To be able to learn how to make a good looking GIF, all you need is a program that is capable of producing 16-color GIF images. MGI Photostudio 8 is a best example, and that is what I'm using to make the GIFs. If you don't have such program, try to find a progrma containing "Increase/Decrease Colors (2, 15, 256, 1.6 million), Zooming tools, and GIFs capabilities (including background).
This is a 16-color GIF of Usagi(Serena). What's the differences between GIF, JPG and BMP?
--BMP format records every pixels ( in any 1.6 million colors) of a
picture without distorting it. BMP is a best tool for computer coloring
the pictures. All of my computer colored pictures started as BMPs before
they get saved as either GIF or JPG. The downsides are that BMP has the
highest memory cost of any picture formats, cannot produce transparent
background, and requires JAVA in order to make the pictures show up on
the browsers. For example: the size of the BMP version of Usagi (Serena)
GIF is 7.16 K (uncompressed)
--JPG (JPEG) format compresses the picture to form a low-memory picture at a desired quality. This format is best used on the large pictures. The pictures saved as JPG require memory than those saved as BMPs. Lower quality means lower memory cost, but the picture will look more distorted. Let's say that I save this picture of Usagi (Serena) as a JPG at various qualities as listed here:
95% quality, memory size: 2.91K
75% quality, memory size: 1.75K
50% quality, memory size: 1.41K
Notice how the picture of Serena get distorted when saved at lower quality. You also can notice that JPG cannot make the background be transparent. For some reasons, the red colors are tend to be more distorted than any other colors at the same quality.
--GIF format records every pixels in 2, 16 or 256 different colors (each have different memory costs) as shown below:
memory size 1.45K
16-color format, memory size 0.653K
2-color format, memory size, 0.283K
Compare the memory size of 16-color GIF to those
of JPG and BMP, and you can notice that the GIF is much smaller than other
formats. Smaller the memory size of the picture, faster it'll load on any
The downsides are that if a picture has a number of colors that exceeds 256 colors, the picture will lose some colors when it is saved as a 256-color GIF. Look at what happened to the GIF of Usagi (Serena) when it was saved as 2-color GIF. Also, it is common for the large JPG pictures to require less memory than the large 256-color GIF pictures. The GIF's biggest advantages are that they support animation and transparent backgrounds.
Because of the fact that we use different art programs,
I will demonstrate how I change the clothes of Serena (Usagi) by using
my MGI Photostudio (Click
on to see what it looks like). I hope that you will be able to follow
my suit. If something comes up, and you need to save a unfinished GIF,
just save it as a BMP WITHOUT compression (may will spoil the GIF).
To learn by following my demonstration, please save the Prototype GIFs (bald ones) and GIF of Usagi (Serena) below to your computer so you can play with them. Just right-click the mouse directly on the GIFs, and use "Save As" command.
|Let's Begin the Demonstration|