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Chapter 8. Animation in a GIF > Characteristics of GIF89a

Characteristics of GIF89a

To really master animation with GIF files, you need to thoroughly understand the features supported by the file format. Some features are supported by some GIF animation programs; others aren't. Often, though, you can simply build a GIF animation in one program, save it, open it in another program, and fine-tune it for Web delivery. This approach allows you to create animations with your creative tool of choice and optimize them for delivery online. In the following section, I describe the features supported by the GIF file format and explain how these features translate in browsers.

Frame-at-a-Time Delivery

Although GIF files contain embedded timing information, browsers generally download and display GIFs one frame at a time and then play them through again at full speed if the animation is set for looping playback.


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