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GIF Animation Software

Software for Creating Animated GIFs

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There are many methods for adding animation to your images. For more in-depth coverage of animation in general, you'll want to visit the Animation site here at About.com. In this feature, I will be focusing on GIF89a animations.

Probably the most common form of animation today is GIF89a animation that you find on Web pages. These animations are created by stringing together various still images to give the illusion of motion, similar to the flipbook comic strips you may have played with as a child. GIF89a animations are very popular on the Web because virtually any Web browser today is capable of displaying these images with no additional plug-ins or controls.

There are many inexpensive software programs for creating GIF animations. If you're just starting out, you might want to take a look at some of the freeware or shareware programs available on the Web.

There's a good chance you may already have software for creating animated GIFs. Many of the popular image editors and graphics suites have built-in functionality for creating and assembling animations. ImageReady (bundled with Photoshop) has GIF animation capability, the CorelDRAW suite has a "create movie" function that will export animation to the GIF98a format, Paint Shop Pro includes Animation Shop, and Ulead PhotoImpact comes with GIF Animator.

In addition, there are other types of software that can export to GIF89a. Many of the 3D text effect and logo programs such as Xara 3D and Ulead's Cool 3D enable you to export animations for the web. There are also add-on programs that function within other software to add animation capabilities.

Once you have an animation program, you'll want to explore some of the animation tutorials around the Web.

Happy animating!

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