GIF to MP4

Converting GIF to MP4 with FFmpeg: A Comprehensive Guide

GIFs have become a popular way to express emotions and ideas in the digital world. However, there are situations where an MP4 format might be more suitable. This is where FFmpeg, a powerful, open-source multimedia handling tool, comes into play. This article will delve into the details of converting GIF to MP4 using FFmpeg, covering all aspects including color scale, dimensions, size, and more.

Understanding GIF and MP4 Formats

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a bitmap image format that supports up to 8 bits per pixel, allowing a single image to reference a palette of up to 256 distinct colors. GIFs are widely used on the internet due to their ability to support animations.

On the other hand, MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) is a digital multimedia container format most commonly used to store video and audio, but it can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images. MP4 provides high-quality video and audio streams and is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms.

Why Convert GIF to MP4?

There are several reasons why you might want to convert a GIF to an MP4:

  1. File Size: MP4 files are generally smaller than GIFs, especially for longer animations. This makes MP4 a better choice for mobile viewing, where data usage might be a concern.

  2. Quality: MP4 supports higher quality video and audio compared to GIF. If your GIF contains complex animations, converting it to MP4 can result in a noticeable improvement in quality.

  3. Compatibility: While GIFs are widely supported, some platforms and devices offer better support for MP4. Converting your GIFs to MP4 can help ensure that they can be viewed on all devices and platforms.

Converting GIF to MP4 with FFmpeg

Converting a GIF to MP4 with FFmpeg is straightforward. Here's a basic command that does the job:

ffmpeg -i input.gif output.mp4

In this command, -i input.gif specifies the input file, and output.mp4 specifies the output file. FFmpeg will automatically use the appropriate codec based on the file extension of the output file.

Adjusting the Quality

You can adjust the quality of the output MP4 file by setting the bitrate. Here's an example command that sets the video bitrate to 1 Mbps:

ffmpeg -i input.gif -b:v 1M output.mp4

In this command, -b:v 1M sets the video bitrate to 1 Mbps.

Resizing the Video

If your GIF has large dimensions, you might want to resize it to make the MP4 file smaller. You can do this using the -vf scale option. Here's an example command that resizes the video to a width of 640 pixels while maintaining the aspect ratio:

ffmpeg -i input.gif -vf scale=640:-1 output.mp4

In this command, -vf scale=640:-1 resizes the video to a width of 640 pixels. The -1 tells FFmpeg to calculate the height automatically to maintain the aspect ratio.


FFmpeg is a powerful tool for converting GIFs to MP4. With its flexible command syntax, you can easily adjust the quality, resize the video, and more. Whether you're looking to save data, improve quality, or ensure compatibility, converting GIFs to MP4 with FFmpeg is a great solution.