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