Make a video or gif from a Flourish story

Many Flourish users create gifs or videos from animated Flourish projects for use on social media, on big screens at events, or in offline presentations. This can be anything from a short looping gif of a visualization …

… through to a full edited video based on a complex Flourish story:

How to do it

For technical reasons, Flourish does not export videos and gifs directly. Instead, to make a video or gif, you simply screenshot the relevant part of your screen using a free or inexpensive tool (see below). Once you’ve chosen a tool, just follow these steps:

  1. Make a Flourish story with the views/animations you want to show
  2. Resize the story in your browser to the target size of your video or gif
  3. Record a video or gif screenshot of the relevant part of the screen, clicking between slides to control the timing

Tools

Most modern computers have a video screenshot tool built in. For example, Macs include QuickTime and Windows 10 offers similar functionality.

To make a gif it is possible to make a video and then convert it to a gif. But it’s more convenient to use a dedicated screent-to-gif tool. Free options include Giphy Capture for Macs and ScreenToGif for Windows. Paid-for options with some additional features include the excellent Gifox for Macs or GifRecorder for Windows.

Videos versus gifs

Videos and gifs each have pros and cons. Some key points to consider:

  • Videos are a lot more space efficient than gifs, so they’re much better for longer clips and high-quality outputs
  • Gifs will “play” in the body of an email, but videos can usually only be attached.
  • In some contexts (such as Twitter), gifs can play and loop automatically while videos require the user to click play.