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Make Animated GIFs

Posted July 21, 2005 - By smoschella
Making GIFs is actully pretty easy to do. Making them look good is the hard part. I quite enjoy making intentionally crappy GIFs to amuse my friends. So, to each his own.

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.
And another.
And another.

Now you can create an obnoxious GIF animation that you can call your very own!
Tags: AOTS Classic

Comments are Closed

  • lafiguroeuao

    According to the creator of the format, it is properly pronounced "JIFF", not "GIFF", but either way is acceptable.

    Posted: August 3, 2007 8:30 PM
  • Motter

    hey, It seems like there has been some improvements in .gif making since you wrote this article.

    A friend and I have created www.gifninja.com which is a set of free video and picture to .gif converting tools that also offers hosting and ranking and other things.

    Please check it out and consider adding it to your post.

    Thanks a bunch

    Posted: May 17, 2007 10:22 PM
  • Ahole

    "Why does Kevin keep saying "GIF" (Gah-IF) ?!?! It is GIF (Ja-IFF) as in GIN (Jah-in). I just can not believe that that he is not pronouncing this correctly."

    Are you serious?!? Thank your diety of choice TVOTR wrote this ...

    "gif, you know, like gift."

    Durh ... serious no brainer. Why does anyone give a crap anyways? As long as we all know what we are talking about then language and communication serve their ultimate purpose ...

    Good information guys on the animated GIF stuff. Thanks!

    Posted: January 6, 2006 7:52 AM
  • onrocketfalls

    gif, you know, like gift.

    Posted: October 23, 2005 11:29 AM
  • RedSpartan61

    where is the 1, 2, c i want that

    Posted: July 26, 2005 10:41 AM
  • FatDaddyD

    I want that Gif also!! It rocks!!

    Posted: July 23, 2005 10:27 PM
  • lennierv

    Hey aots.. do u have any tutourials to use in Ulead Gif animator?
    What is the url for the dude smashing his head into his pc and blood pouring out?

    Posted: July 23, 2005 1:04 PM
  • dhwan

    my computer sucks....it cant even run the gunroar game....AOTS please hook me up with something.....:(

    Posted: July 23, 2005 12:56 PM
  • SquishyMcMan

    http://www.squishyproductions. org/music/kevin.gif

    here's an animated gif I made!

    Posted: July 22, 2005 11:57 PM
  • Billyog

    my computer came with photoshop built in so i have no problem lol.

    Posted: July 22, 2005 9:28 PM
  • Homermon

    read the UnFREEz page

    Posted: July 22, 2005 4:32 PM
  • MikeMan616

    How do you use UnFREEZ?

    Posted: July 22, 2005 3:54 PM
  • FBMrider86

    i use this program which is free. its just called movies and its made by jansoft. Here's a link to a pic that i made:http://x1.putfile.com/7/2 0217003179.gif, and this one(i love MKWarehouse):http://x1.putfile .com/7/20217014788.gif. This infact will convert avi video into gif images, however for some reason in the preview, it seems to switch the palettes. But when its finished and saved, it looks fine. Great program! I use Adobe PS elements, but i like this one better.

    Posted: July 22, 2005 3:05 PM
  • Spasmolytic

    the ulead site dosent work when registering. is it just my pc???

    Posted: July 22, 2005 2:18 PM
  • dougtheneard

    Oh, and I use Gif Construction Set Pro from Alchemy Mindworks (http://www.mindworkshop.com/a lchemy/gifcon.html). It's half the price of Ulead and works great; it's a bit more complicated than Ulead's program (which I've used an older version of, but it looks about the same), but still gets the job done.

    As for doing animations in GIMP, I haven't tried it, but I like the GIMP in general (however, like most FLOSS stuff, it's difficult to figure out at first - the only drawback to FLOSS, really)

    Posted: July 22, 2005 1:58 PM
  • dougtheneard

    "GIF" is often pronounced giff with a hard g (that is, like "gift" without the final t), but the pronunciation as specified by the creators of the file format in the official documentation is jiff with the g pronounced like the g in the word "giraffe".
    -From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    I looked that up a while back because I'd always prounounced it with a soft g, and everyone always said I was wrong. The "official" (mind you, I'm not saying right or wrong here) pronounciation is with the soft g, but so many people use the hard g it's not really wrong anymore.

    Posted: July 22, 2005 1:54 PM
  • Pircan

    none the less it was quite helpful and for me it was enough for what i needed

    Posted: July 22, 2005 11:53 AM
  • boyevul

    have to agree with the photoshop thing - make them pixel by pixel in photoshop save as psd transport to image ready and there you go.

    Posted: July 22, 2005 9:39 AM
  • lennierv

    I want to use the pricey ulead gif animator since I got a working one. Are there any tutourials anyone knows about? I want to learn to create that one about the dude smashing his head on his pc and blood pouring out as seen on the show...

    Anyone have info?

    Posted: July 22, 2005 8:33 AM
  • lennierv

    I want to use the pricey ulead gif animator since I got a working one. Are there any tutourials anyone knows about? I want to learn to create that one about the dude smashing his head on his pc and blood pouring out as seen on the show...

    Anyone have info?

    Posted: July 22, 2005 8:25 AM
  • pseudocode69

    I've been using Jasc Animation Shop, just as well, works for me.

    Posted: July 22, 2005 7:28 AM
  • Darth_Tonis

    im confused how to use the gimp thing

    i have used unfreeze and i kind of like it

    Posted: July 21, 2005 11:29 PM
  • Kravyn

    "Why does Kevin keep saying 'GIF' (Gah-IF) ?!?! It is GIF (Ja-IFF) as in GIN (Jah-in). I just can not believe that that he is not pronouncing this correctly."

    Hey? Who cares? Damn, dude. Leave the guy alone. The world is still spinning on its axis despite your offense of someone not pronouncing a stupid abbreviation of a file extension. Damn nerds. And you wonder why girls aren't attracted to you.


    Posted: July 21, 2005 10:06 PM
  • smoschella

    Technically it is 'jif', and Kevin and I were talking about it right before the segment went live. He was going to mention the whole 'jif/gif' debate, but we ran out of time. Even though he promised he was going to pronounce it properly, he fell back to pronouncing it with a hard G. The folks at CompuServe who invented the GIF pronounce it with a 'soft' G. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and that's where most people get the hard G pronounciation from.

    Posted: July 21, 2005 6:58 PM
  • MrManiac

    Unfreez is easier :P

    Posted: July 21, 2005 6:26 PM
  • Grimm1337

    "who cares how to pronounce it, just enjoy the show." -- El_loco.

    HA! Nice one buddy.

    Posted: July 21, 2005 5:55 PM
  • Lamon

    unfreez is what i use

    Posted: July 21, 2005 5:42 PM
  • Spiffy007

    "GIF" stands for "Graphics Interchange Format," so it shold be pronounced with a hard G, but "jiff" just sounds better.

    Posted: July 21, 2005 5:25 PM
  • El_loco

    who cares how to pronounce it, just enjoy the show.

    Posted: July 21, 2005 5:21 PM
  • Telanis

    I use Jasc Animation Shop, it hasn't failed yet.

    Posted: July 21, 2005 5:14 PM
  • Grimm1337

    You can also do this in Adobe's ImageReady, It comes with photoshop!

    Posted: July 21, 2005 5:09 PM
  • SgtHartsock

    no no, it's just "jiff".."dot jiff" that is how you say..at any rate, where are the pictures kevin P mentioned of the AOTS stuff?

    Posted: July 21, 2005 4:54 PM
  • toarney

    Why does Kevin keep saying "GIF" (Gah-IF) ?!?!

    It is GIF (Ja-IFF) as in GIN (Jah-in). I just can not believe that that he is not pronouncing this correctly.

    Posted: July 21, 2005 4:52 PM
  • Spiffy007

    I've found that the easiest way to make your own animated .gif's if you're drawing them frame-by-frame is a program called unFREEz. I've included a link here:

    http://www.whitsoftdev.com/u nfreez/

    Posted: July 21, 2005 4:52 PM