How to Create Gif Animations




About: A scout, programmer, mentor @bit&byteacademy and a maker @padirbtuves (

This tutorial shows how to create simple gif animations using Inkscape and Gimp, two very nice and free open source programs. Nothing big, but my first instructable, so don't be harsh;) Image below is the result of this tutorial, but you can make much more difficult animations when you master these programs. Example two is another animation i made in just a few minutes. It's very easy to do;)

Step 1: Beggining

1. Download both Inkscape and GIMP.
2. Open Inkscape, if you are not familliar with it, go through the tutorials, this will help you.
3. Draw the first frame of your animation(clock this time). I've drawn it using rectangles with rounded edges, a triangle and a circle, pendulum is made by placing an oval either over another one or a rectangle, selecting both of them and pressing ctrl+ + (Path/Union). By the way, the end of the pendulum is hidden under the lighter . Actually, to do this, you must duplicate the darker inner part of the place where the pendulum is, then select the duplicate and the lighter rectangle and press ctrl+ - (Path/Difference). Then arrange the pieces of the clock by sending them back/Forward to get something like the picture. Then draw a white rectangle without borders on top of the clock, and send it to back of the image. With this rectangle you will control the size of your gif and it's essential!

Step 2: Changing the Rotation Center of the Pendulum

Zoom in. Select the pendulum clicking it twice. Rotation arrows should appear on the edges of the border and a cross in the middle. That cross is the rotation center. You have to carefully move it upwards to the top of the pendulum to make it swing.
Pictures illustrate before(1) and after(2).

Step 3: Saving First Frame

Now zoom out and select the white rectangle in the back. Press File\Export Bitmap. A window will appear. Make sure that "Selection button is pressed, set the location and save

Step 4: Create Second and Third Frames

Saved? Ok, let's continue. Select the pendulum doubleclicking and rotate it rightwhile pressing ctrl. It will rotate at a fixed angle and now the second frame is done. Select the background rectangle and save again.
Now rotate it back to the original position and rotate left. Save again.

Ok, job with Inkscape finished. Save the svg file if you want, then close the program.

Step 5: Creating the Gif

Open the GIMP. Drag the first frame onto the program's main window. It will open, as shown in the first image. Now check if the layers dialog is open. If it isn't, open it by clicking ctrl+l or going to file\dialogs\layers. Now drop second and third frame onto the first one that's already open. They will appear in the layers window, like in second picture. Only the top layer will show, by the way. Now select the first layer, and duplicate it(right click on the layer in layers window and select duplicate). Drag the duplicate between the second and third frames. It should look like image 4. We're almost done.

Step 6: Saving the Gif

Press File\Save as..., select the file format as *.gif and press save. A window(1) should appear. Select "Save as Animation" and "Convert to indexed..." and press Export. Another window(2) will appear. Write a comment that you want, set the gif to loop forever and frame disposal as one frame per layer(replace). Set the delay to 200ms(100ms is too fast).
Now sit and glare at the results;D



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    58 Discussions

    Haha nice instructable, here's mine I took a little cartoon of mine and scanned it, imported into inkscape then autotraced it to improve the quality then saved different frames after modifying it using the Simplify tool. Took me a while but here it is.

    Finish hopefully this works.gif
    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    From inkscape I exported 13 different or images/frames. Then drag the first one into a new document, then drag the next frames into the layers menu (one you have showed above.) It should list the different frames as different layers. Hope that helps.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I was having trouble with Inkscape, so I just made this in the GIMP. Simple, I know, but I made it in about 5 minutes, and it's my first ever animation. Thanks for showing me how to animate in the GIMP! That's one more thing to cross off my "stuff I need to learn" list.


    1 year ago

    Once the gif is made (and I made mine from a iMovie clip and GIMP), then what do I actually d to share it? How does one upload to Facebook? How about one's own blog (blogger) or wordpress?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Check this Amazing App on Android for Remaking and Creating GIFs from Camera and Gallery ! =)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I dont know how to view it on my computer, so im putting on here to test it.

    Ball Bounce.gif

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Made an account just so I could post this. Thanks SO MUCH for the awesome instructable. It will help me a lot as i am making a web site (

    This took me over an hour, and it's not much, but I'm real pleased with it.

    For some reason I cant post the actual image, so just click this link:
    If THAT doesnt work, just go to my site and look at Issue 3 on the online store.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made an account just so I could post this... It took me over an hour, and it's not much, but I'm real pleased with it. Thanks SO MUCH for this awesome instructable! I'm going to use it alot when making my website,


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made an account just so I could post this... took me over an hour, but I'm really pleased with it. Thanks SO MUCH for this awesome instructable! It will really help when I'm making stuff on my website,

    Capt. Kidd

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Heres a really short one i made. it's really simple, with two frames. I'll make a better one later, this is just an experiment.