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What is a GIF? [ Complete Overview ]

What is a GIF?: Graphics Interchange Format, better known by the acronym GIF, is a raster image format created back in 1987. Despite the fact that the GIF format is very old and many attempts to replace it with new solutions, this format still continues to occupy its niche while remaining a rather popular solution. The GIF format is capable of storing 8 bits per pixel for a particular image. Thus the color palette of a particular GIF image is limited to 256 colors. That is why the quality of GIF images leaves much to be desired, and in the world of Retina and high-resolution screens and excellent color rendering often looks like a relic of the past. GIF format also supports animations. The palette of each frame of the animation is also limited to a limit of 256 colors. The limitations of the color palette make using the GIF format completely unsuitable for photo images. At the same time, a small number of colors are great for images of graphics resources that are used when building a website. In addition, the ability to support animated images, the support of which for 30 years has introduced most browsers make this format quite attractive.

What is a GIF? [ Complete Overview ]

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Interesting facts about GIF

In particular, GIF is a popular format for logos. Compression without loss of quality gives him a serious advantage in certain situations. GIF is well suited for use in sprites in the creation of computer games. GIF is also good for showing a short animation or part of a video clip in case the resolution and quality of the image are not crucial. The undoubted advantage of GIF is the fact that all browsers support GIF animation and at the moment it is the easiest way to play the animation on the page. All alternative methods will require much more effort. For example, to add a video to a page instead of a GIF animation, you will need to convert it into the appropriate format supported by a specific browser.

Transparent pixel is another interesting way to use GIF. The fact is that one of the colors in the GIF image palette can be a transparent color and almost all implementations support it. A transparent pixel is usually a 1×1 pixel image with a transparent color. It is very often used for tracking user behavior on a website or in page layout. To create a logo or complex animations, specialized software is used. At the same time, modern technology allows you to create high-quality animations online directly from fragments of YouTube videos. Come up with interesting stories, create and share the results with your friends!

The format of raster graphics GIF can rightfully be called a technological relic since the GIF format originates from the old eighties of the last century. A sort of digital crocodile, the same age as dinosaurs, successfully winning the struggle for existence with more modern developments. For example, the relatively new technology of Flash software video is almost on the verge of extinction and is preparing to become the next entry in the Red Book, and GIF is becoming increasingly popular, including among ordinary users.

Graphics Interchange Format Translated as “graphics format for exchanges.” The need for this type of image packaging was due to the lack of standardization in computer technology. But this type of picture files without any problems was read by machines from any manufacturers. Computers were huge, like dinosaurs and fed on vegetable food too – punched tapes and punched cards.

None of today’s users already knows what a punch card is, but almost everyone has a GIF on their desktop as an animated screensaver.

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Scope of GIF-animation

In the gif format, it is very convenient to create self-moving pictures from the category of those that you can look at infinitely.

  • Flowing water
  • Burning fire
  • Working people.

Technologically animated gifs are a sequence of static pictures – just like frames in cartoons or movies.

Ten years ago, animated hats for websites and blogs were in trend. Then it turned out that this continuous flickering somewhat annoys the target audience. As a last resort, non-cyclical animation is applied with just one playback when the web page is loaded, and then the picture stops so as not to distract the visitor from comfortable consumption of useful content.

Nevertheless, the animation is still used in advertising banners – in order to attract the attention of consumers to commercial offers.

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GIF in content marketing

In the site hats and advertising, hyphae are less used, but it turned out that animated images are very effective as an element of content as a decoration and to enhance textual information. Users eagerly put Huskies and share images like a running cheetah, an internal combustion engine in a working cycle.

Quite visually it turns out – people like and easier to understand the meaning of the described technologies, processes, events, natural phenomena.

Such gifs are used with great success in business presentations and to revitalize lectures in the educational process. Moving star charts, sunrises, and sunsets on foreign planets look impressive. Well, or how robots in deserted workshops earn dividends for investors.

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Advantages and disadvantages of the graphics format GIF

There are 256 colors in the arsenal of hyphae, and in this respect, JPEG has tremendous advantages – after all, digital photos can have millions of colors and shades.

But in GIF, an original and very effective file compression system is applied, which allows you to restore images completely without a loss of insufficient quality. That for the mentioned JPEG is a big problem.

The compression algorithm of Lempel, Ziva, and Welch was invented even earlier – generally in the late seventies, in the midst of a stagnant period.

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GIF-art and Cinemagraphs

Creative users quickly realized that gifs can be successfully used in folk art. This is how Cinemagraph appeared – videos converted to GIF format and representing some kind of emotionally saturated moving picture.

  • Burning embers of the grill, blazing fire in the fireplace.
  • Infinitely chasing his tail cat.
  • Basketball player, over and over again, in a beautiful jump, punching the ball into the basket.

And this was not the case. Gradually professional artists paid attention to this creative form.

This is how a new direction of modern art appeared – GIF-ART. In the glorious city of New York, the Gif-art gallery is permanently functioning, and it is very popular with Americans and tourists.

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Mobile GIF animation for all

Probably not everyone is up to date, but any user can join the art of gif art and sinegravraphy.

Just go to Google Play and download from there one of the mobile apps that automatically convert videos to gifs and you can instantly share with friends on social networks.

For example, your pet is doing something cool. Here you take it on the camera of your smartphone and convert it into a gif. With a good storyline, you can get millions of likes and become famous around the world.

Alternatively, you can take any video or even a movie, TV series and convert it with the help of an online converter to GIF. Cut the most spectacular pieces, so you don’t even need a video camera.