Making Vines on OSX

I recently got a few questions on how I make and upload my screencaps to Vine. Here’s the recipe!

1. Screencap using QuickTime

QuickTime on OSX has support for video screencaps. Open QuickTime and go to File / New screencap. Pick a part of your screen and press record. Make sure that your screen selection is nearly square for the best vine experience! Also, make sure that width >= height, otherwise Vine won’t accept it.

To get an almost square selection, I resize my browser window with Chrome devtools open until I see that the inner browser width equals the inner height. Then I make the screen selection for the video.

Making a square screencap

2. Trimming

It’s easy to trim the video in QuickTime. Just press command+t and you can use the UI to trim your video. Make sure that the total time of the video is less than 6.5 seconds.

QuickTime trimming

3. Exporting

Usually it’s okay to export in 1080p, but make sure that you don’t pass the max file size of 5Mb. Click File / Export / 1080p… and see what you get.

Note that if you choose to remove the sound from the video (see next step), the file size will be very small.

4. Optional: removing sound

Sometimes sound is not needed in the Vine. I use ffmpeg with the following command to lower the volume to zero:

ffmpeg -i -af 'volume=0' -strict -2

5. Upload to Vine using VineClient

You can upload the Vine using the VineClient add-on for Google Chrome. Install, log in, press Upload and follow the instructions.

Note that if you check the “Keep aspect ratio” checkbox, you’ll get black stripes at top and bottom of your Vine. Uncheck it if you know that your video is nearly square.

6. Sharing on Twitter

Don’t make the mistake of sharing to Twitter via VineClient. In that case your Vine will not get displayed inside your tweet. The reason for that is because VineClient uses an own Vine URL that Twitter doesn’t recognize. Instead, go to, find your Vine there and share it.

Vine in Twitter

Note that the Vine URL in the tweet got hidden! This only happens if you put the URL last in your tweet.

That’s all! Now go make some awesome Vines.