How to create an animated GIF using GIMP software

Gif It Up Banner    2015    6    With Europeana Trove Label

The GIF IT UP challenge is back for 2015! To help you on your way to GIF superstardom, we've developed a series of tutorials and step-by-step guides on how to make a simple animated GIF, a GIF from a stereograph, and a GIF using the GIMP image editing software.


1. FIND AN IMAGE

Before making our GIF, we need to make sure the content we are animating is copyright-free. Using search services such as DigitalNZ, the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, and Trove, are easy ways to access copyright-free photographs, videos, and huge range of other material. These services will also allow you to search by usage, so you know that you are only returning results which can be changed and edited.

For example, on digitalnz.org, click the 'Open Filters' tab, and then click 'Modify' to return remixable results:

Modify


2. DOWNLOAD YOUR IMAGE

Once you've found a reusable image you'd like to work with, click through to the collection it is part of and download your selected image, then save it to your desktop.

NOTE: Take note of the attribution information too. When reposting or sharing our GIF we must include the correct attribution to the source material


3. EDIT YOUR IMAGE

Open up GIMP, and open your image from the menu under File.

Open

Create a duplicate layer from the menu under Layer.

Layer2

You should now have two layers. Your toolbox should look like so:

Layers Window

Select the Free Select Tool (lasso) from the toolbox.

Lassoo

Select the area you want to animate, making sure the ends join.

Wing Highlighted

Copy the selection using Ctrl+C. Unselect the area by right-clicking and selecting None from the Select menu.

Select None

Using the colour picker tool to get match the background colour or use the clone stamp tool paint over the area you want to change.

Colour Picker

If you are using the colour from your colour picker, select the brush tool:

Brush Tool

And colour over your selected area:

Moth2

Now paste the copied area onto your layer using CRTL+V.

Choose the Perspective tool:

Perspective Tool

Slightly adjust the image to distort it and select Transform:

Transform Wing

Right click and select Layer, then click Anchor Layer.


4. ANIMATE YOUR IMAGE

Repeat above steps for as many elements as you like. View the animation by selecting filters from the menu, then Animation and then Playback. Voila! Here is your GIF.

Moths

Source material: Internet Archive, page 716 of "Transactions and proceedings of the New Zealand Institute" (1904), no known copyright restrictions.


5. SAVE YOUR IMAGE

Export and save your file as a Gif image.

Export


6. ENTER GIF IT UP

Gif It Up Banner    2015    6    With Europeana Trove Label

The GIF IT UP challenge runs from October 12–November 21 and is calling for animated GIFs reusing copyright-free material found via DigitalNZ, the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, and Trove.

All the entry information can be found right here. We look forward to seeing your ingenious and endlessly-looping creations!

Please post a comment below, or ask us on Twitter, if there is anything in this guide that is unclear.