How to make an animated GIF image

Updated: 05/02/2021 by Computer Hope

Creating an animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), as shown in the example below, requires an image editor with this extra ability. On this page, we explain how to create an animated image online and in Photobie, an excellent free image editor with animation capabilities.

Computer Hope animated GIF

Important things to know

Before following the steps involved in creating an animated image, it's important to keep the below things in mind.

  1. The completed animated image must always be a .GIF image. .JPG or .JPEG images do not support animation.
  2. An animated image is comprised of multiple images. Each of these images must be the same size, in terms of width and height.
  3. The image should not exceed 256 colors.
  4. Internet browsers can be set to not display the animation for an animated image. If disabled, the visitor would only see the starting frame and not all the frames that make up the animated image.

Creating an animated image online

Before creating an animated image online, you must first have each of the image frames for the animated image you want to use. If you have not yet done the image frames, we suggest you first create all the image frames you want to use in the final animated image. If you do not have an image editor on your computer, you can use one of the programs listed on the page below.

After images are created, visit Make A Gif. Click the "Pictures to GIF" option on the page's menu bar near the top, and upload each of the images to the web page. Follow the steps to create the animated GIF file.

Creating an animated image using Photobie

  1. Download and install Photobie to your computer.
  2. Once the program is installed, open the program, then open each of the images you want to use in your animated image.
  3. Select one picture for the starting frame of the animated image, then select the image for the next frame. Click Region and then Select whole image region, or press Ctrl+A to select the complete image.
  4. Click Edit and then Copy, or press Ctrl+C to copy the image.
  5. Select the picture you determined to be your starting frame earlier. Click Edit and then Paste as new layer, or press Ctrl+V to paste the image.
  6. Once done, there is a new layer in the starting frame. Repeat steps 3-5 for each additional image (frame) you want to use in the animated image.
  7. Once all images are added as layers in the starting image, click GIF_Animation and then Animation Control Panel.
  8. In the Animation Control Panel, each layer is displayed. If you do not see the layers, click the green arrows to refresh the image view. Clicking the green box with a play triangle in it plays the animation. If it's going too fast, select one of the frames and increase the millisecond delay time.
  9. Once the animation looks good to you, click the blue diskette icon to save the animation as an animated image.