Making Animated .gif Files · 20 October 2018

I know they are out of vogue, but making animated GIFs is fun.

There was a time when animated GIFs were all the rage. Everybody wanted to make them. And if you had a blog or some other place to put them (like Twitter now), all the more fun. People would ooh and aah at the wonder of it all. Animation! Cool!

Now, if you make an animated GIF, people just laugh and say, “That is so last century.” Then, they post them on Twitter.

Personally, I like animated GIFs. Or at least I like using them on occasion. I made one for a time lapse photo when I put in cabinets in our pantry. And I have done others on occasion. Most recently for a family trip to the Olympic National Park. (That one is just a simple picture of the park entrance sign and me sitting on one of the logs. I pop in and out of the scene. Now you see me, now you don’t.)

For the most part I stay away from animated GIFs, but they are quite easy to make.

(I also stay away from any debate on how to pronounce the file extension. After all, some people pronounce GIF with a hard g and soft i (gĭf). Like the peanut butter with a g sound. Others actually pronounce it like the peanut butter. Cheesy animators choose GIF (jĭf). And at least one person I know pronounces it like the name Geoff (Jĕff). Why anybody chooses to pronounce any words differently is not a debate I like to take part in. It is the whole potāto potăto song. But really, Geoff? Oops, sorry. That just slipped out.)

There are lots of tutorials out there on the internet about how to make GIF files, but I figured I would remind myself how to do it here. (By the way, I use Photoshop Elements.) It is simple. Just put each image on its own layer. Make sure the layers are showing (that eyeball next to the layer needs to be showing). Then save for web. Choose the .GIF type you want, check the animate box and voilà, a GIF in as many seconds as you took to make new layers and paste in the images. Oh, and the seconds it took you to be choosy and choose GIF. Oh, and the seconds you took to decide how many seconds (or fractions of a second) each image should show. Still. Quite simple regardless of how many seconds (or even minutes) it takes to do.

If you are like me, you forget one other part. You cannot make a GIF from huge pictures. Most cameras (and phones) these days take gargantuan photos. Or at least they would be gargantuan GIFs. So you need to scale the picture down before saving the GIF.

That is it.

Now, I have a way to remind myself how to make GIFs when I need them. The problem, of course, is that I will just do what most people do and search the web because I make GIFs so seldom. And I may or may not find my own memory device. Ah well. Making GIF files is out of vogue anyway. But they are still fun to make.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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  1. What a neat thing to blog about. Thank you for the tutorial.

    Lydia · 22 October 2018, 12:25 ·

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