For the holidays this year, forget gifts! It’s time to send your friends an environmentally-friendly, handmade GIF instead! What’s a GIF, you ask? Technically, it’s stands for Graphics Interchange Format (hence GIF – pronounced with either a hard or soft G). GIFs are a little bit like digital flip books that are on a continuous loop. They are made by layering images together and then using a program to show these images in rapid succession, on a loop, so they look like a little video snippet. Our good friend Frosty is showing off all of his GIF-fy goodness below.
GIF was just named the Oxford Dictionary’s USA Word of the Year - a designation given to a new word that’s become super-popular in a particular language. According to Oxford, GIF is used as both a noun and a verb, “to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event): he GIFed the highlights of the debate. If you want a more technical description, head over to Wikipedia, where they go into more detail about fun things like compression and code length.
If you want to start making, we’ve provided some great resources below to get you going. As it turns out, GIF’s are not only cool, they’re also super-easy to make!
This week’s [color]Challenge[/color] is to make a fab holiday GIF that you can send as a card to friends and family!
3 Resources to Get You GIF-Making:
1. The NYPL Labs has created a cool Sterogranimator that takes the same photo, adds color layers, and turns it into a GIF to create a super-cool 3D image. This is the easiest way to create a GIF–all you need to do is pick the image that you like from their archives, save it, and then it’s ready to share with all of your friends!
2. The lovely ladies at Skillcrush have created a super-simple tutorial that you can use if you’ve got access to Photoshop (which you can also download for a free 30-day trial…ask your parents first!). Who doesn’t love GIF’s with puppies??
3. Brit + Co has a great list of apps that you can use to make GIF-making super-easy and fun.
4. Find some great images. Flickr has a great list of Creative Commons photographs where you can find beautiful new and vintage photographs to use in your projects.
The last step in your GIF-giving extravaganza this year is to share it! You can copy and save a GIF just like a regular photo and stick it right in an email to send to family and friends!
Need a little bit more help? Click here for a super-quick introduction to Photoshop! So, get GIF-fing!