fixed : convert .webp animation to animated .gif

Question :

I just received a message with an animated picture in it, that I want to save on my Mac to maybe send it to someone else later on. I thought it would be an animated-GIF file, but it turns out to be a .webp-file when I save it to my Mac.

Is there a way to convert this .webp animation to an animated .gif ?

Answer :

Yes, and it is rather simple, just do this :

  • on your Mac, right-click on the icon of the .webp-file
  • in the popup-list that appears, choose “Get Info”
  • in the “Get Info” window that opens, goto “Name & Extension” and replace the “.webp” extension by “.gif”
  • and to make double-checking easier, uncheck “Hide Extension”
  • then, close the “Get Info” window (by clicking the X-marked red dot top left)
  • now, open the renamed file in Preview.app to check if it has multiple images inside
  • then, open the renamed file in your webbrowser to check if the animation runs smoothly

That’s it !

Note : this works if the original file inside the .webp-animation is an animated GIF, it’s not sure if this will work for any .webp-animation

enjoy πŸ˜‰

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fixed : create a poll or multiple-choice questionaire in WhatsApp

Question :

I want to test the waters on some subject in a WhatsApp-group I’m in. Let’s say I want to know how everybody feels about doing something together or not. I’ve seen someone else post a polling questionnaire like that in another WhatsApp-group, and I want to do something similar…

How do I do that ?

Answer :

To create a poll (a questionnaire) in WhatsApp, do this :

  • make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on your iPhone
  • open WhatsApp and go to the group you want to post the poll in
  • click on the + (the Plus-sign) bottom left (next to the field where you normally type new messages)
  • in the popup list that opens, select “Poll”
  • in the “Create Poll” window that opens, at “Question” type the initial question for your poll/questionnaire
  • then, at “Options”, add the first multiple-choice answer you have in mind
  • then, just below, type the second multiple-choice answer
  • now, upon typing the second multiple-choice answer, you will see that an extra field will appear for an extra answer you have in mind
  • if you want to add a third (or fourth or fifth) multiple-choice answer, type it
  • so, when you have all multiple-choice answers typed, leave the bottom field empty (it will be marked with “Add” in grey)
  • now, if you want people to limit their response to only one answer/option, set the “Limit to only one choice” open (to the right) ; if not, leave it closed (to the left)
  • then click “Send” top right and your poll will be posted in your WhatApp-group
  • as soon als people start filling out your poll/questionaire, their face-icons/avatars will show up next the answer of their choice, so you can monitor the most and least popular answers

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : save Instagram pictures to Photos.app on macOS

Question :

I came across some group photos on Instagram that I am on but that I did not take and/or post myself. I would really like to save them to my Photos.app but I can’t figure out a way to do that…

How do I do that ?

Answer :

Yes, this is possible, but… DO NOT use any app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac that needs your Instagram login credentials to do that !! as by doing that, you are granting third party access to your Instagram and you are thereby making your Instagram account extreme vulnerable to hacking, fraud and identity swapping !!

Instagram has made it impossible to save pictures from within the Instagram.app (either on iPhone, iPad or Mac) so the only ‘good’ way to do this is via the website. To do so, do this :

  • on your Mac, open the Photos.app
  • then, open Safari and in the top menu bar goto Safari > Settings > Advanced
  • in the “Advanced” window, make sure that there is a checkmark at “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
  • now, close the Settings and goto http://www.instagram.com
  • login using your account name and password
  • scroll through the pictures and select one that you want to download / save to Photos.app
  • now, in the top menu bar goto Develop > Show Page Source
  • the underwater screen will now appear in the bottom half of the browser window
  • inside the underwater screen, in the menu on the left, click on the folder named “Images”
  • now, in the main past of the underwater screen you will see just the pictures of your Instagram page
  • scroll through these pictures and when you find a picture that you want to download drag&drop it to Photos.app’s main screen and it will be imported to your Photos.app (note that you could also drag&drop the image to your Desktop or any folder in the Finder to save the picture to your Mac)
  • repeat this drag&drop action for every picture you want to download
  • when done, close Safari
  • now, goto the Photos.app and in the menu list on the left, click on “Imports”
  • then, on the main part of the Photos window, all recently imported pictures will appear
  • scroll down to the very bottom and you will see the pictures you have imported from Instagram
  • from here on, you can use the downloaded Instagram pictures however you like…

…that’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : Green Screen button not showing in iMovie 10

Question :

I have made a video recording of myself in front of a green screen, and now I want to make the green transparent and put a video behind it in iMovie. I have iMovie 10.3.5 and the option for Green Screen should be in there, but when I import the video into iMovie and select it, there should be a Green Screen button at the left of the editing buttons above the clip preview, but the button just isn’t there, it isn’t greyed out or something, it just isn’t showing up… I searched in iMovie menus to find an option to switch the Green Screen button on, but there isn’t any…

What am I doing wrong ?

Answer :

Yes, it would have been better if Apple had included the button permanently in the row of editing buttons above the clip preview, then it could have been greyed out and instructions of what to do could be shown when you would try to click it.

So… yes… there is a modus operandi that isn’t obvious to everyone, but causes the Green Screen / Blue Screen button (the icon depicts ‘two overlaying squares’ and appears on the left of the row of editing buttons above the clip preview) to stay invisible :

the green screen video should always be an additional layer, but not the main layer !

so, do this to fix this problem and get the Green Screen / Blue Screen button to appear :

  • open iMovie
  • create a new Project
  • in the new project’s time line, import the video (or picture) that you want to show in the background first (so make the background video/picture the main clip in the time line)
  • then import the green screen video on top of the main (background) clip (so drag it in the row / layer above the main clip in the time line)
  • then select the green screen video in the time line (a yellow outline will appear around the clip) ; now the Green Screen / Blue Screen button will show up in the row of editing buttons above the clip preview on the upper right section of the screen
  • then click the Green Screen / Blue Screen button ; now the options needed to make the cut-out of the green screen will appear

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : convert video for WhatsApp

Question :

I have a short video file (a movie clip) that I want to share with my friends on WhatsApp. When I drag&drop it into the WhatsApp.app in macOS, the file appears to start uploading… but when done, there is no preview shown and no Play-button, just a file icon… as if it were an unknown or incompatible type of file…

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

Before uploading your video file to WhatsApp, you must make sure your video file meets WhatsApp’s file requirements :

  • video format preferably MP4 in H.264 or MPEG-4 codec ( MKV, AVI or 3GP will also do )
  • audio format preferably AAC ( or AC3 codec )
  • file size smaller than about 16MB ( in reality even 18MB might be okay )
    • usually, this means your movie clip will be about 90 seconds, but by tweaking the display size and the frame rate ( fps ) you can even squeeze 3 minutes or more into about 16MB

Do this to check your video’s specifications :

  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the movie clip’s icon
  • select “Get Info” from the popup-menu
  • in the window that opens, check these :
    • the file name either has the “.mov” or “.mp4” file extension
    • at “Size:” less that 18MB should be listed
    • at “Codecs:” either “H.264” or “H.264, AAC” is listed

If these are all okay, you should be able to just drag&drop the movie clip into the macOS WhatsApp.app.

If not, you will have to convert the movie clip. To do this conversion, do this :

  • first, download the FREE OmniConverter.app ( by 7littlemen ) from the Mac AppStore :
  • then, open the OmniConverter.app and click on “Convert Video” from the list on the left
  • then, drag&drop your movie clip file onto the OmniConverter window
  • now, at the right of the arrow (in the middle), check if “MP4” is listed and the file size is less than 18MB
    • if you do not see “MP4” listed at the right of the middle arrow, click the Format-button
      • in the window that opens, select the “Device”-tab
      • then, select “iPhone” from the list on the left
      • then, select the “iPhone HD” option
      • now, click the Confirm-button
    • if you see a file size larger than 18MB listed at the right of the middle arrow, click the Edit-button
      • in the window that opens, at “Video”>”Encoder:” select “H.264”
      • and at “Audio”>”Encoder:” select “AAC”
      • leave the rest as is and click the Confirm-button
  • back in the Convert Video window, click on the Start-button ( circled arrow icon, at the right )
  • now, wait for the conversion to complete
    • if the file size already was less than 18MB, you’re usually okay and you will not need to do extra compression
    • if the file size was over 18MB, do this :
      • open the OmniConverter.app and click on “Compress Video” from the list on the left
      • drag&drop the .mp4-video you’ve just converted onto the OmniConverter window
      • check if the file size listed at the right of the arrow (in the middle) is less than 16MB
        • if so, click the Start-button on the right
        • if not, click the Edit-button (below the arrow)
        • in the window that opens, set the “Quality:”-slider in-between “Mid” and “High”, set “Resolution:” to “720P” and set “Frame Rate:” to “24 FPS”
        • if at “Size:” it now says anything less than 16MB, click the Confirm-button
        • if at “Size:” it says anything over 30MB, set “Resolution:” to “480P”
        • if at “Size:” it says anything between 20MB and 30MB, set the “Quality:”-slider to “Mid”
        • now, if at “Size:” it still says anything over 18MB, start tweaking the available settings until at “Size:” it says about 15MB ( see how much the file size decreases when you tweak each setting to find the optimal combination of settings )
        • when done, click the Confirm-button
      • now, in the “Compress Video” window, click the Start-button
      • …and wait for the compression to finish

After the file conversion, drag&drop the converted movie clip into the WhatsApp.app to share it with your friends…

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : Save Images option disabled in Whatsapp ?

Question :

Normally, on my iPhone, when I get a Whatsapp-message with a great photo or image, I can click on it, then click the Export-button (the ‘square with an upward arrow’ icon, bottom left) and I get the Save-option.

But when I get a batch of images/photos in one WhatsApp-message I can click on one of them and I will get the Select-button (top right)… then I can select the images/photos I want to save, but when I click the Export-button (bottom left) now… I don’t get the Save-option…

What am I doing wrong ?

Answer :

Simply put : it’s a limitation of Whatsapp. It’s limited to saving a maximum of 5 pictures/images at the same time.

The process for saving pictures you are describing is correct, but just try it yourself : Select up to 5 images and you will see the Save-option, and if you select 6 or more images, you will not get the Save-option any longer…

So… to save multiple images from one WhatsApp-message at the same time, do this :

  • Click om the Whatsapp message that shows multiple images in one
  • when the screen opens where you will see all images below each other, click the Select-button (top right)
  • now, in each picture a small circle outline will appear in it’s top left corner, and click those to select each picture (the circle will turn blue and a white checkmark will appear inside it)
  • if there are up to 5 pictures in total, you could also click the SelectAll-button (top left)
  • if there are 6 or more pictures, select the first 5 manually
  • then click the Export-button (the ‘square with an upward arrow’ icon, bottom left) and click the “Save 5 Images”-option from the menu
  • these 5 images will now be saved to your iOS Photos.app
  • Now, repeat this procedure for the next 5 pictures, and keep repeating this until all pictures are saved

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : quickly create GIF from QuickTime or MP4 video

Question :

For my social media I regularly want to create a .gif-animation from small clip out of an .mp4-video file that I have, but I don’t have a lot of video-editing skills or specialised software.

Is there a simple way to do this ?

 

Answer :

There are lots of ways to do this. And no video-editing skills are required to do the most basic, but with some editing you can quickly get better results.

I would recommend buying the $5 GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore and doing the editing in QuickTime (or iMovie).

The recommendations for a good GIF-animation for most social media are (suggested by .gif-database GIPHY) :

  • duration of about 6 seconds (shorter is better)
  • file size close to 8MB (smaller is better)
  • video resolution of 480 pixels (or 720 pixels maximum) on the shortest side (depending on either landscape or portrait view, or square, or any custom size)
  • total number of frames of 100 maximum (less is better)

If you just want to turn part of an existing video into a GIF, do this :

  • get GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore ( the $5 price tag is worth it if you plan on doing this more frequently )
  • first, open the video source in QuickTime.app
  • then, in the top menu bar, click on “Window”
  • then, in the pulldown menu, click on “Movie Inspector”
  • then, check out the number that is at “Encoded FPS” and remember it (you need this later)
  • then close QuickTime.app
  • now, open your source video in GIF Brewery 3
  • then, in the video slider below your video, slide the green slider to match the first frame of your desired GIF
  • and slide the red slider to where you want your GIF to end
    • click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-length is not okay, readjust the green and/or red slider to improve your clip
  • now, in the editing window, click on the Resize-button top left
  • then, in the popup window, make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked
  • then, move the Scale-slider until either Width or Height is 480px (if the clip size is less than 5 seconds, you could also stop the Scale-slider at 720px)
  • now, in the editing window, click the Settings-button top right
  • then, at “Frames Per Second” set the fps to match the “Encoded FPS” of the original video
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-speed is too slow, adjust the Speed-slider to a higher value (anything less than 110%, even 103%, will usually do)
    • if the preview-speed is too fast, adjust the Speed-slider to a lower value (anything over 95% will usually do)
  • then, make sure there’s a checkmark at “Optimize GIF colors”
  • then, adjust the ColorCount-slider to 48
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview looks okay, leave the ColorCount-slider at 48
    • if the preview looks too dark or otherwise odd, adjust the ColorCount-slider to a higher value like 96, 128, 216 or 256, but make sure to set it as low as possible
  • then, click the “Create”-button (at the bottom, slightly right of the middle, with a beer glass in it) to generate the GIF
  • then, click on the Save-button (bottom right)
  • in the popup window, type the name you want your GIF to have, set the location where you want it stored and click the Save-button
  • then, browse the Finder to find the GIF’s icon and ALT-click on it
  • first, select “Get Info” from the popup menu and check if the file size is 10MB or less
    • if the file size is over 10MB, go back to GIF Brewery 3, lower at least one of the values you have set there and create an extra version of your GIF that has a file size of 10MB or less
    • as mentioned before, the main values you can adjust are :
      • Length of the clip
      • Scale / Resize (might make the picture more grainy)
      • Frames Per Second / FPS (might make motions less fluent)
      • Color Count (might make the colors less vibrant)
  • then, ALT-click on the GIF’s icon again and select “Open with” from the popup menu and select your internet browser (probably Safari) to preview the animated GIF
  • If you are happy with the end result, you are ready to post the GIF on your social media
    • if not… redo your editing and try again

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

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