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Nothing sums up things like an animated GIF, and if you've spent any time on the Internet you've undoubtedly seen a few. For those who arrived late to class, an animated GIF is a digital picture format that has the ability to display animation. GIF format makes it possible to watch motion in a frame without having to use a video hosting service like Youtube or Vimeo.
The simple I ♥ bacon image above is an example of an animated GIF.

Animated GIFs, like its JIF peanut butter namesake, are amazing when prepared right and disastrous when handled wrong. This Instructable will cover 4 different methods:
  • Using a free online method - video and images into GIF
  • Using Photoshop or GIMP - images only into GIF
  • Using iWisoft -  video only into GIF
Some examples on how animated GIFs can be used are:

image sequences - flamethrower Jack-o_lantern

Photosop awesomesauce - animated pizza GIFs

explaining a concept or idea - Energy-Saving Light

showcase an item - fuzz of 1000 faces

assembly animation - collapsible box

high FPS repeating movies

entire YouTube video

There's almost no limit to how animated GIF's can be used. I'll do my best to cover the basics on how animated GIFs are made, and provide examples for you to try yourself with files (found at the bottom of this step, and Step 4 and 5). The methods shown are a few of many different ways to make animated GIFs. There are alternative methods using the same programs, and there may be easier and better methods not discussed at all. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

↓ grab the Photoshop and GIMP templates here
 
azharz1 year ago
I've made a gif file with a animator caled pivot stickfigure animator.
Hi.gif
mikeasaurus (author)  azharz3 months ago

Rad GIF! Enjoy the Pro Membership.

Iqbal Samin3 months ago
My GIF.gif
mikeasaurus (author)  Iqbal Samin3 months ago

I can tell it's a GIF, but it looks like it's not animating.

Teisha1 year ago

I don't need the membership, but wanted to say thanks for making this Instructable and share what it helped me make! This is for The Mooshroom Hat Instructable. (For some reason, the gif works on the Instructable, and using the gif's link, but not in the comments here.)

mooshroom_hat_animation.gif
Michael_oz2 years ago
"I used GIMP 2.8 ... When I found the images I wanted I opened up Photoshop "??
mikeasaurus (author)  Michael_oz2 years ago
Good catch. It now reads "I opened up GIMP".
This was a tough project to write up, as the GIMP and PS methods are very similar. Thanks for looking out!
atepinkrose2 years ago
I had trouble with the image size, and searched your instructable for guidance. I then reduced the image and was able to successfully upload an animated gif to the website. Thanks! Layering Eggplant Parmesan
mikeasaurus (author)  atepinkrose2 years ago
mmm that looks tasty. Thanks for sharing, enjoy the membership and patch!
It's finished :D
http://www.instructables.com/id/Kaleidocycle/
Uploader isn't working for comments :(
mikeasaurus (author)  emilyvanleemput2 years ago
Great work, Emily! The GIF really shows off how this works.
Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the patch and the membership!
Don't have photoshop, can't install Gimp, to the internet then
So, this tells me a lot about your feelings for bacon :P
Love the ible, gonna try it
mikeasaurus (author)  emilyvanleemput2 years ago
Thanks, Emily.
Making GIFs is fun and pretty easy. To show how deep my passion for bacon runs, the digital patch I'm awarding to people that post their own GIFs here is the I ♥ bacon animated GIF.
Trying this tonight, hope I can make it work for my new instructable, I'll show it to you when it's on!
shazni2 years ago
Thank you sooooo much for your instructable....was clueless in how to do it...and I needed it to illustrate how to bend wood in this instructable
http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-DIY-Bent-Plywood-Light-Fixtues/
My Movie_1.gif
mikeasaurus (author)  shazni2 years ago
Your animated GIF explains that bend so well. Thanks for sharing your GIF (and technique), enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro!
BrittLiv2 years ago
I finally used it, thanks a lot for the explanation! http://www.instructables.com/id/Pythagorean-Cup/
Mein Film1_6.gif
mikeasaurus (author)  BrittLiv2 years ago
Nice work! The GIF really explains the concept of that glass perfectly.
Can't wait to see what you come up with next!
Thank you and thanks a lot for the patch! I'm not sure myself what the next thing will be, but I'm meeting with a friend tomorrow to experiment a bit for the candy contest.
www1392 years ago
wow!
cool!

Did it!! :D
Thanks for the instructable!! I really enjoyed it. You can either click on the GIF above that links to the 'ible, or you can click here.
mikeasaurus (author)  Jessie Marie2 years ago
Very cute, thanks for sharing!
Enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro membership.
noahw2 years ago
Nice work Mike and Audrey!
SHIFT!2 years ago
I love how Gifs are making a comeback! It's much more relaxing watching a several second silent film rather than waiting for an annoying video to load.
lebowski2 years ago
My head hurts!
lol... mine, too! ;-D
BrittLiv2 years ago
This is really helpful, thank you and thank you for telling me! I'm for sure going to use it in the future.
rachl0092 years ago
I used photoshop to make a GIF of removing waffle cookies in step 7 of this instructable (how can I link to that specific step?) 
Thanks!
mikeasaurus (author)  rachl0092 years ago
That's one tasty GIF, enjoy the patch and Pro membership!
Pfarmkid2 years ago
Thanks for the 'ible Mike. http://www.instructables.com/id/Animated-Gifs-101/
mikeasaurus (author)  Pfarmkid2 years ago
Those are great, thanks for sharing!
You've been patched and awarded a 3-month Pro.
rimar20002 years ago
This info is very useful, Mike.