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Chapter 27. Multimedia > Adding a GIF Animation

Adding a GIF Animation

Remember when you got your first paperback dictionary as a kid? The first thing I did with mine (it was 1977) was create flip movies of X-wing and TIE fighters battling in the margins. I would draw one small picture in the right margin of the first page; draw another picture just like it but moved up or down slightly on the next page; and so on for several dozen pages. When I flipped through the pages of the dictionary, I had my movie of the X-wing swooping in and destroying the TIE fighter.

The Graphic Interchange Format—GIF, to its friends—allows you to set up your own flip-book animation. Although the tools, the medium, and the method of distribution have radically changed since my dictionary flip book, the technique for creating animation is pretty much the same: You draw a picture on one layer, draw the same picture on the next layer but move it just slightly, and so on. When you play back these images, the object appears to be moving.


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