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How to make an animated picture .gif

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Smartmom's picture
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Well first there are lots of different programs out there to make these. I have tried a few but I found the easiet one was Blumentals Easy GIF Animator. They have a free trial of in it you would like to check it out. I believe with the free trial you can make 20 GIF's. So since I found that one to be the easiest one that will be the one I'll show how to do here.

First gather your pictures that you would like to animate. Here are some tips:

  • Make them all the same size or as close as you can size wise (I think it flows better when they are)
  • try and stick with either all horizontal or all vertical - it makes the transition look cleaner

OK when you open the program one of the first things your going to see it this - where you need to upload the pics that you would like to animate:

next it will ask you how you would like to animate - would you like to loop it or to only play it once? It will also ask you at what speed would you like them to show at. This is done in 1/100 of a sec. So if you want 2 seconds then it would be set at 200.

Next it will ask you for the Image Position. Really its just preference here. I tend to either go with center or resize but 8 out of 10 times I will say center. I don't care for top left corner but again its preference here.

once you hit next it will load your pics in. Here is where you can change things around. You will see above your pic a "preview" tab. You can Preview what you have so far and see if you like it or you want to change it around. Below the picture is two tabs. In the "Animation Properties" you can change if you want it to loop or if you want it to only play once or a set number of times. Under the picture you will see it say 2 sec (under each small pic on the RT side). To change each pic s time you simply highligh that pic and click on the "Frame Properties" (under the large pic). It you want to make them different speeds you can. Say you wanted it to stop on one pic for longer then you can do that here (like if maybe one pic had text).

Also to the left side of the pics is a tool bar. This is where you can re-arrange the pics if need be or add/delete them. Make sure you hit the preview tab above the pic so you can view as you go along. You want to be able to get it just right before you save. If you need to make changes now is the time. Once you have it just right then save it to file. See in the bottom pic above right above the little kitty the blue circle - click that to save it. It will save it as a gif.

Here is to give you a idea on speeds (mind you I did full seconds in my examples you can do 1/2's too like 2.5 seconds): 1 second delay

at 2 second delay...... 3 second delay

at 4 second delay.....

Now in my opinion depending on how many picutures will depend on what speed looks best. I tend to stick around the 1, 1.5 or 2 second delay. If I have few pics (like 3) then maybe slower and the more I tend to go a litlle faster. For this set (9 pics) I would probably go at 1.5 second delay. I want to say the default is at a 1/2 second which in my opinion is way to fast unless your doing lightning or a gif that is like a movie. Here is that gif above at 1.5 second delay

....this is at 1.5 second delay

If your looking to make a GIF that is more like a movie then its the same thing but its really layered. Meaning lots and lots of shots with only slight changes to make it flow into each other and make it seam more like a movie. Those are the animations that are done fast with little delay. That takes alot more time and patience. Here is a example of making a more movie/flowing GIF. This would be done same as above but the delay would be much faster like 1/4 to a 1/2 second delay. The layers would be someithing like this:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
once you put it together and at the right speed you would get this.....

TIP: Now when you go to make that gif you cant just do pics 1-5 you have to do them in reverse or the eye movement will not flow right. So you will do the pics like this (I did number the pics above): 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 you do that so that not only does it flow right to close but to also open. Yes that will mean that you will have two #1's together (remember it loops) but I like it that way so that way your main pic is open a little longer. If you do not want it open longer then do it like this: 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2

Now if this is NOT what you were looking for and you wanted to have one picture turn into another one (blend) then check out this thread: How to Morph a picture

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missb's picture
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Re: How to make a animated picture .gif

Great thread, this is awesome. Can't wait to try it!

Phoenix_Oasis's picture
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Re: How to make an animated picture .gif
Once again, Smartmom, you outdone yourself....wonderful thread.
I'm so hot, I sometimes spontaneously combust.

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