Ok, Jim asked me to up the game, so I am going to get more particular about frame selection for my animated GIFs. We are working on the ds106 kickstarter awards for people who requested an animated GIF in their honor. I’ve got the task to do the one for Boone Gorges, who requested something “bad ass”.

My first neuron went to maybe something from Mad Max, which I might still do, or maybe Tyler Durden who was the baddest because he wasn’t…. never mind. I went to Samuel J as Jules Winfield, those mutton chop sideburns quoting Ezekiel…

I’m really happy with this one! Jules just keeps ranting, but the little hand/head motion of the scared kid in the foreground make it complete (IMHO). Plus, by doing these by hand, working with your fingers in the mud and not just using some fricking iPhone app, it comes in at 526k, almost svelte, lean, mean…

Jules: [Jules shoots the man on the couch] I’m sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What’s the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort. What does Marsellus Wallace look like?
Brett: What?
Jules: What country are you from?
Brett: What? What? Wh – ?
Jules: “What” ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of. They speak English in What?
Brett: What?
Jules: English, motherfucker, do you speak it?
Brett: Yes! Yes!
Jules: Then you know what I’m sayin’!
Brett: Yes!
Jules: Describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like!
Brett: What?
Jules: Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!

This was the scene I plucked from

And I tried to zero in on a part where the camer had no movement, of which there were a lot fo short cuts, but of course, waving the gun and mouthing off fit. I grabbed the clip as mp4 (I use PwnYouTube learned it from Tim Owens), and opened it in MPEG Streal Clip. I use the selectors for the in and out point of the small scene I want, clip it, and then slowly move the slider to different scenes and saved them as frames.

In GIMP I use the Open as Layers option, and under the Filters-Animation menu is Playback so you can see how it flips. This one worked well as I saw nothing I needed to nudge. I did convert the image to Indexed (Image-Mode-Indexed) before the saving as a GIF and enabled the dithering option).

The one thing you have to play with as an animation is the time between frames- I first did 190 milliseconds but it was too slow, so I dropped it to 120.

This one worked well as full frames; the next one I want to see if I can isolate things like eye movement. I am not sure how this goes down in GIMP- I imagine I will have to make a regular background layer, and then select just the parts I want to move and merge to copies of this layer.

Yes, but just making the GIF does that Gaiman “Just Make Art” feeling flow.

Now I am hankering for a Royale With Cheese.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Awesome Alan.

    I’ve been wondering about flipping through the layers and hadn’t discovered it until your post. Thanks for the Filters-Animation tip. I will use it!

    Jim did a handy screencast tutorial on using layer masks to isolate motion on a GIF. The scene was from a car dashboard with blinking lights or something. It’s a handy technique – only downside is that the mask has to be applied manually layer by layer (or thus spaketh Bava on the matter).

    Keep up the good work. There are good animated GIFs to be made made without Photoshop after all.

    1. That poster is killer! I think it’s time to ratchet up to what mbs is doing.

      And thanks cause I know you are not a pulp fan.

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