A GIF, or Graphics Interchange File, is a moving graphic image appearing on a web page. It can take the form of a twirling logo or a banner that includes text, an image, or both. In basic terms, a GIF is like stop-frame animation, where several images that differ slightly are run in sequence to create the illusion of movement. A GIF can create a looping animated image that moves continuously or run it can as a single sequence which then stops. Other animation software, such as Flash and Java can be used to create moving images on the web, but in general, GIFs are much easier to use and create. They are also generally smaller, meaning they run more quickly and more effectively. You can use GIFs to amaze or amuse and they’re an ideal addition to websites that can express your humor or help give your site a professional edge.
How to Create a GIF
There are lots of different software available that will allow you to download an easy GIF creator but the majority will ask you to take similar steps to create your GIF.
When you’ve chosen your software, you’ll need to decide what dimensions you want your GIF file to be. There are no set dimensions and you can choose whatever size you like. Please note that there are standard sizes for banners and other online advertising formats that you may want to bear in mind when creating GIFs.
Next, choose your images. You’ll need more than one to make a GIF and you can upload images from your own files or from places such as photo-sharing websites.
Most software will allow you to view the image on each layer and edit it separately so you can produce a more professional result.
When you have your sequence in order the next task is to choose the speed you want your GIF to run at; make sure it’s not too fast or it will be difficult to view.
Once you’ve done that, choose whether you want your GIF to run on a continuous loop or if you want the animation to stop after it has shown once.
Once you have followed these instructions you are now ready to create your GIF by clicking ‘create’. Once your GIF is finished it is always worth remembering that you can still go back and make changes easily.
Can I make a GIF for Free?
There are lots of free downloads available that will allow you to create basic gifs easily. Choosing a free download is a great option if you’ve never made a GIF before because you can learn how to create great animations in a few simple steps. Go ahead, try it for yourself, and see how easy it is to be creative online.