Animated GIFs

andreas.com FAQ: Animated gifsAnimated lava lamp

What Is a GIF Animation?

  • It’s easy to add animations to your web page. You don’t need cgi, java, or a riot nrrd.
  • The lava light is a GIF animation. That means that it is made up of a sequence of GIF images which have been collected together. The images are displayed, one after the other, and thus you see movement.
  • The advantage of GIF animations: it can be seen on all browsers, all systems, etc. It doesn’t require java, programming, cgi, etc. You add GIFs to any web page on any system. Most people have web pages which are hosted on servers (such as AOL) where they can’t use cgi. Animated GIFs let you add animation without cgi.

How to Add Animation

  • Get an animation. For example, the lava light. Point to it and click the right mouse button. A message box appears and select “Save as…” to copy it onto your hard disk.
  • When you look at the animated GIF in your paint program, don’t worry if it doesn’t move, your program probably can’t display animation.
  • To add it to your page, just insert it as an ordinary image. Use the tag <img src=”lavalite.gif”> to add your image. Open your browser and the lava light will appear. That’s all there is to it.

Where to Get Free Animations

  • There are thousands of these on the net. Go to Yahoo’s collection of animated GIFs. Just copy whatever you like onto your system.
  • If it’s copyrighted, you should ask permission first. You may have to pay a license fee.

How to Make Animations

  • You can also make your own animations. You’ll need any image editor that can work with GIF (such as Paint Shop Pro) (Search Altavista for it.)
  • You’ll also need GIF Construction Set (search Altavista as well.) Search for the file name: GIFCON.EXE for the 16-bit version (for Windows 3.x) and GIFCON32.EXE for the 32-bit version (if you have Windows 95). You can also go to Alchemy’s home page for these files, a collection of animated GIFs, and more information.
  • With both of these programs, you can start. Just draw your first image and save it as pic-01.gif. (Name these whatever you like. However, you must use “.gif” extension. These must be saved in GIF format. And it helps to keep track of things by numbering them.)
  • Draw your second image and save it as pic-02.gif
  • Draw a third image and save it as pic-03.gif.
  • Now use the GIF Construction Set to animate these. You specify at least three images, the sequence, and the display speed. That’s all there is to it.