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Old 04-23-2003, 11:24 PM   #1
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attention animated GIF creators

Does anyone know how to get decent-quality GIF images without using PhotoShop? When I save them to GIF format from JPEG format, I lose way too much color info. I have seen a lot of sigs with some great-quality animations. Most of those GIFs were probably created in PhotoShop, but I'm hoping there's someone who knows how to do this without that program.



*sits back and waits*
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:33 PM   #2
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I am already beginning to think this is hopeless...
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:42 PM   #3
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what are you using now?
are there settings for gifs? Like, can you set it for more colors or something?
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:46 PM   #4
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Re: attention animated GIF creators

Quote:
Originally posted by irelandwhispers
Does anyone know how to get decent-quality GIF images without using PhotoShop? When I save them to GIF format from JPEG format, I lose way too much color info. I have seen a lot of sigs with some great-quality animations. Most of those GIFs were probably created in PhotoShop, but I'm hoping there's someone who knows how to do this without that program.



*sits back and waits*
I start with TIFF images, and drop those into Jasc's Animation Shop. From there I can edit them quite a bit (crop them, resize them, etc.) When I go to save them, you get like, 3 or 4 choices for quality, and I just play around to see which setting will give the best quality at the lowest possible size.

Does that make sense?
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:52 PM   #5
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I'm not sure. I have MS Paint, Micrografx Windows Draw, and PhotoImpression. PhotoImpression can't edit GIFs, but I could use it to edit the JPEG colors somehow before I save it as a GIF if that's what I need to do. I just need a little bit of guidance with this. Maybe a clearly-written web site might help, but I don't know much about this kind of stuff. When I work with software, I just go in and tweak stuff and I don't always pay attention to the technical terms for what I'm doing.
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:54 PM   #6
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Re: Re: attention animated GIF creators

Quote:
Originally posted by erised


I start with TIFF images, and drop those into Jasc's Animation Shop. From there I can edit them quite a bit (crop them, resize them, etc.) When I go to save them, you get like, 3 or 4 choices for quality, and I just play around to see which setting will give the best quality at the lowest possible size.

Does that make sense?
Jasc's Animation Shop...?

*runs to Google.com*
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:55 PM   #7
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It's Paint Shop, not PhotoShop! My brain is dysfunctional. ARGH! I don't have it, and I can't get it.

*edit: See what I mean? I don't even know the names of the dumb ol' programs even though I know exactly what I'm talking about.

Where in the world did I come up with PhotoShop? What the heck is that?

*edit again: Photoshop is the Adobe program. Whew. I'm not completely crazy...yet.

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Old 04-24-2003, 12:04 AM   #8
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Flaming June was using a free GIF generator that she downloaded from the web...maybe she could tell you if it was any good or not. I forget what it was called... I think she posted the name in the most recent Freestylin' Friday thread...

Me, personally, I always try to work with TIFFs until I have to use JPGs. The JPG format is a lossy format, which means everytime you save a JPG image, you lose a bit of its quality. So, in a nutshell, if you keep saving certain JPGs over and over and over while you're fine-tuning your gif, you're losing image quality before you even save and compress it into a GIF.

Btw, Paint Shop Pro is the next best thing to having Photoshop, which is probably why you got the two confused
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:06 AM   #9
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What program do you use to actually make your GIFs?
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by erised
Flaming June was using a free GIF generator that she downloaded from the web...maybe she could tell you if it was any good or not. I forget what it was called... I think she posted the name in the most recent Freestylin' Friday thread...

Me, personally, I always try to work with TIFFs until I have to use JPGs. The JPG format is a lossy format, which means everytime you save a JPG image, you lose a bit of its quality. So, in a nutshell, if you keep saving certain JPGs over and over and over while you're fine-tuning your gif, you're losing image quality before you even save and compress it into a GIF.

Btw, Paint Shop Pro is the next best thing to having Photoshop, which is probably why you got the two confused
You mean I have to wade through the Edge weekend thread to find it?

Thanks for the info about TIFFs...I'll see if my programs can convert the JPEGs to TIFFs.

I never resave JPEGs...if I mess something up, I just delete it and go back and get the original, and then save it as something else anyway. If I get it converted from a JPEG to a TIFF, and then convert it to GIF...will the image quality be any better than if I were to save it from a JPEG to a GIF?

I feel dizzy.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by erised
What program do you use to actually make your GIFs?
Just the basic ol' Microsoft GIF Animator. I use a web-based GIF editor, too. I can't think of the name. I don't need anything fancy once I get my pics saved to GIF format.

I'd just like to be able to do something other than cartoony-looking GIFs. I'm jealous of all those awesome high-quality animations from stills.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by irelandwhispers


You mean I have to wade through the Edge weekend thread to find it?


Hey, blame the Edge girls for that, not me!

J/K Edge Girls!

Quote:
If I get it converted from a JPEG to a TIFF, and then convert it to GIF...will the image quality be any better than if I were to save it from a JPEG to a GIF?
Only if you plan on editing it.

This might be more info than you need, but on one gif i made, I used a photo editing program to *erase* part of Bono's head in a few frames cuz it started to come into the shot and was ruining the *flow* of the gif... in a case like that, if you're altering the frames/images and saving them a few times before actually making the gif, you might want to work with TIFFs over JPGs, but if you're dropping the original image file in as part of a gif and saving it only once...that is, saving it only when you save it as a gif.. then that original JPG should work just fine.

Does that make sense?
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by erised




Hey, blame the Edge girls for that, not me!

J/K Edge Girls!









I'm confused. I've been reading this thread to help me decide if I really want to get involved in all of this stuff. I want to make my own gifs but all of your talk is going way over my head

I hope it's not as hard to do this stuff as I think it is. I'm not very well versed in computer talk.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by irelandwhispers


Just the basic ol' Microsoft GIF Animator. I use a web-based GIF editor, too. I can't think of the name. I don't need anything fancy once I get my pics saved to GIF format.

I'd just like to be able to do something other than cartoony-looking GIFs. I'm jealous of all those awesome high-quality animations from stills.
I've never used that... I'll have to see if I have it on my puter.

My advice would be to start with the best possible image... the clearest you can find.

I think the area where you're running into trouble is the compression of your gifs. If I compress my gifs too much, they'll start to look "cartoony" too... so that's when I usually uncompress and go back and make the gif physically smaller in size so that I won't have to compress it as much, ya know? I prefer making physically smaller, high quality looking gifs than physically larger, cartoony looking gifs.

Let me see if I can find some info on Microsoft gif animator, because I think the compression issue is where you're running into your concern.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by erised


Only if you plan on editing it.

This might be more info than you need, but on one gif i made, I used a photo editing program to *erase* part of Bono's head in a few frames cuz it started to come into the shot and was ruining the *flow* of the gif... in a case like that, if you're altering the frames/images and saving them a few times before actually making the gif, you might want to work with TIFFs over JPGs, but if you're dropping the original image file in as part of a gif and saving it only once...that is, saving it only when you save it as a gif.. then that original JPG should work just fine.

Does that make sense?
Yeah, I think so, but the first time I save it as a GIF (from the original JPEG), I'm losing quite a bit of color info. I didn't expect to lose so much info.

Now that I think about it, I shrunk the JPEG I was working with before saving it. Maybe that's my problem. I'll have to play with it some other time since I've got some studying to do for my Thursday and Friday classes. I'm looking forward to the weekend!


I'm pretty sure Bono wasn't playing around with all this junk on the computer...he doesn't have the look of consternation on his face that I do.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by arw9797









I'm confused. I've been reading this thread to help me decide if I really want to get involved in all of this stuff. I want to make my own gifs but all of your talk is going way over my head

I hope it's not as hard to do this stuff as I think it is. I'm not very well versed in computer talk.
It's really not hard at all. I've just always used Animation Shop, which has a handy-dandy "animation wizard" which makes gif-making super easy. I'm not familiar with some of the other programs and how they work in making gifs.

And, I'm sorry... I can talk "tech talk" sometimes cuz I've taken so many classes on some of this stuff... so just tell me to talk English when I start doing that!
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by irelandwhispers


Yeah, I think so, but the first time I save it as a GIF (from the original JPEG), I'm losing quite a bit of color info. I didn't expect to lose so much info.

Now that I think about it, I shrunk the JPEG I was working with before saving it. Maybe that's my problem.
it sounds like you need to adjust your gif compression settings, if you can do that. it sounds like the program is automatically compressing it quite a bit... if you can find a preferences area where you can select less compression, it might solve your problem.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by erised


I've never used that... I'll have to see if I have it on my puter.

My advice would be to start with the best possible image... the clearest you can find.

I think the area where you're running into trouble is the compression of your gifs. If I compress my gifs too much, they'll start to look "cartoony" too... so that's when I usually uncompress and go back and make the gif physically smaller in size so that I won't have to compress it as much, ya know? I prefer making physically smaller, high quality looking gifs than physically larger, cartoony looking gifs.

Let me see if I can find some info on Microsoft gif animator, because I think the compression issue is where you're running into your concern.
No, I'm having problems with the original conversion into GIF. The actual animation of the GIFs is a breeze. No problems with Microsoft GIF Animator. (Except that it won't let me choose a filename for my GIF, it just saves it over the first frame of my GIF, so I have to keep some extra copies on my hard drive.)

arw9797, it's not too hard to do this stuff if you have powerful enough software. The better software you have, the easier it is. The only good software I have is what I already own and whatever free stuff I can get off the web. The most important thing is wanting to learn how to do this stuff. If you just want the finished product, you're better off asking other people to make them for you.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:38 AM   #19
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It gives me options to choose desired resolution, number of colors in the image (16 million, 256, or 16), and method for representing the colors (smoothed or normal). I have no clue which settings to use. I've tried a few different combos, but haven't quite figured out which direction to go.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:41 AM   #20
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Dude! I think the resaving thing was my problem. I must have been shrinking my JPEGs and then saving them as smaller JPEGs before conversion. Thanks a lot.

If I resave GIFs, will I have the same problem? Will I always have to work with them in TIFF format and then leave the GIFs alone after the conversin?
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