Is there a tool to create a gif animation from a set of png files?

I tried the convert command from the ImageMagick suite, but this doesn't always succeed. Also, I have several issues with this:

  1. I can't tell what the progress is.
  2. No matter what I try, the -delay flag doesn't change the frame rate of the gif animation.
  3. convert determines the frame order based upon the alphabetical order of the files names. This means that name500.png will be placed right after name50.png and not after name450.png I can fix this by adding 0's but this is annoying.
  • [News] There is a massive overlap between Ubuntu Stackexchange and Unix Stackexchange. I tried to categorize some threads here. – hhh Dec 30 '12 at 1:07
  • Regarding item 3., you can still use convert after sorting the files. Probably, something like this works files=$(ls name*png | sort -n -tname -k1); convert $files animation.gif – altroware Jun 11 '17 at 16:26
  • For Point 1: convert has a -monitor parameter that tracks the process – Curlew Dec 3 '18 at 22:02
  • @hhc - all the categorization is just a link to an answer with 5 links; only one of them seems related, but is just a link to the above question. - A comment by @Luke gives a simple solution: convert -delay 200 -loop 0 *.jpg output.gif. – cipricus Oct 26 '19 at 22:11

Newer versions of ffmpeg have no -sameq (see faq) but do have GIF support.

ffmpeg -i %03d.png output.gif

Where %03d is the frame ID in 3 digits.

You may also try to use ffmpeg to create a movie out of a sequence of images and then convert the movie to a GIF animation (again using ffmpeg).

# cf. http://pages.uoregon.edu/noeckel/MakeMovie.html

# first convert an image sequence to a movie
ffmpeg -sameq -i %03d.jpg output.mp4

# ... and then convert the movie to a GIF animation
ffmpeg -i output.mp4 -pix_fmt rgb24 -s qcif -loop_output 0 output.gif
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    This instruction is out of date. – Ben Sinclair Jul 16 '14 at 19:03
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    The sameq option is not available anymore. Further, for me, this overwrites the original image files and does not produce a valid movie file. – Lode Nov 8 '14 at 18:57
  • What's the point of leaving the -sameq code there? Why would you even want to use a lossy video format (output.mp4) as a temporary? And if so, why "same quality" as the input, instead of very high bitrate? Artifacting from that is just going to make things worse for the GIF encoder. If you did need to use a video as a temporary, you'd want to use something lossless like huffyuv. Or MJPEG with no transcoding, just remux the input jpegs into an MJPEG. (-codec:video copy). – Peter Cordes Dec 7 '16 at 15:25
  • The -loop_output argument does not exist. – herrbischoff Jul 3 at 8:55

convert is a handy command line tool to do that. cd to the folder containing your png-files and run this command:

convert -delay 10 -loop 0 *.png animation.gif

Source: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1132058

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    The question mentions convert and some problems using it. Your answer doesn't address any of them. – Mat Nov 6 '11 at 0:36
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    As of ImageMagick version 6.8.7-4 2013-11-02 Q16 this worked for me. – Rudy Matela Nov 6 '13 at 17:11
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    This works, but 10 means 10 * 10ms, so pretty fast. A delay of a 100 is 1 second. – Anne van Rossum Sep 27 '15 at 8:01
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    use option -dispose previous or -dispose 2 if you are working with transparent PNGs – Hải Phong Aug 31 '16 at 1:00
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    note to myself: brace expansion can be helpful for specifying the list of images as arguments, for example pic_{0..20..2}.png expands to pic_0.png, pic_2.png all the way to pic_20.png – Yibo Yang Sep 6 '17 at 2:51

The convert's --delay option only applies to the next image on the command line. So convert -delay 10 * will only set the delay of the first frame to 0.1 second. The option need to be repeated:

convert $(for a in *; do printf -- "-delay 10 %s " $a; done; ) result.gif

For your sorting need, convert does not sort frames, the shell globing * does. If you know your frames are numbered from 0 to 700, you can just compute the numbers yourself:

convert $(for ((a=0; a<700; a++)); do printf -- "-delay 10 name%s.png " $a; done;) result.gif
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    I do not experience this behavior with convert, for me convert -delay 1000 -loop 0 *.png animation.gif does add a 10s delay between each image. – Lode Nov 8 '14 at 18:52
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    You can also use version sort of the ls command. That is: convert -delay 1000 $(ls -v name*png) output.gif – erik Apr 5 '15 at 20:37

ffmeg important GIF options + test data

To complement this answer:

wget -O opengl-rotating-triangle.zip https://github.com/cirosantilli/media/blob/master/opengl-rotating-triangle.zip?raw=true
unzip opengl-rotating-triangle.zip
cd opengl-rotating-triangle
ffmpeg \
  -framerate 60 \
  -pattern_type glob \
  -i 'tmp.*.png' \
  -r 15 \
  -vf scale=512:-1 \
  out.gif \

The test data was generated with: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3191978/how-to-use-glut-opengl-to-render-to-a-file/14324292#14324292

The important ffmpeg options I wanted to highlight are:

  • -patter_type glob: convenient way to select images
  • -framerate 60 and -r 15: assume 60 FPS on input images (ffmpeg cannot know otherwise since no FPS data in images as in video formats), pick one every 4 images so reduce size (4 == 60 / 15)
  • -vf scale=512:-1: set the width, scale height proportionally, usually to reduce size and save space

See also:

Tested in Ubuntu 18.10, ffmpeg 4.0.2.

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    Thanks a lot, this was highly useful to me. – herrbischoff Jul 3 at 8:54


Use convert for the png-to-gif, then use gifsicle for the animation. It's not a One App To Do It All solution, but scriptable, for sure.

GIMP can create animated gifs and provides control for timing/delay and repeat, etc

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    I know about the gimp but I don't know how to script it. Besides, the using the gimp to create animation is like killing a fly with a cannon – Yotam Nov 7 '11 at 7:58
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    That's a bad idea; the quality will be horrible, as each frame will be quantized separately. – Clément Jul 5 '16 at 13:27

ImageMagick can generate a good quality gif animation. Check this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFusYizJ-bA

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    Welcome to Unix & Linux! Generally we like answers on the site to be able to stand on their own - Links are great, but if that link ever breaks the answer should have enough information to still be helpful. Please consider editing your answer to include more detail. See the FAQ for more info. – slm Apr 18 '13 at 20:20
  • What a useful comment above.... – Luke Jul 10 '18 at 6:42
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    convert -delay 200 -loop 0 *.jpg output.gif – Luke Jul 10 '18 at 6:42
  • @Luke - out of all the chaos posted under this question your comment was most useful – cipricus Oct 26 '19 at 22:07

In regards to point 2

The version of ImageMagick "display" I have (ImageMagick 6.7.2-7 2017-01-12) ignores the frame rate set using the convert command to produce the animated gif. Try another program to view the animate gif like firefox.

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