Why Do GIFs Export Larger Than The Original Video File?

Why Do GIFs Export Larger Than The Original Video File?

So you've uploaded a video onto Kapwing, edited or trimmed it, and then exported it as a GIF image. Then, when you go to upload your GIF, you find out that the file size is too big because it has increased way bigger than the original video file size. But you trimmed it, so why is this happening?

Let's start by defining a GIF.

What is a GIF file?

A GIF is defined as an image file that can be both a still image or an animated image. Despite the video-like movement you see in a GIF, a GIF is not a video. You can tell that you're looking at a GIF instead of a video when there's no playback options (play, pause, seek) and when there is no sound (because images can't have sounds - not even in Harry Potter).

How does a GIF move like a video, without being a video??  

You may remember flip books like The Adventures of Captain Underpants or you may have seen how animators bring life to their pictures - by having multiple images put together and then flipped quickly.

So if they're images, why are they exporting bigger than the original video?

Unlike the original video file that you uploaded, a GIF image contains multiple frames - the longer the duration, the more frames. So your 2 seconds of video, could contain up to 20 or more images within a single GIF file.

How can I make them smaller?

As of right now, you're not able to adjust the frame rate of GIF files on Kapwing. The best way to reduce the size of your GIF file is to reduce the size of the image. You can do this by inputing a custom size in the right sidebar:

We also have a compression feature on the export settings after you click the "Export GIF" button. The compression level feature allows you to adjust the file size without changing resolution by dragging the slider to be smaller in size or to have export in better quality.

How long can a GIF be?

Currently, Kapwing only supports GIFs that are 60 seconds in duration.

Looking for more help?

Check our Release Notes for tutorials on how to use the latest Kapwing features!