Advantages of Animated GIFs
Animated GIF refers to Graphics Interchange Format. An animated GIF is mainly found in web pages as fading, spinning, or blinking images (Niederst, 2003). A GIF animation denotes a file that has a blend of many frames or images, which are arranged in a pattern that depicts movement. The illusion of movement occurs when the GIF file is encoded, which occurs as a sequential loop in the eyes of the viewer. Most animated gifs are mainly played as a continuous loop or timed sequence loop. Animated GIFs have become very popular today because they are easy to create and can run on almost all browsers without requiring plug-ins. The common advantages of animated GIFs are:
Similar to the static GIFs, Animated GIFs contains transparency backgrounds. This allows the user to put transparency for every frame or image within an animation. Usually, the transparency parts are created from white or black pixels, or a color selected from the frame with eyedropper equipment. Prior images will be displayed via the transparent region of a later image. The background color of the browsers can show through when the background image is made transparent (Niederst, 2003). One only needs to properly set frame transparency using the disposal technique. Sometimes the transparent parts of the original GIFs may appear opaque when the animated file is opened in an animation utility or browser, but can be mitigated by resetting the transparency areas (Dubost, 2003). The transparency features help in giving a more professional or appealing view to a given website having animated GIF over a flexible background.
Small File Size
Bandwidth refers to the rate at which data is transferred from a server to a web browser. Usually, the bandwidth in most websites and publications is limited. Compared to other file formats, animated gifs are relatively smaller (Dubost, 2003). The smaller size means that they need limited storage space, can load faster, shared easily, and still maintain a quality look. Web sites with multiple animations and images tend to have large file sizes, which leads to delayed loading or data transfer.
Easy to make
Most of the GIF generation software or tools are free. Animated GIFs can be easily made using Macromedia Fireworks and web graphic tools such as Adobe Image Ready software. These tools allow the user to make and save the GIFs at the same place. The animation utility tools also allow for easy image generation (Connectusfund, 2015). Nevertheless, one can still create animated gifs by using other stand-alone image generation utilities. The standalone tools allow the user to take an existing image and convert them into a single frame (Bailey, 2014). The animated GIFs tools offer an easy to use interface for looping and specifying period of each image or frame. Some of the GIF animation tools also have effective optimization capabilities including the transition options free.
Easier and better way of conveying the message
Animated GIFs can show things or describe a situation in a clearer manner than other gifs because they can show movements and emotions, which may not be possible when using a static image. The movement feature is useful in creating advert and tutorial animations (Niederst, 2003). This is also because animated GIF files can appeal to various audiences, especially the younger people who are amused by the animations.
Appealing and professional look
Animated GIFS are usually made of color palettes of up to over 250 colors, which enhance the appearance of the image (Niederst, 2003). Regardless that each image can carry its own color palette, a global palette is often recommended to ensure clearer display of the entire animation, especially for older browsers. Using a darker color palette helps to reduce the size of the GIF file. Also, using monochromatic frame or the color overlay method help to cut the size of the animation.
An animated GIF allows the user to specify the sequence or the duration the GIF can repeat itself such as forever, zero, or a given number (Niederst, 2003). Some GIFs and even browsers could not support a certain number of loops. Some only support the first image; whiles others only support the last frame. However, the frame in animated GIFs can make sequential moves for multiple times by incorporating looping in the GIF file, without having much effect on the file size.
A characteristic of all GIFs, animated GIFs can be interlaced to show a set of passes such as beginning blocky or faded and ending clear (Niederst, 2003). This is achieved by setting the interlacing feature as off or no since each image appears on the screen for a limited period.
Lastly, animated GIFs allows a single graphic file to have multiple backgrounds that separate images, which when displayed at a short period create the illusion of change or movement over time. All the images are put in one file together with set features that determine how they should appear in the browser. The animated GIF can be controlled on the times the sequence repeats or does not, the image delay, the transparent areas, whether the frame is interlaced, and the disposal method.
Bailey, S. (2014). Advantages and Disadvantages of GIF Images |. Retrieved from https://websitespeedexperts.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gif-images/
Connectusfund. (2015). 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Animated Gifs | ConnectUS. Retrieved from http://connectusfund.org/6-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-animated-gifs
Dubost, K. (2003). GIF or PNG? – Quality Web Tips. Retrieved from https://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/png-gif
Niederst, R. J. (2003). Learning web design. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly & Associates.