animated GIF

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Animated GIF

(graphics, file format)
(GIF89a) A variant of the GIF image format, often used on World-Wide Web pages to provide moving icons and banners.

The GIF89a format supports multiple "frames" that give the impression of motion when displayed in sequence, much like a flip book. The animation may repeat continuously or play once.

Animated GIFs aren't supported by earlier web browsers, however the first frame of the image is still shown.

There are many utilities to create animated GIFs from a sequence of individual GIF files. There are also utilities that will produce animated GIFs automatically from a piece of text or a single image.

One problem with this format is the size of the files produced, as they are by definition a sequence of individual images. Apart from minimising the number of frames, the best way to decrease file size is to assist the LZW compression by using blocks of solid colour, avoid dithering, and use fewer colours. If areas of an image don't change from one frame to another, they don't need to be redrawn so make the area a transparent block in the second frame.
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animated GIF

A moving picture in GIF format, which comprises a series of frames. When displayed, they provide an animated sequence that cycles over and over without stopping. Although popular on the Web, animated GIFs are larger than single-frame GIFs and take longer to download. Typically used for ad banners, the animation is usually confined to small areas of the image to keep the file size short.

Flash, Then HTML5
More sophisticated than animated GIFs, Adobe's Flash was popular on the Web for many years for animations of all kind. In addition, Flash's vector format takes up much less space than GIF's bitmapped images (see graphics). Today, however, Flash is slowly becoming history as HTML5 has built-in support for animations and videos. See GIF, Flash, HTML5 and WebP.

GIF Animator
Ulead's GIF Animator was used to compose this animation. First created in an image editor, the five frames were inserted in sequence into the program, and frames 1 through 4 were given a 1/4 second delay.

GIF Animator
Ulead's GIF Animator was used to compose this animation. First created in an image editor, the five frames were inserted in sequence into the program, and frames 1 through 4 were given a 1/4 second delay.
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