Slow down or speed up a GIF with ImageMagick

Here’s a quick recipe for slowing down or speeding up your animated GIFs.

Visual tool

This article is about a command-line tool but I know a lot of you prefer graphical interfaces. I’m working on Tempo GIF, a simple and visual tool to change the speed of any GIF. If you want to be the first to know when it’s out, subscribe to my mailing list.

And now, for the command line version

This article assumes that ImageMagick is already installed on your computer. If that’s not the case:

  • Ubuntu/Debian/…: apt-get install imagemagick
  • OSX: brew install imagemagick
  • Windows: Download installer

First, get the current delay between frames:

identify -verbose your.gif | grep Delay

This should give you something like:

Delay: 5x100
Delay: 5x100
Delay: 5x100
Delay: 5x100
Delay: 5x100

That means there is a 5 hundredths of a second delay between each frame.

Now, if you want to slow it down to half speed, you’ll need to set a delay of 10 hundredths of a second.

Here’s how:

convert -delay 10x100 your.gif your_slow.gif

You could also write convert -delay 10 your.gif your_slow.gif since the default unit is hundredths of a second.

To speed it up, you just have to set a shorter delay, for instance:

convert -delay 1x30 your.gif your_quick.gif

1x30 is ImageMagick’s notation for 1 times 1/30th of a second.