Digital Tools: The Art of the GIF


I used one of my favorite tiles for the Gif above. What I really became interested in, and what is very evident in the Gif above, is the idea of nature contrasted with the man made. Of course, the images shown are drawn roses-and are a representation of real roses. I really enjoy watching the black lines come in and separate the blocks of roses- making the image a little bit less chaotic.

Throughout my gifs I thought about the word CHAOS a lot. I thought about nature, and the use of computer-made objects such as lines and circles. I stuck with a very limited color scheme and focused on what ideas I had.

For the roses Gif above, I ended up with only 17 images. I started with the basic tile then would add a line here and there, save then repeat. Once I made the gif the first time I did not like how the lines would come out into the blocks then simply cut back to the beginning of the gif. So I then added each layer from 17-1 backwards in Gimp so that I could get the retracting effect of the lines. This created a better flow and a Gif that didn’t make me want to fix something. Although, even now, I wish I could fix the upper left hand corner lines so that they come out from either side rather than in a already square fashion.

In my next Gif I focused on fixed points, fixed areas, and rigid lines. Below, I created a Gif with a very simple pattern and movement that would too look endless in a loop. 


I ended up with 54 layers. To make this gif I made a very precise grid. I followed the grid very carefully so that each line would be precisely positioned in each frame. Watching the gif now, I want to open Gimp and make one where lines intersect. But I do enjoy how this one turned out- although simple. Nothing is jumping around, and it reminds me of the roses gif simply beach of the patterns. Watching it, there are no surprises. 

The gif below takes from the two gifs above. I thought about CHAOS, and about very exact shapes. The precise circles are distributed in an un-perfect circle that although bothers me makes a sort of sense with the chaotic movement of the perfect circles. 


Nothing is exactly perfect in this gif, and although it bothers me. It bothers me in a good sense. Although the gif is somewhat unpredictable it is predictable in the sense that it loops over and over. The gif draws elements from both gifs above. I finished the gif with 39 layers then placed 39-1 so that it would collapse back to the original circle in the center then loop seamlessly. The gif itself has 78 layers.

The process of gif making is much more time consuming than I thought it would be, but I enjoyed creating something I am happy with. There are many many gifs I am not happy with, but the process is definitely about practicing and figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.

Author: Melissa Molina