GIF is the standard file format to use when it comes to animated images although there are newer alternatives like Animated PNG (APNG) and Animated WebP. If you would like to extract a particular frame from an animated movie, it is quite easy without the use of a third party tool. Pause the media player, press the Print Screen button on your keyboard, and paste it to Paint or Microsoft Word.
Trying to do that on an animated GIF image can be challenging because you can’t normally pause the animation to take the perfect screenshot. If you’re looking for ways to extract one, some, or all frames from GIF files, here we have 8 options that can help you to split a GIF animation into individual frames.
IrfanView is an excellent and popular image viewer software that is fast, small, and free. Other than just an image viewer, IrfanView is capable of creating panorama images, capturing screenshots, JPG lossless rotation and crop, adding effects, image editing functions, extracting frames from an animated GIF, and a lot more.
After loading the animated GIF into IrfanView, go to the menu and select Options > Extract all frames. The options window allows for selecting all frames or a selected range, choosing a filename suffix, browsing for a destination folder, and selecting an image format from the 20 different extensions.
Extracting all the frames may not be the best solution if you are dealing with a GIF file that has a few thousand frames. What you can do is press G on your keyboard to pause the animation followed by C which will capture a screenshot of that frame.
7GIF is a tool dedicated to playing animated GIF files with several little but possibly useful functions. Most of those function control playback of the file and include speed/frame control, scaling, playlists, slideshow, advanced properties, and Windows integration. Both setup installer and portable versions are available. Of course, the most important function here is exporting frames from the animation.
Load the animated GIF into 7GIF by dropping the file onto the window or manually using the Open button/menu. Click the Options button on the bottom right of the toolbar and go to Save Frames at the top. You have the option to save the current frame (Ctrl+S) or save all frames to JPG, BMP, PNG, TIF, still GIF, or WMF files (Ctrl+Shift+S). Saving to JPG will also let you select a quality level for the images.
3. GIF Viewer
This is a dedicated player and viewer only for GIF files. It cannot and is not designed to open any other type of image file. One of its few features is the ability to extract one, a selection, or all frames from an animated GIF file. A setup installer version is available but there really is little need to use it as the program is a single executable, use the portable version instead.
Open a GIF by drag and drop, browsing for a file, or by double click if you associate the program with GIF files. Right click on the image and select Extract Frames. If you just click the Extract Frames button, all frames will be saved using the path, base filename, and image file format (eight image formats available) you provide in the window.
A handy function if you don’t want to extract the whole animation is the ability to drag the start/end markers and slide the selection along the timeline to extract only a specific portion of the animation. The .NET Framework 3.5 is required for Windows 10.
GifSplitter that can automatically extract all frames in an animated GIF file, is portable and is easy to use. Simply download, extract and run the program, extracted images are output as BMP files.
Choose the GIF animation file and select the output folder. The first checkbox is useful to automatically save the extracted GIF frames into a new directory based on the filename. The second checkbox is only useful when the animated GIF has a transparent background and you’d like to replace the transparent background with a color.
Something to be aware of is during testing some of our GIF animations did not have all their frames extracted using GifSplitter.
An easy and fast way to extract frames from an animated GIF file is through an online web service. This saves you the trouble of downloading any software to your computer or making sure that the command line arguments are correct. Visit ezgif.com and either upload the animated GIF from your computer or specify the URL and click the Upload button (maximum file size is 35MB).
Once the GIF file has been uploaded, click the Split to frames! button and each frame will be displayed at the bottom of the webpage. Above the images, press the “Download frames as Zip” button to save all images as static GIFs in an archive. Use the Split Options dropdown menu to save as either PNG or JPG files.
Some of the useful features found on ezgif.com are the ability to change the animation speed, crop, resize, rotate, compress, add effects, add text, add an overlay image, and several options to create animated GIFs as well as split them.
This is a website that hosts several thousand free animated GIF files. In addition, it includes a number of related tools to resize, optimize, rotate, crop, reverse, add text, and also split files. The split GIF page is very easy to use and only a couple of clicks are required.
Press the UPLOAD GIF button and browse for a local file or click “Paste Image URL” and paste a link from the internet, then click EXTRACT FRAMES after a few seconds. If the images look corupt, check the “UNOPTIMIZE TRANSPARENT GIF” box and extract the frames again. Finally, click “Download all frames as ZIP archive” and a frames.zip download with the still images in GIF format.
We did try some other online GIF splitting tools that are not listed here. They include Picasion, CleverPDF GIF to JPG/PNG, and Bear File Converter. All seemed to work fine and are worth a try in addition to the options here.
If you’re looking for free command line software to create, edit, compose, or convert images that supports over 100 formats, ImageMagick is a good choice. ImageMagick consists of multiple free command line utilities, the Convert tool is the one that is able to extract frames from an animated GIF file,
Convert -coalesce animation.gif animation_%d.png
The command above will extract all frames from animation.gif file to the same directory. An additional underscore and increment number is added to the end of the filename. Do take note that the “-coalesce” option is important to save each extracted frame as a full image or else you’ll only get the differences between frames.
Download the portable version and just keep Convert.exe if you only want it for extracting GIF animations. If you want to save to another image format such as JPG or BMP, simply change the target extension to match.
FFmpeg contains libraries to record, convert and stream audio and video files. It’s the backbone of several media related, tools, players, and converters. After download, you’ll need to use the executable ffmpeg.exe from the bin folder with the command line arguments below. Note that FFmpeg is also included in the ImageMagick distro so you can try both tools from a single download.
ffmpeg -i animation.gif -vsync 0 animation%05d.png
The output filenames will have an incremental number up to a maximum of 5 digits. This will mean that %05d from the example command above can output up to 99999 files. Change the number up or down to increase or decrease the available digits. For example, if you mostly extract small animations, you can use “%03d” to go up to 999 frames.
The “-vsync 0” argument is optional but it will stop FFmpeg from duplicating frames when the framerate of an animation is not constant. In addition to PNG, FFMpeg can also output stills in other formats like JPG, BMP, TIFF, or TGA. Change to the output extension in the command and the process will be automatic.