by September 6, 2000 0 comments

This software offers you the ease of drag-n-drop in creating
GIF animations for the Web, CDs, etc. Let’s look at how to use it.

Getting familiar

GIF Animator has four major components–the toolbars, the
central work area, the Layer pane on the left, and a Palette toolbar below it.
If you’re a beginner, you can use the Animation wizard, which will guide you
in choosing the image or video files you want to
work on.

Toolbars include the standard Windows toolbar, and the
Attributes toolbar. The latter contains information and settings for each layer
in your GIF animation. Each image layer in the animation is listed in the Layer
pane. You can also select the kind of view you want of these layers–List,
Thumbnail or Filmstrip. The color palette displays the colors used in that
layer.

When you click a layer, the image it contains is displayed in
the central work area, while its attributes and settings are displayed in the
Attributes toolbar. Any of these attributes can be redefined or reconfigured,
giving you a lot of flexibility in how the image in that layer is displayed. You
can also import images into GIF Animator. These are assigned default attributes,
unless you’ve already assigned those in some other graphics program.

The effects

The Layer menu contains loads of effects that you can add to
your images, like Transition, Color Animation, Cube effect and Scrolling. From
here, you can also merge different images and make a single animation. The Video
F/X menu contains lots of Video Effects plug-ins that let you create impressive
transitions from one frame to another. You can use these to turn simple,
uneventful images into something entirely wild and new. You can also preview
your work in IE or Netscape.

One of the more powerful features of GIF Animator is its
built-in ability to super-compress animation files. You can compress the size of
image files without losing on quality. All you have to do is choose the
Optimization wizard from the File menu and it’ll guide you through the
process.

Overall, it’s a good animation tool to create snazzy
animations for the Web, or optimize existing ones by removing unnecessary frames
or adding desired effects between selected frames. The learning curve for the
package is also quite low.

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