Animated GIF tutorial, part 1 of 4

♫ ♫ ♪ Let’s start at the very beginning ♫ ♫ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ A very good place to start ….
♫ ♪ ♫

There’s nothing like a good ol’ sing-along to kick off our animated gif tutorial!

First off, here’s the final product that I’ll be using to demonstrate.

Richard Armitage as John Porter

Raise your hand if you’re not surprised I chose John Porter, LOL!

As you can see, the gif consists of video and text and the animation loops indefinitely.

There are many ways to create animated gifs but I’m only going to show you my way using video instead of a series of still images. Feel free to share your methods or links to other tutorials. I’m more cooperative than competitive. 🙂

Here are the “broad strokes.” I will break it down step-by-step, but I want you to see the big picture.

  1. First you need to rip a DVD.  I use a free software program called DVD Decrypter for the PC.  If you already have a video source, you can skip this part.
  2. Then clip a 2-5 second sequence in a video editing program, such as Adobe Premiere Pro.
  3. Import that clip into Adobe Photoshop to set the timings.
  4. Finally, add the text, resize the image and save for the web.

NOTE: Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Photoshop are not free, but you can download fully-functional trial versions for a 30-day period. I will provide the links as needed.

Tutorial Part 1 Starts Here – Ripping the DVD

Today we’ll learn part 1: ripping the DVD. In order to make animated gifs (or fanvideos), we must “rip” the DVD which means we are going to copy the file(s) to our hard drive.

  1. Run off and get your DVD but don’t insert it into your computer DVD drive yet. I’m using Chris Ryan’s Strike Back starring Richard Armitage as John Porter. ♥
  2. Download and install the free program DVD Decrypter. Here’s the link:

If you’re not sure how to download and install the software, here are the steps:

  1. On the download page, click the Download DVD Decrypter link and click the “Save” button
  2. After it’s downloaded, locate the installation file “SetupDVDDecrypter_3.5.4.0.exe” on your computer
  3. Double-click on the installation file to start the process
  4. Click “Yes” if asked if you want the program to make changes to your computer
  5. Click “Next” to continue
  6. Use the default installation by clicking “Next” again
  7. Leave the default destination folder and click “Install”
  8. When prompted to check for new versions, click “No”
  9. Make sure there is a checkmark in the box “Run DVD Decrypter”
  1. Start DVD Decrypter and you should see something like this:
DVD Decrypter 01

DVD Decrypter

  1. Insert your DVD into your computer’s DVD drive. I’m using Disc 2 from my Chris Ryan’s Strike Back set. You should see something like this:
DVD Decrypter 2

DVD Decrypter 2

Note: If AutoPlay pops up, simply close it.



  1. Before we begin ripping the DVD, we want to create a destination folder. Click the little folder icon as shown in the image below.
DVD Decrypter 3

Click the destination folder

  1. We’re going to create a new folder on our C: drive to store our DVD file(s). A new window like the one below should pop up. If necessary, click the little down arrow next to the “Computer” icon. Click the “C” drive and then click the “Make new folder” button.
DVD Decrypter 5

Create new folder for DVD file

  1. Now name your new folder by highlighting (selecting) the words “New Folder” near the bottom of the window and typing a new name. I’m going to call my folder Animation. Then click the “OK” button.
DVD Deycrypter 8

Type folder name here

  1. Confirm that the destination folder is “C:\Animation.” Then we’re going to choose one of the VOB files to copy to our computer. (VOB stands for “Video Object.”) Click to choose the first large VOB file. In my example, it is the file “VTS_02_1.VOB” and the file size is 1,048,492 KB. The smaller files are DVD menus and subtitles so we’re not interested in those.
DVD Decrypter 8

DVD Decrypter - select VOB file to rip

  1. Now we’re ready to rip! Click the large button in DVD Decrypter as indicated below. Can you sense my enthusiasm? 😉
DVD Decrypter 9

DVD Decrypter - Let 'er rip!

  1. Wait a short while. You can watch the progress bars as the program decrypts your DVD file and copies it to your hard drive. You will then see a message indicating success as shown below. Click the “OK” button to return to DVD Decrypter.
DVD Decrypter 10a

DVD Decrypter progress

DVD Decrypter 10b

DVD Decrypter - mission accomplished!

That’s the end of the ripping process! If you want, you can repeat steps 8 through 10 to rip more of the DVD files. Make sure you only rip the large-sized VOB files. In my experience, anything larger than 500,000 KB in file size is usable video.

Congratulations on completing the first big step in the animated gif creation process.  Remember, you can also use your video footage to make fanvideos, but I will only be covering animated gifs in this tutorial.

Edit: Tomorrow or the next day On Monday, we’ll edit our video down to a 2-5 second clip.  There is no need to convert the VOB file(s) to another format because Adobe Premiere Pro supports VOB files.


1. If you are running the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system you may get the error below when attempting to close DVD Decrypter.

DVD Decrypter Error


If you get this error message, the only way to close the DVD Decrypter program is to use the Windows Task Manager, which is launched by using the keyboard keys CTRL ALT DELETE. Hold down all three keys (CTRL ALT DELETE) at the same time.

Then click on “Start Task Manager”

Start Task Manager

Start Task Manager

Once Windows Task Manager is open, make sure the “Applications” tab is selected. Then Click on DVD Decrypter in the list of tasks.  Finally click the “End Task” button.

Windows Task Manager

Windows Task Manager

While this is an inconvenience, the program works quickly and well for me so I’m willing to put up with it! 🙂 There is a workaround for this so if you find it annoying to use CTRL ALT DELETE to close DVD Decrypter, please send me a message through the Contact bccmee form and I’ll send you instructions on how to permanently prevent that error message when closing the program.

2. Mac users will need to use another DVD ripping program.  While I don’t have experience with it, I have heard that Mac the Ripper comes highly recommended. And it’s free!

3. If you would like to watch your VOB file(s) before editing, you can do so using VLC Player.  It’s free and available for Mac, PC and Linux.  This software will play virtually any video or audio file without problem.  You can download it here:

4. If you have error messages when trying to rip your DVD, there is another software program called AnyDVD which you can run in the background that will solve many of these problems, especially region setting problems. AnyDVD software is not free, but it is available for a fully functional 21-day trial:  You download and run the AnyDVD program, restart DVD Decrypter, and your error messages should be resolved.  🙂

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39 Responses to Animated GIF tutorial, part 1 of 4

  1. Alfie says:

    *BOWING* You are so amazing – so far I have only made fanvideos from clips I´ve got from Elvira, because I needed a Rip the dvd tuturial I could understand :-). I haven´t tried this yet, but so far I understood the words and pictures – SOOOO great. Thank you so much. Maybe this weekend I will rip some dvds 😉

    • bccmee says:

      @Alfie: Ooh, I’m so excited for you. Can’t wait to see your results. 🙂 Thanks for your comment and let me know if you have any questions once you’ve tried the tutorial.

  2. judiang says:

    *takes copious notes*

    That tutorial is absolutely clear. I downloaded the program and installed it. I’m now ready for the next tutorial. BTW, you explained in one sentence what stumped me about watching VOB files on my computer. Thanks!

  3. Ania says:

    Thanks Bccmee, everything I did from point 1 to 10 🙂
    But I have a question. Do I able to use the movie if I have it not on DVD, but ripped to an external drive?

    • bccmee says:

      @Ania: Yes you should be able to use files from an external hard drive. Sometimes this is slower, but it works. If it becomes too slow, you can copy the file to your internal hard drive. Thanks for your comment! I look forward to seeing your graphics when the tutorial is completely posted. 🙂

  4. Jonia says:

    I wonder the names of Your folders Bccmee ;D

    Thank You for tutorial 🙂

  5. Done and amazingly easy following you step by step.
    So what I got now is a 24:00 video in slow motion. Correct?
    Can’t wait for tutorial part 2.
    Thank you BCC!

    • bccmee says:

      @Carla: Congratulations! Your file should not play in slow-motion, but it should not be a problem in the final product with a few adjustments. Did you play the VOB file in VLC Player? If so, check the speed in the lower-right-hand corner of your player as indicated in the screenshot below:

      VLC Player speed

      It should say “1.00x” to play at normal speed. If it doesn’t, click and change it.

      If the problem is not due to the speed setting in VLC player, you might want to try and rip another VOB file for practice and to see if it does the same thing. You don’t need to go through all the steps the next time around and it gets much easier and faster with practice! 🙂

      Great work and thanks for checking in!

  6. jazzbaby1 says:

    Dude, even WITH your very clear tutorial I’d wind up crashing my computer so I’ll just stay over here in Luddite-land. Thanks for offering it to bears of much larger brain, though!

  7. servetus says:

    Is there some reason to prefer DVDDecryptor to Handbrake?

    • bccmee says:

      @servetus: I prefer DVD Decrypter over HandBrake because it doesn’t convert my files from VOB. Since my video editor supports VOB format, I like the ease and speed of simply ripping and decrypting. 🙂

      However, there is nothing wrong with using HandBrake of course!

      Thanks for your question.

  8. Thaís says:

    Oh, Bccmee! It’s so kind of you! This tutorial’s amazing!!! I’ve taken my computer to be fix but as soon as I get it back I’ll try something following your tips. Thank you!! Have a nice weekend!!! =D

    • bccmee says:

      @Thaís: I’m so glad you’re soon going to have a nice fully-functional computer! I look forward to your animated gifs soon. 🙂

      I wish you a happy weekend too!

  9. Bcc,thanks for your tutorial, but I wonder if only serves vob files. The Daemons Tool could replace DVD Decrypter? BTW, I liked to see a John Porter gif, I missed him too.
    Have a nice weekend!

  10. Dhana says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, bcc!!! It took some doing, but I got it to work. LoL I had an outdated version of DVD Decrypter, and it wasn’t up to snuff. I uninstalled that one, and used your link. Then I tried my brand-spanking new Captain America DVD, but the decrypter did not like it. Next, I tried Sparkhouse, but since it is region 2, the decrypter did not like it either!! I took your suggestion and downloaded AnyDVD and used it in conjunction with the decrypter. As a result, I now have both DVDs ripped! You rock!!!

    • bccmee says:

      @Dhana: Most excellent report! We don’t learn without trial and error. And sometimes free trial software, LOL! I’m so thrilled that AnyDVD did the trick. I have it running in the background so often, I forget it’s there. 🙂 Thank you so much for helping out and sharing your success.

  11. Ace Ace! All my questions already answered! Like Ania I’ll be working with an external drive. Like Servetus I’m used to handbrake, but recently it didn’t perform well. Meanwhile I’ve installed the forementioned software but at after my brain needed a study break 🙂 so excellent timing!

    • bccmee says:

      @Fanny/iz4blue: I’m delighted the tutorial answered your questions! I look forward to seeing your animated gifs next week. Maybe we’ll have a “fashion show.” 😉

      • It worked what handbrake couldn’t read! Rushed through it too that I forgot about the error you had warned LOL a gif is far from my mind … mainly wanted that extra about “who the Dickens is Gaskell” and share it elsewhere 🙂

        • bccmee says:

          @Fanny/iz4blue: Excellent! Yeah that error message is annoying, LOL! I sometimes forget about it if I haven’t used DVD Decrypter for a long time, and it takes me by surprise. 😀

          I’m really looking forward to seeing your final products.

  12. Phylly3 says:

    Oh my! I have to get on this! I have Handbrake downloaded but I never could figure it out! I wish I had more time to play with this stuff! I am definitely coming back later — as this looks so great! I am so grateful you are doing this for us!! 🙂

    • bccmee says:

      @Phylly3: You’re very welcome. I’m looking forward to your results! Have fun and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Many of my coolest discoveries were accidental. 😀

      P.S. If you have the AnyDVD software running in the background (see the next blogpost), you should have no problems with DVD Decrypter.

  13. Lady Prisca says:

    Bccmee you are a very good teacher! Your tutorial is very clear and detailed. For the moment I don’t try to use it but you make me want to try.

  14. I’m in awe! I’m just too lazy and too clumsy even to try, but thank you for sharing this: maybe some Japanese fans will be your good disciples!

    • bccmee says:

      @grendel’s mum: I hope you change your mind and give it a try! I’d love to see some Japanese language animated gifs! That would be a lovely addition to the RA fandom.

  15. Lady Rose says:

    When I have time, I am SO going to give this a go! One question; I can’t afford Photoshop, will GIMP work?

    • bccmee says:

      @Lady Rose: I believe there are tutorials on making animated gifs using GIMP. 🙂 And remember, you can download a fully-functional free trial of Adobe Photoshop to give my method a try.

      If you succeed with GIMP, please let us know how it works out and post any links you find to help others! Thanks for your comment.

  16. Jennie says:

    Bee, as you know I spend half my life in Photoshop…..but recently decided to try my hand at vidding! Have spent ages trying to decide which ripper to use….and you just answered my question! So easy! Thanks!

    • bccmee says:

      @Jennie: Super glad to hear that! If your video editing software doesn’t support VOB files, there are plenty of free and easy-to-use conversion programs out there. Please be sure to let us all know when you are ready to unveil your creation(s)! 😀

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