How to Export a GIF from Figma

By Ricardo Published July 19, 2023

How to Export a GIF from Figma
How to Export a GIF from Figma

Figma, a powerful cloud-based design tool, has revolutionized the digital design landscape with its intuitive interface and collaboration features. Its ability to create, share, test, and even animate designs has placed it at the forefront of UI/UX design tools. As a Figma user, you might have wondered how to bring your animated designs to life outside of the platform. Specifically, how do you export a GIF from Figma? This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to achieve this and equip you with the knowledge to share your animations with the world.

Understanding GIFs in the Context of Figma

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's discuss the relevance of GIFs in Figma. While Figma does not inherently support GIF export, it allows designers to create interactive prototypes that can emulate the feel of a GIF through micro-animations. The demand for GIFs arises from their versatility - they can be used in web pages, emails, presentations, or social media to convey information in an engaging manner. Given the rising popularity of micro-interactions and animated UI in digital design, exporting these animations as GIFs from Figma becomes a valuable skill.

Exporting a GIF from Figma: A Step-by-Step Guide

Figma's limitation is its inability to directly export animations as GIFs. Nevertheless, there's a workaround for this, which involves recording your animation and converting it into a GIF using external tools. Let's break down the process:

1. Design and Animate in Figma

First things first - design your UI and animate it using Figma's prototyping tools. With Figma, you can create simple hover effects, button clicks, loading animations, modal interactions, and more.

2. Record Your Animation

The next step is to record the animation. Since Figma does not offer built-in recording, we need to rely on third-party screen recording tools. Options include but are not limited to:

  • macOS users: QuickTime Player comes pre-installed and is an easy tool to record your screen.
  • Windows users: Xbox Game Bar (pre-installed in Windows 10), OBS Studio, or ShareX are good alternatives.
  • Chrome users: Loom or Screencastify are simple extensions for recording.

With your chosen tool, record the area of your screen where the animation plays. Be sure to keep the recording as clean as possible, capturing only the animation without unnecessary elements.

3. Convert the Recording to GIF

After obtaining the screen recording, the final step is converting this video into a GIF. This is where GIF-making tools come into play. Popular tools include:

  • GIPHY: A popular online platform for creating and sharing GIFs. It has a 'Create' feature that allows you to upload videos and convert them into GIFs.
  • Ezgif: A comprehensive online GIF maker and image editor. It lets you upload videos, customize the GIF settings, and convert the video into a GIF.
  • Photoshop: If you have a subscription, Adobe Photoshop provides fine-tuned control over the GIF creation process.

Upload your video to your chosen platform and adjust settings like size, quality, and frame rate as per your requirements before you proceed with the conversion.

4. Save and Share Your GIF

Once you've created the GIF, save it to your device. You can now integrate your GIF into your website, app, presentation, or any platform that supports GIFs. Congratulations, you've just exported a GIF from Figma!

Conclusion

In essence, while Figma may not directly support GIF export, the process of exporting animations as GIFs is fairly straightforward. By creatively using screen recording tools and GIF converters, you can successfully create GIFs of your Figma animations. This allows you to share your design's dynamic elements with stakeholders or users in a format that is widely supported.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I export GIFs directly from Figma?

No, Figma doesn't support direct GIF export. However, you can record your animation and convert this recording into a GIF using external tools.

Are there any plugins in Figma that can export GIFs?

There are some plugins like 'Figmotion' that offer animation capabilities, but they do not support GIF export.

Which screen recording tool should I use to record my animation?

The choice of tool depends on your operating system. QuickTime Player is a good choice for macOS users, while Windows users can use Xbox Game Bar or OBS Studio. Chrome users can use extensions like Loom or Screencastify.

How can I control the quality and size of my GIF?

The quality and size of the GIF can be controlled during the conversion process. Most online GIF makers allow you to adjust settings like frame rate, size, and quality.

What should I do if the GIF is not working or appears static?

Check the file format to ensure it's a .gif file. If the issue persists, consider lowering the size or frame rate. If the problem still continues, the issue might be with the platform on which you're trying to view the GIF. Not all platforms support GIF animations.

Further Reading
How to Make a GIF with FireAlpaca
How to Download a GIF on Giphy