Now that I’m freelancing I use lots of my spare time for thinking about self-marketing and stuff. I want to become einfachanimation.de a bit more famous or popular or whatever, but at least more attractive. Anyway, I thought it would be lovely to re-design its header and insert an animation there because, well, it’s simply about animation. That’s why I started to play around with software again. I don’t like Flash so much because it offers no free standards and there are those annoying websites full of flash animation which need a beeping long time for loading even with a broadband connection. It seems to be a kind of anachronism to go back to animated .gifs. Maybe it is. But as long as I am not familiar with Canvas I’d like to give it a try.
Sometimes I just miss technical archievements and so it happened that I had never made an animated gif before. I asked Aunt Google for a tutorial on animated gifs in Photoshop and I found a nice one through which I digged yesterday. It was very easy and I followed the instructions straightly. So, here is my little rocket:
Today I tried something more fancy and to do that I wanted to use the transformation tool to change my character’s size. But: if I try to transform a group or layer, it’ll be transformed in every frame of the animation where I used an instance of the original layer in. So I had to adjust or better, design every single layer containing transformation. Which is nearly as much work to do as in any other 2D animation. But it was great fun. I guess if I would get tired of animation, I already had. The walk animation is a bit crappy but apart from that I just like having all the resources of Photoshop.
Though gif files are of very small size, they’d get bigger and bigger the more fancy your design is. Gifs are limited to a maximum amout of 256 colours but if you’re playing around with the options of the “save for web” dialogue you’ll see how it works. They’re tiny if you only use black and white or a few colours and it depends heavily (as it seems) on how many frames the animation consists of. My little rocket is made of fifteen frames with 256 colours and 100% Dithering, while Mr Männeken is made of 43 frames and 256 colours and 100% Dithering. The size of the canvas of Mr Männeken is twice the size of the small rocket. The rocket is 48 KB, Mr Männeken almost 250 KB. By the way, a lot of software is capable of saving images as gif. A nice (and free) alternative to Photoshop is Gimp.