SmartMatrix can display 32x32 GIFs with good color depth and a high frame rate. There are plenty of free tools for creating and modifying GIFs, but a lot of them limit the frame rate and don't work very well. This tutorial will show you how to use online tools for creating GIF files that will play well using the AnimatedGIFs SmartMatrix sketch and the Aurora sketch running on SmartMatrix.
This guide is meant to be used after you have assembled a SmartMatrix Shield and added a microSD card to play GIFs, following instructions in our other guides: SmartMatrix Animated GIF Player, and optionally SmartMatrix Remote Controlled LED Art Display.
To demonstrate the video and GIF conversion tools, we will work with two simple examples: extracting a short clip from the Big Buck Bunny video, and converting a high resolution looping GIF to 32x32 pixels.
So far we haven't found any one site that offers all the features we need to convert video and high resolution GIFs down to low resolution GIFs while keeping the original frame rate. We found enough sites that are good enough at part of the process and can be pieced together to do everything we want.