How To Make a Gif file
Level of difficulty:
In 1987 CompuServe introduced the 8-bit image file format GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) which featured 256 colors allowing for faster downloading and uploading operations from and to the Internet server. Although lower in quality compared with other image format files, GIF was small enough to allow the inclusion of short animation sequences in a single image to produce a moving image file via a series of image loops. Its lower quality makes it a poor choice when dealing with colored photographs and similar images involving continuous color, however, it is ideal when creating logos and graphics that require solid color details. The GIF format makes use of a lossless data compression method via LZW (Lempel-Ziv-Welch) allowing for a drastic reduction in file size without necessarily degrading the visual clarity of the image.
- Microsoft Paint
- Gift Construction Set for Windows
Under the Microsoft Windows Operating System environment, there are two convenient ways of creating a GIF format file. If you want to use the GIF Construction Set for Windows for animated GIF files, go to step 6. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
The easiest possible way to come up with a GIF format is to use Microsoft Paint. Click on the Start button, choose All Programs, select Accessories and use the Microsoft Paint shortcut.
When the paint program opens, the user has the option of loading a saved file via the Open command under the File menu. A user can also create his design directly on the workspace provided by the application.
After completing the design process, click on the File menu and select the Save option. Navigate to the folder where the image will be stored.
Click on the Save as type option and select the GIF format. Selecting the OK button will save the image using the GIF extension.
If you prefer using the GIF Construction Set, load the GIF file that will appear as the initial image of the sequence. This file like most GIF formats contains both an image and a header block.
Now load the additional images that will serve as the succeeding frames in the animation process. Make sure to select the previous block before placing the new image file.
Placing the image can be done by simply clicking on the Insert button and selecting the appropriate image to appear. Repeat the process until all images are inserted into the sequence.
Click on the Edit button to provide a block title for the initial image in the animation sequence. This is done for identification purposes more than anything else.
A loop block must be placed between the image and the header block. This is done by selecting the header block and clicking the Insert button to select the Loop option.
The final step is to set the animation speed under the control blocks. A wait or pause prior to loading the next image in the animation sequence can also be defined. Remember to save the file.