Creating an animated GIF with Canva is easy, and you have a few different options in terms of constructing that GIF.
You can utilize the many already-animated elements in Canva, adding them to static images to give your designs life:
You can also use the animation features to give your text and graphics movement. Or, you can create static frames that, when played together can provide an animated effect.
And last, you can even import videos and create GIFs from those files as well.
While deep-diving into each would make this post a mile long, I’ll give a general overview on how to access and combine these animated elements and then, importantly, how to export them as a GIF.
How to Create an Animated GIF in Canva
To create animated GIFs in Canva, you need to first add an animated element to your design. This could be animated icon, animated text effect, or video.
Then, click “download” and in the “file type” dropdown, choose “GIF.”
Your file will then download as an animated GIF to your local files. You should be able to easily preview your new GIF by opening it in your browser of choice.
How to find animated elements
So, as mentioned above, the first and key element is finding and using an animated element!
An example could be that you already have a design in mind and/or created, and want to give it some subtle life by adding animated elements like small sticker graphics or icons.
For instance, let’s say I have this book I created…I think it looks nice, but will it catch anyone’s eye if I try and show it off on social media?
I can simply go to “elements” and then search for whatever I had in mind. So, if I was promoting this book as a new title I wanted my followers to check out, perhaps some arrows to draw attention, and then some twinkling stars to give the static cover a bit of life?
Importantly, you can filter elements to easily locate those that are animated and have movement, which I’m showing here:
Just click the filter icon and then check the “animated” box.
Then, just download as a GIF, and in a matter of seconds I have my new file:
How to animate static graphics and images
Alternatively, you might want something a bit more subtle, and animation that only involves the text and images you’ve created (without the extra help of the sticker-like animated elements as shown above).
Well, animating words and graphics is extremely easy as well, but takes a bit more design coordination.
For instance, going back to the previous example, let’s say again I have a big event coming up that I’d like to post and advertise, like a book release.
A normal static image might look like this, which is a good first step! When you want to animate, you need to first get your design completed, with elements in place where you’d like them to fall when the animation runs its course.
To get things “moving,” though, all you do is go to “animate” and then choose from the different options.
Tip: to see what the animations will do when in play, you can add them and then press the play button in the top right of the screen, or, you can simply hover your mouse over the different options to see a short preview.
For instance, “rise” will cause the elements to rise from the bottom of the page, while “neon” will flicker.
I went ahead and chose “tumble” and then downloaded the GIF for the following results, with all of the elements “tumbling” into place.
How to make a GIF from a video
Last but not least, the most traditional form of the GIF is also easy with Canva.
Either choose from Canva’s video library, or, upload your own video by going to “uploads” and then selecting the file from your computer.
Once the file has uploaded, click to place it in your design or drag it in. You can also trim down the file with the scissors icon. (Just click it and then drag the ends of your file to adjust the start and stop.)
From there, you can either just drag and resize your videos length and height to fit the whole design canvas, or, you can incorporate the video into your design.
For instance, here I have used “frames” of a computer screen and smartphone as video containers!
And again, once you’re all set, just go to “download” and select GIF!
All in all, a few simple ways to create animated GIFs with Canva. Thoughts? Questions? Best of luck!