New GIFs: Close Encounters and others

Realized this might be a good place to share the originals for some new GIFs I've made in the last couple of days.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a wonderful movie for a hot summer night. I'm astonished at how well Steven Spielberg was able to capture the vibe. Making

GIFs from the movie is especially hard, given the limited color palette I was working with.

Animation from Close Encounters of the Third Kind in which an eerie red light glows from within a keyhole in a door.
Animations from Close Encounters of the Third Kind: A glowing alien space ship approaches a small child at a doorway.

video2gif commands

video2gif Close\ Encounters\ of\ the\ Third\ Kind\ \(1977\).mp4 ~/Downloads/close-encounters-3rd-kind-keyhole-glow.gif -s 51:11.25 -t 3.5 --saturation 1.333 --crop-h ih*0.7 --crop-w iw*0.7 -w 640 --contrast 1.3 --gamma 1.1

video2gif Close\ Encounters\ of\ the\ Third\ Kind\ \(1977\).mp4 ~/Downloads/close-encounters-3rd-kind-open-door.gif -s 51:22.8 -t 2 --saturation 1.333 --crop-w iw*0.7 --crop-h ih*0.7 -w 640 --contrast 1.3 --gamma 1.1

I also happened to watch Predator for the first time the other day. I was shocked at how (seemingly intentionally) homoerotic the movie was. I only made one GIF, but it was to show this quality of the movie.

Animation from Predator: A man sips juice from a cut vine before turning slowly to face off-camera, letting the juice drip down his cheek and chin.

video2gif command

video2gif /Volumes/Media/Movies/Predator\ \(1987\).mkv predator-sucks.gif -s 15:05 -t 8 -f 15 --tonemap mobius -w 500 --saturation 1.5 --crop-w iw*0.75 --crop-h ih*0.75

I went back to Contact to make a nice GIF of a short reaction that nevertheless lives rent-free in my head. This movie is great for evincing the human reaction in the face of the unknown, awe-inspiring, and numinous—which is great for overreacting on Twitter.

Animation from Contact: A man in a control center populated with military stands slowly and utters, "My God," as he stares into the far distance something glowing brightly off-camera.

video2gif command

video2gif /Volumes/Media/Movies/Contact\ \(1997\).mkv ~/Downloads/contact-my-god.gif -s 1:54:11.5 -t 2.1 --crop-w iw*0.6666 --crop-x 0 -V "Black" -F "SF Pro Text" -T "MY GOD" --gamma 1.2 --contrast 1.2 -w 640

I've made two recent breakthroughs in my video2gif technique:

  • I've realized that I can get HDR tonemapping working pretty well if I use this combination of options: --tonemap mobius --saturation 1.5. This seems to compensate pretty well for whatever I've messed up in my tonemapping code. The Predator GIF is a good example.
  • For captions, I've begun using the "Black" (heaviest) variant of the SF Pro Text font, which really pops against a busy GIF.

I did make a couple of other GIFs recently, so maybe I'll follow up on this post with a second one soon.