animation.
  • It might be a weapon which is interacting with enemies in a special manner (e.g. homing, piercing).
  • It possibly has other unique properties.
3) Determine what is required to demonstrate those aspects.
  • A particularly light or dark area might be required.
  • Enemies or other entities might be required.
4) Build a clean arena where you can demonstrate the item.
  • Use simple-textured blocks and walls, preferably Stone Slabs (alternatively Gray Bricks).
  • Should dark blocks be required, use either Titanstone Blocks or Obsidian Bricks.
  • The only objects visible within the arena should be its floor, standard Torches if necessary, and, for demonstrations of weapons, Target Dummies (in addition to anything else necessary for the demonstration).
  • Ideally, utilize only the daylight. If that is not possible, place only as many standard Torches as necessary for every entity to be seen clearly. Too many Torches without benefit for the lighting only act as a distraction. Preferably, every part of the arena has the same light level.
5) Use the default male character.
  • Use the default character settings.
  • Remove/hide all accessories and dyes that are not necessary for the demonstration.
  • Unless they are part of the demonstration, deactivate all pets, light pets and minions.
  • Unless armor is being demonstrated, remove or hide all armor with the Familiar set (effect-causing armor, such as Beetle armor, should be removed).
6) Record the aspects of the item you want to demonstrate.
  • Make sure the mouse cursor is not visible unless part of the demonstration (e.g. Xenopopper). The standard red mouse cursor is preferred, in case you decide to include it.
  • Furthermore, make sure there are no unnecessary UI parts of the game (such as the edge of an opened inventory or health/mana bars) visible in your recording area.
  • Focus on the core aspects you determined in step 2). Demonstrate each one of those not more than three times.
7) Edit the video recording.
  • Crop the video to a size as small as possible, making everything that does not belong in it disappear. You should leave a certain margin around the area of the demonstration, though, so that the GIF is still pleasing to watch.
  • Cut the video to only show the necessary part. Do not extend the GIF with unnecessary repetitions of the same animation already shown! Every additional frame increases the page's loading time.
8) Export/save the GIF.

Example[edit source]

This is a workflow example for creating a GIF demonstrating the Beam SwordBeam Sword.

Step Applied to Example
1) Read the Terraria Wiki article of the item you want to demonstrate carefully.
2) Determine the aspects you want to demonstrate, based on the wiki article's information.
  • The sword shooting a projectile when swung.
  • The projectile dissipating upon hitting an enemy.
  • The cooldown of the sword projectile, i.e. the sword not firing a beam on every swing.
3) Determine what is required to demonstrate those aspects.
  • A Target Dummy to shoot the projectile against to demonstrate the incapabilities of piercing of the projectile.
  • No other distracting particles or items are necessary to demonstrate the determined aspects.
4) Build a clean arena where you can demonstrate your item.
  • Do not worry about the outside of the arena. You can crop it after recording.
5) Use the default male character.
  • Use the default character settings.
  • Remove or hide all equipped items.
6) Record the aspects of the item you want to demonstrate.
  • Put the Beam Sword in the hotbar and close the inventory to ensure there are no UI elements included unintentionally.
  • Swing the sword one time, demonstrating the sword projectile.
  • Swing it another time immediately afterwards to demonstrate the cooldown and the projectile not firing upon every swing.
  • Swing it a third time after the cooldown has elapsed to demonstrate the projectile firing again.
7) Edit the video recording.
  • Crop the video to only include the area of the character and the Target Dummy. Leave a small margin around them and make sure that the damage numbers are not cut off, so that the GIF is still pleasing to watch.
  • In case you have swung the sword many times, cut the video to only include the three necessary swings.
8) Export/save the GIF.

Software[edit source]

Name Platform Notes Link
ScreenToGif Windows 10.svg Windows
  • Built-in cropping and resizing functionalities.
  • Very high GIF quality.
  • Easy to use.
http://www.screentogif.com/
GifGrabber MacOS.png Mac OS X
  • You can change the size of the recording area.
  • Rather simple.
  • Easy to use.
http://www.gifgrabber.com/

Both programs are free to download and use. Using ScreenToGif is recommended because you can quickly record everything you need, crop, cut and export from the same program.

Alternatives[edit source]

Requirements Platform Workflow
  • Any recording tool
  • Video editing tool with GIF export functionality
Windows 10.svg Windows / MacOS.png Mac OS X
  1. Record the screen with a screencasting software.
  2. Edit the video with a video editing software.
  3. Export the video as GIF.