Yesterday, our leader, J.R. Wilco, did an AMA on reddit, and PtR's own spursfan80 asked, "what actually goes into making the GIFs for the Breakdowns? I'm curious about how you obtain the source video and then the actual creation of the GIF."
Well, let me show you the ropes.
El Jefe sends me his plays and notes after the game ends and I compare those with mine and the plays we both have get made into GIFs for sure. The rest are a mix of the bossman's plays and ones I think are interesting.
I mostly use mySynergySports.com for the video. It lets you watch the game without commercials or ads and each play is indexed with the player name, play type, and whether it was a make or a miss. You can also click on any box score stat and watch the corresponding video. It makes finding a particular play very easy. Biggest drawback: It's not free.
NBA.com stats also provides video for free, but with ads, and you can click on any stat in the box score and watch the play. It's pretty cool, and you can watch all of Patty Mills' steals for the season for instance. Or you could get really adventurous and check out all 12 of blocks that Matt Bonner has had this season. If you are unfamiliar with the new nba.com stats website it's definitely worth checking out. It's not an elegant site, but it has features that no one else does.
So that's the source of the video. Then I just use a screen capture program to record the play. The one I use is Camtasia. It's simple and it's seamless from recording to GIF production. Here's the whole process to make a GIF of a Tony Parker play that was requested in the Spurs at Lakers GIF Breakdown.
It's a piece of cake and here is the final product.
Then all that remains is uploading it to SBNation's servers, and writing a summary of the play. In this case, something like: in a miniature version of Tony Parker's Game 1 clincher against the Heat in last year's Finals, the wee Frenchman gets a pass from Duncan and avoids having the ball stolen by four of the five men in yellow while losing and regaining control of the ball before finally launching a ridiculous leaner that falls gently through without touching any iron.