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GifCam 5.1

Capture screen activity as an animated GIF

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 06 October 2015
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2105
Developer: BahraniApps
RSS News Feed: http://blog.bahraniapps.com/?feed=rss2
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GifCam
Capture screen activity as an animated GIF

GifCam is a screen recorder which exports its results as an animated GIF, very convenient when you need to produce small, short clips to be played anywhere (a software tutorial on a website, say).

The program has a transparent work area, making it very easy to define exactly what you'd like to capture: just move and resize the window until it's in the right place.

Capturing activity is easy, too. Click "Rec" to start; carry out whatever actions you'd like to record; click the "Rec" button again to stop.

Click Edit to view your recorded frames on a timeline. You'll probably find that some of these are covered in bright green dots, but don't worry, this isn't a bug. To reduce file size, GifCam only draws pixels which have changed; the green dots represent pixels which are the same as the previous frame, and can be ignored.

The Edit window can be used to remove unwanted frames, add a caption, increase the delay (the pause before the next frame will be shown), and more. Right-click a frame for the various options. Close the Edit window from top-left corner when you're done.

To preview your work so far, click the arrow to the right of the Save button, and select Preview. The animation should play according to your current settings, with its file size listed in the Preview window title bar.

If the GIF is too large then there are various steps you can take. Deleting every other frame (right-click in the Edit window, select "Delete even frames") should help, and reducing the number of colours is also a smart move.

When you're happy, click Save, specify a file and folder, and the finished animation should appear within seconds. If you don't currently have a GIF viewer which can handle animations, right-click the file and select Open With > Internet Explorer to display it properly.

It wasn't all good news. GifCam hung a few times when saving files. The interface is sometimes very basic, too; there's no indication of how to carry out any editing actions, for example, you have to find the right-click menu on your own.

For the most part, though, GifCam worked very well. Once you know where all the options are, it's extremely easy to use. There are plenty of ways to tune your animation for the best results, and somehow the author has crammed all this into a single portable program, only 1.5MB in size. Recommended.

GifCam version 5.1 brings:
    - Support for high DPI displays
 

Verdict:

An excellent free screen recorder, packed with useful editing tools, which creates very efficient GIF animations (and can even export AVI videos, if necessary).

Your Comments & Opinion
 
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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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