No Animated Gifs? You Must Be Lame… Again

If you have a computer machine that’s connected to the interweb this week you have probably been sent a few messages from excited web enthusiasts containing links to compilations of subtly animated gifs. Some of them are very nicely done. Some less so. They generally involve pseudo-cinematic scenes looping at, gasp, reasonable frame-rates. The art in this approach to gif-crafting is in carefully compositing the discrete object in motion, and returning it to its start position gracefully such that the loop can repeat near seamlessly.

Red Sky gif circa 1997

Red Sky Interactive: Animated Gif, circa 1997

It’s an old trick. And yet I have just received a dozen of these messages.

Anecdotally, it would appear that animated gifs are weirdly blipping the viral radar this week. At least for certain web developers eager to do something “cool”. Most of the messages I received included suggestions that it would be so cool to “add this to our site(s)!”

Whoa whoa whoa. Guys, I can’t be the only one in the room old enough to remember the last time people hyperventilated up the animated gif flagpole, am I? It was around 1997, and your messages were worded exactly the same way. “We should totally do this on our site – it’s so cool.” Only back then you were talking about jerky rotating logos and offers that blinked. Now you’re talking about hair blowing in the wind, and with all due respect – it’s the same thing.

News flash: we could do every bit of this subtle gif animation back in the 90s. And some did. Technical limitations considered. But like so many Continue reading