"gifscii" is a cool little C program that will render a gif file in ASCII characters. It provides some control of image scaling, contrast, and brightness, and allows the image to be inverted (so that light areas are displayed as dark areas, and vice versa). However, best results are obtained with a combination of image manipulations such as scaling and cropping and contrast adjustments performed directly on the gif with a program such as The Gimp, and manipulating the ASCII rendering with the rudimentary controls of gifscii.

The program appears to have been written by Paul Kline and John Ferrell and contains this copyright notice in the single "C" file that makes up the gifscii distribution as I found it:

/*  Copyright Feb, 1994 Paul Kline.  pk6811s@acad.drake.edu                  */
/*  All rights to these tables and gif-ascii conversion routines reserved.   */
/*  These tables and routines may be copied and distributed except that no   */
/*  computer program may be developed from them for commercial or for-profit */
/*  purposes without the express written permission of the copyright holder  */
/*  This notice is not to be understood as granting such permission.         */
/*  All output of the program is the property of the owner of the input      */

Compiling gifscii requires linking in the math library...

	cc -o gifscii gifscii.c -lm

I add this because the program, as I found it, contained nothing in the way of instructions.

An example of gifscii output can be seen on my home node.