Make Animated GIFs
The Pricey Option
If you really want to go all-out, pick up Ulead's GIF Animator. It's free to try the full version of GIF Animator for 15 days. After that, it's $50 to buy.
With Ulead GIF Animator, it's super easy to create simple GIF animations. It even imports video files. However, it may be more than you need if you're planning on drawing each frame by hand. This GIF animation was almost certainly created without the use of a program like GIF Animator. I hate hotlinking images like I just did, so make sure you visit the venerable Waxy.org on your way out to clear my conscience.
The Free Option
For those of you on a budget, I recommend GIMP. Next to Photoshop, it's my favorite image editor. It lets you create animated GIFs in just a few steps. And best of all, it's free!
Use GIMP to Turn Video Files into GIFs
If you want to turn a movie into a GIF, your best option is to buy the Pro version of Quicktime for $30. Open your movie in Quicktime Pro, choose 'export' and select 'movie to image sequence'. Click the 'options' button and choose BMP and save it to an empty folder. Quicktime Pro does much more than export movies as image sequences and I think it's worth every penny.
Back in GIMP, open the first BMP in the sequence. Then select 'open as layers' and sort the name column in reverse order. This is an important step. Next, select the highest numbered file, hold down shift and select the next-to-lowest numbered file and then open them. This ensures that the last image is at the top of your layer stack and your first image is at the bottom of your layer stack.
Now you need to change the image's color mode to Indexed. All GIFs are created with a limited color pallet, so most images will need to be changed to indexed color before they can be saved as a GIF. A 10 color GIF should suffice, bump up the number of colors if you want the image quality to be better. If your animation is especially long, this step may take some time to execute. Finally, save the file as a .gif and tell GIMP to create an animation. That's all there is to it!.
You can download the GIFs we created here and here.
Here's a GIMP animated GIF tutorial.
Now you can create an obnoxious GIF animation that you can call your very own!
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