What command would I use to convert an mp4 or mv4 video file to an animated gif, and vice versa. That is, convert a animated gif to a mp4 or mv4.

5 Answers 5


Here's what worked for me:

ffmpeg -i animated.gif -movflags faststart -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" video.mp4

movflags – This option optimizes the structure of the MP4 file so the browser can load it as quickly as possible.

pix_fmt – MP4 videos store pixels in different formats. We include this option to specify a specific format which has maximum compatibility across all browsers.

vf – MP4 videos using H.264 need to have a dimensions that are divisible by 2. This option ensures that’s the case.

Source: http://rigor.com/blog/2015/12/optimizing-animated-gifs-with-html5-video

  • 5
    Thanks this is the only version that worked for me on osx.
    – Pykler
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 23:52
  • 2
    This worked for me on Ubuntu 16.10 with ffmpeg 3.0.2, where the top answer didn't
    – cat
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 22:54
  • 6
    May as well crop instead of scaling (replace scale with crop), as you're only going to be cutting off at most 1 pixel. Scaling might make things blurry
    – Jezzamon
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 8:12
  • This cut off the last few seconds for me. Resulting mp4 ended early.
    – callum
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 13:06
  • 1
    What's the reasoning behind truncating, dividing and multiplying? How does this ensure "divisible by 2"-ness, and why does trunc alone not suffice? — Also: as far as I know, you can just write "trunc(iw/2)*2:-2" and the height automatically becomes divisible by 2 while respecting the aspect ratio. (Except: crop does not accept negative values …) Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 10:25

In my case, using ffmpeg directly did the trick and provided the best result:

$ ffmpeg -f gif -i infile.gif outfile.mp4
  • 9
    produced a blank (corrupted) video on os x
    – Pykler
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 23:53
  • 2
    @Pykler you should probably increase verbosity and/or check the log file to understand what's happening.
    – BenC
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:02
  • 2
    Me too, probably the "divisible by 2 dimensions" suggested in vico Vault's answer. (which worked for me)
    – lapo
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 11:20
  • This method worked perfectly for me. (The top answer caused 3 seconds to be cut off the end.) EDIT: oh but it doesn't play on iOS :(
    – callum
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 13:07
  • A web page says you should just add -pix_fmt yuv420p
    – beefeather
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 16:06

A side note: the important thing is to specify -pix_fmt yuv420p lest your video might seem a black rectangle in various tools:

$ ffmpeg -i animated.gif -pix_fmt yuv420p output.mp4


  • Not just Apple, but also Windows media player sometimes can't play the output if you don't specify that option. And if you try playing it with other players, it would be a comeple gray screen with artifacts showing on video.
    – Shayan
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 13:28
  • 1
    I get height not divisible by 2 (260x373) and Error initializing output stream 0:0 -- Error while opening encoder for output stream #0:0 - maybe incorrect parameters such as bit_rate, rate, width or height error message. But this answer works for me.
    – 林果皞
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 15:36
  • 1
    observation - isn't the OP about taking animated gif as input (and/or output)? your answer has no gif as input or output
    – nhed
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 3:31
  • 1
    @nhed thanks, I slightly reworded it to put it back into the context
    – beefeather
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 12:14

If you want to make the output in "n loops", look at this solution in one shot

So, let's convert a normal.gif to loop.mp4

for 2 loops movie example:

ffmpeg -stream_loop 2 -i normal.gif loop.gif -y;ffmpeg -i loop.gif -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" loop.mp4 -y

for 5 loops movie example:

ffmpeg -stream_loop 5 -i my.gif loop.gif -y;ffmpeg -i loop.gif -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" loop.mp4 -y

be aware: There's a -y option, so the output files will be overwritten

the -vf option is to resolve the ratio proportionality [width vs height]

  • If you run the first ffmpeg command without -y, you'll have much less chance of accidentally overwriting something you don't want to. (There's also probably a way to get ffmpeg to pipe video into itself, and do this in one piped command without the intermediate file and the overwrite.)
    – FeRD
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 19:15
  • Thanks, exactly what I needed. But be careful, -stream_loop takes the number of EXTRA loops, so passing 2 will play the animation 3 times. 0 for no loop (single pass), -1 for infinite loop (erm... probably makes sense with other options to cut the movie after a certain duration).
    – hsandt
    Commented May 3 at 20:38

Another way to convert GIF animation to video:

ffmpeg -i your_gif.gif -c:v libvpx -crf 12 -b:v 500K output.mp4

-crf values can go from 4 to 63. Lower values mean better quality. -b:v is the maximum allowed bitrate. Higher means better quality.


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