I recently wrote about all the GIFs I’ve made over the last two years, but something I forgot to mention is how much the quality of the GIFs I’ve made lately suck. I had a pretty solid workflow in which I used an old version of Mac the Ripper to grab the VOB files from the DVD I was working with and then I would pull them into MPEG Streamclip to export the stills I was using as images and then finish up in GIMP—you can see a detailed tutorial of the process here.
When I recently upgraded to a new MacBook Pro I was finally pushed to use the latest Mac OS. The casualty of this “progress” was the old school DVD ripping software Mac the Ripper which no longer works with the latest Mac OS. I understand Mac the Ripper was outmoded and the programmers were GNU violating jackasses, but despite all that the rips were high quality. I switched to Handbrake for ripping but that software doesn’t seem to let me rip to the raw files which means I always get a compressed file from the rip. Compression on top of compression reduces the quality of the GIFs accordingly. In fact, I have yet to make a GIF in Handbrake that I’m happy with. I just experimented with a clip from the begininng of Douglas Sirk’s Magnificent Obsession (1954) which you can see below.
A little pixelation in the water is understandable, but what’s going on here seems a bit excessive in both the water flume, the helmets, and the faces. Also, the colors are shot. I really need a better ripping software to test my theory, the only other possibility is GIMP is killing the GIFs, but I’m not sure how that could be. Anyone have ripping software for the Mac besides Handbrake they like?