What’s an animated GIF?

A GIF is an image encoded in a graphic interchange format (GIF), which contains a number of images or frames in a single file and is described by its own graphic control extension. The frames are presented in a specific order in order to convey animation.


Take a look at these:

This is a simple gif- it has 4 or 5 pictures set in a row moving sequentially through with about .02 of a second between each photo to which the human eye blends together into a moving picture.  Then the sequencer is set on repeat.


Source Keller

This gif has many more frames (or pictures) then the above gif.  Please notice that the Artis has not only made the arm move , but the head is moving as well.





Image source by kevin weir

How many Picture do you think make up this gif?


Image source Bill-Domonkos

The Artist is having a lot of fun in this piece.  But wow!  It is complex.  All ‘do-able’ is you know photoshop and can draw a bit.


Image source kevin-weir

This one is just weird!!!  But How did the Artist make the mouth and tungs move a different speeds?

Image source

Take a look at the use of Background light and shadows in this gif.  A good background really makes for a good project!

Image source

Whats happening here?


Image source

WHat’s going on here?

Image source

I love the 3D space that the Artist has created by the shadow!

Image source

Simple yet effective!

Image source

I love this one… it is VERY simple.  Yet everything works SOOO well together!

Image source

The gum moves so smoothly as it blows up its hard to tell its a gif… But it is!

By Rosemary



TIP: For cinematography to look creative and professional, only show subtle movement that’s easily detected. If you allow too much movement, it ruins the looped effect.

Please see this article on the London based Arts collective 15 Folds to see more GIFS



There are a couple different assignments:

Project 1.

  • Simply GIF to learn how to use the program and conceive an idea that is cyclical in nature and will work for this type of project.
  • By the end of class  Post results to teams.
  • Simple like a gif of you pencil spinning on your desk, or your closed fist showing its fingers popping up sequentially then down again: repeat.  0,1,2,3,4,3,2,1, ad infinitum.

Project 2.

  • Get your idea.
  • Write a paragraph about it. (Post to Teams Assignment)
  • Storyboard your idea on paper- (take a pic and Post to Teams Assignment)
  • Take or find source material image/s (Post to teams)
  • Work!
  • Submit the finished Gif to teams.



Here is a very good, and simply, CS4 tutorial

We can also take a video on your phone/camera and dump the individual frames into photoshop…and then play!


Also for you;

For a guide to making your own cinematography, follow this tutorial.

Here is an On-Line GIF maker


Detailed Criteria

  • A smooth Gif
  • Think circular
  • Think Repeat


Source Keller

Project expectations per course/grade

If you are in G8 then all I expect is a simple photo-based gif

  • 8-16 frames

If you are in G9-12 and this is the first time you have taken this course then my expectations are a bit higher.

  • Photo or drawing based gif in which background is considered and there is quite a bit of detail
  • 12-36 frames

If you have taken one year of MA then my expectations are even higher:

  • Photo or drawing based gif in which background is considered and there is a lot of detail.
  • 24-104 frames
  • Background music that you have made

For the complex gif, I want some thought and effort.  There are tons of tutorials online like this one.

For a guide to making your own Photoshopped gif’s, follow this tutorial.