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Background, or, "It's All About The Resources, Billy-Bob !!!":

As mentioned in Post # 221, jaclaz presented an image of "realinfinity", which had a beautiful glowing orange/yellow infinity symbol on a black background.

I found a picture of Pee-Wee Herman that I liked and combined the two images to produce "Pee-Wee Herman Infinity", in JPEG form.

I wanted to make a Pee-Wee Herman animated GIF userbar -- (since I already had most of the image resources and ideas) -- but first I needed an infinity symbol, which I obtained from Wikipedia. (I used the upper-left image, since it was the most symmetrical.) I easily removed the background (Photoshop's Magic Wand) and gave it a light-orange to darker-orange linear vertical gradient fade via Photoshop's "Clipping Paths". I couldn't use the infinity symbol shown in jaclaz's "real infinity" -- (in the above link) -- since the background around that symbol would be nearly-impossible to remove, since the symbol's border was not distinct. But, I wanted to stay with the orange-tinted colors, since I liked the way they looked on a black background.

Well, Billy-Bob had his resources, and made the following "Pee-Wee Herman Infinity" 350x19px animated GIF userbar, http://postimage.org/image/vc021a10t/


This is a frame-by-frame animation: 214 frames (177 unique), 0.07 sec display time per frame, 1 pixel per frame scrolling rate for Pee-Wee, 188 KB.

Each "pulsed" INFINITY letter stays in place for 3 frames, so the actual display time for each pulsation is 3x(0.07)=0.21 sec.

The pulsations were made by giving the letters a 1 pixel outline (i.e., "stroke"), and the outline color was medium-brown to be compatible with the colors of the infinity symbol and "Pee-Wee Herman". (Pee-Wee Herman was given the same vertical linear gradient fade as the infinity symbol.)

I'll summarize the features of this animation (to serve as kind of a "guide" as you watch it):

# 1:

The left side of the userbar has "Pee-Wee Herman" most of the time, but it disappears into the infinity symbol, and then reappears.

This occurs once for each animation loop.

The right side of the userbar has the infinity symbol most of the time, but it disappears into "Pee-Wee Herman", and then reappears.

This occurs once for each animation loop.

I discussed the construction of this disappearance/appearance feature in my Post # 246.

I spaced the left side-effect and the right-side effect to be "equidistant" in the animation.

# 2:

The 1-pixel-per-frame scrolling of the Pee-Wee image is certainly easy to understand.

But there is one *important* feature of scrolling that I'm using, based *purely on my own* experience.

This feature concerns dealing with an image when it changes direction in the scrolling (as, for example, moving up and then back down).

If there is not a "pause" inserted at this "transition" point, the image will appear to "bump" or "bounce" as it changes direction.

This is not at all a "smooth-looking" scrolling.

What one needs to do, IMHO, is put a rather-large "pause" at *all* transition points.

This is very easily done by simply duplicating exactly the frames at all the transition points.

I've found that a seven-frame (or so) duplication at all the transition points gives smooth scrolling, without a "bump", for a 0.07 sec (or so) display time per frame.

If you closely examine the scrolling of the Pee-Wee image in this animation, you'll see that there are quite a few transition points:

A: at the top of the head when the image starts up;

B: when it stops, after moving up, to begin moving left;

C: when it stops, after moving left, to begin moving right;

D: when it stops, after moving right, to begin moving left;

E: when it stops, after moving left, to begin moving up again;

F: when it reaches the bottom of the gray suit to begin moving down;

G: when it stops, after moving down, to begin moving right;

H: when it stops, after moving right, to begin moving left;

I: when it stops, after moving left, to begin moving right;

J: when it stops, after moving right, to begin moving down again, all the way to the top of the head.

This pattern is repeated indefinitely in the animation.

# 3:

The pulsating "INFINITY" letters have already been discussed some.

(By the way, a "standard", rather bold font was used for the letters, and they were not obtained from the resource images discussed in the "Background" section above.)

The basic question for pulsing the letters concerned which frame(s) to start pulsing the left "I" in INFINITY.

If you watch the animation, you'll notice that there are two points in the animation at which Pee-Wee's left cheek (and tongue) are closest to the left "I".

So, I started pulsing a 24-frame INFINITY [i.e., (8 letters)x(3 frames of pulses per each letter)=24 frames] at both of these points. I kind of "interpreted" this choice as a visual image of Pee-Wee "saying" INFINITY. I could have used just these 2 INFINITY pulses per loop, but I added a third 24-frame INFINITY pulse exactly in-between the first two. This middle pulsation fortuitously occurs at a point when Pee-Wee's eyes are centered vertically in the userbar. (This was a great coincidence, IMO.)

And, that's all there was to it !!!


For those of you who still(???) don't have a clue who Pee-Wee Herman is:

Very briefly, he is a comedy figure known for at least 4 things:

being my favorite comic "character";

always wearing a gray suit with a red bow tie;

acting very immature-childish-silly;

and saying "INFINITY" at every possible opportunity (as in etc., etc., etc., ... INFINITY!).

Here is a very short

video of him.

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I like it Larry! But, and I know this is such a broken record that this is the absolute last time I will mention any problem I have with seeing any visual effect you add to any image, I can't see the pulsing at my default monitor resolution. But this time I believe it's more a matter of size than color. If I magnify the image by as little as 110% I can begin to see the effect and at 125% I can see it clearly. But really, I do like it. I can really see you put a lot of work into the image to honor your favorite character. Good job!

Cheers and Regards

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Hello, bphlpt, and thanks for responding:

I like it Larry!...Good job!

I'm glad you like it.

I do like to have my work appreciated by others.

Thanks for your feedback.

But, and I know this is such a broken record that this is the absolute last time I will mention any problem I have with seeing any visual effect you add to any image

No need to stop with your descriptions of how you see my images, for these descriptions are interesting to me and they can lead into further investigations on "seeing" (and as a pseudo-artist, I'm interested both in my own seeing as well as in the seeing of others).

An example of a further investigation was when, recently, I replaced the red pulsations in the Primus userbar with the purple ones.

When making the Pee-Wee userbar, I thought that you would be able to see the brown pulsations on INFINITY for two reasons: they weren't red; and they had more "physical volume", in the vertical direction at least, than the smaller bitmap letters (i.e., the kind used in "Pee-Wee Herman").

As far as the physical volume of a pulsation (i.e., stroked outline), one is limited on the width of the outline in a userbar, since the 17px height of the background (without the 1px border) is so small.

I got to wondering if perhaps one reason you couldn't clearly see the pulsations is that they were moving *too fast* for you to "consolidate" the image for each letter, before the pulse moved on to the next letter.

So, I did a parametric study of "display time per frame" and the results are presented below.

Of course, as the display time increases, the pulsation for each letter stays visible for a longer time.

Recall that each pulsed letter stays in place for 3 frames, so the actual time a pulsed outline stays visible is 3x(display time per frame).

0.02 sec, http://postimage.org/image/n5ph2d6yv/


0.05 sec, http://postimage.org/image/sfkbzg9g1/


Image chosen by me to be the best

(when considering an "overall balance" of the different effects)

0.07 sec, http://postimage.org/image/9fsd7v9f9/


0.20 sec, http://postimage.org/image/8pem6sz3f/


0.50 sec, http://postimage.org/image/8gzvjbc8l/


1.00 sec, http://postimage.org/image/un2tbxa2b/


For me, the pulsations in the 0.02 sec display time image are moving a little too fast for me to "consolidate".

I chose 0.07 sec to be the best, because *everything* could be consolidated and appreciated at this display time (IMHO).

Notice how a too-slow motion (i.e., too large a display time per frame) makes the scrolling look:


This is shown well in the 0.50 sec and especially in the 1.00 sec images.

But this time I believe it's more a matter of size than color.

I think you are right, and, from all that you have said, I don't think that a greater display time per frame would make much difference for you.

If I magnify the image by as little as 110% I can begin to see the effect and at 125% I can see it clearly.

In other words, if the letter outline were 1.25px instead of 1px -- (as it is now is in the userbar) -- you could clearly see it.

Of course, you can't use fractions of pixels, just whole pixels.

So, if I made the outline 2px wide, you could see it like GANGBUSTERS at your normal screen resolution.

I will keep that in mind as I make new userbars, and if I can use a 2px pulsed outline-- (without ruining the graphic, of course) -- I'll try it.

It seems, bphlpt, that the SMALL SIZE of standard userbars is preventing you from appreciating all their (subtle) features.

I can really see you put a lot of work into the image to honor your favorite character.

Yes, it was a lot of work to make the 214 JPEG frames.

It kind of wore me out a little.

But the effort was worth it, I guess, to honor the little PIP-SQUEAK !!!


From looking at the animated GIF, I'd conclude that Pee-Wee would be "The Man To Use" for getting one's stamps licked.

Edited by larryb123456

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You know its too bad that SVG animation never really got adopted, as that would definately be my choice to create an image such as that. But like Flash, it does require a plugin, and unlike Flash doesn't work on all browsers. Seemingly HTML5 animation is the next step to do things like this.

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In Post # 143, I mentioned that Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of my favorite artists, and I provided a link to my favorite painting by him, Untitled (Aopkhes). I found a great picture of Basquiat, and made the following animated GIF userbar, http://postimage.org/image/vp6kb9psl/, after removing the backgrounds around these two images:


This is a frame-by-frame animation: 192 frames (140 unique), 0.05 sec display time per frame, 1 pixel per frame image-scrolling rate, 255 colors, 350x19px, 330 KB. Each red and blue "letter pulsation" stays in place for 3 frames, so the actual display time for each pulsation is 3x(0.05 sec)=0.15 sec. The images scroll 10px in toward the center and 10px back again before moving vertically.

In this animation, I pulsed the letters, themselves, rather than the letter outlines, as I had previously done.

Both of these pulsing options require exactly the same amount of work.

I pulsed the letters with bphlpt in mind, feeling that with a greater "mass" being pulsed, bphlpt would have an easier time seeing the pulsed effect.

Even with the red pulsations, I thought that bphlpt could see them, because with whatever color he sees the red, the mass would be so great that he could see the pulsations.

In pulsing the letters rather than letter outlines, I recalled an earlier statement by bphlpt concerning an artist making his work suitable to a wider audience.

I really like the letter pulsing, and I didn't have to compromise my "true artistic values" one bit in making this choice.

By the way, I had all this information about letter-pulsing vs. letter-outline pulsing when I made my "Pee-Wee Herman Infinity" animation (Post # 286). In this animation, I pulsed the outlines, but in retrospect, the animation would have looked better had I pulsed the letters, because more mass of the light brown color used for the pulsing outlines would have tied in better with the golden "Pee-Wee Herman" letters and infinity symbol.

To me, the *major advantage* of pulsing the letters instead of the outlines is that I can speed up the animation, because the letter pulsing can be "visually-consolidated" at a greater speed, because of the greater color mass.

A greater speed for the animation results in the figure scrolling not being in such a too-slow, or even super-slow, motion.

Case in point: for Basquiat, I was able to use, with good results, a display time of 0.05 sec per frame; for Pee-Wee, I had to use a display time of 0.07 sec per frame, so that the letter-outline pulsations could be visually consolidated.

Pee-Wee would have looked better if he were moving a little faster.

In summary, all my animated GIF work presented in this thread documents my learning process as I make one animation after the other.

Soon, I'll pretty-much learn all the "variable combinations" that will allow me to make great animations, one after the other.

At least, I hope so.

Thanks, again, bphlpt for your feedback, for it has increased my awareness of the graphic principles important in making small, standard-size, 350x19px, animated GIF userbars.


Some brief information:

Basquiat began as a graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s and evolved into an internationally-renowned painter during the 1980s. In1988, he died of a heroin overdose at age 27. Today, his paintings sell for many millions of dollars.

Edited by larryb123456

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Good job, Larry! For what it's worth, in this case, even at my default screen resolution, I seem to see the red pulsing letters BETTER than the blue, and yes they show up as bright red. I'm not sure why, maybe a contrast thing? Sometimes the blue letters almost look like they skip a letter, though I know that is not the case, I even checked by enlarging the image, while I see the red on every letter. The "eyes" will play tricks on everyone at times, with color blindness having nothing to do with it. Whatever the reason, you were successful.

Cheers and Regards

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Hello, bphlpt:

Good job, Larry!


For what it's worth, in this case, even at my default screen resolution, I seem to see the red pulsing letters BETTER than the blue, and yes they show up as bright red. I'm not sure why, maybe a contrast thing?

Yes, the red has more contrast than the blue.

I took the 2 colors *exactly* as they were in the face painting.

I perhaps should have experimented with darkening the blue *just a little* to give more contrast, while still staying *true* to the painting (i.e., darkening up to the point at which no one would notice that I'd darkened it).

The "eyes" will play tricks on everyone at times

You sure got that right.

In this *particular* animation -- (for some reason) -- I had to really concentrate on watching the scrolling when I double-checked to make sure that I didn't move 2px at some point instead of 1px (i.e., that would show up as a "jerky motion").

I'd watch it for 1 loop and everything would look O.K.

Then, I'd watch for another loop and I could swear that it jerked.

(i.e., "heart-skip-a-beat-time" -- lol)

After watching for a number of times, I came away convinced that everything was properly done.

Whatever the reason, you were successful.

Successful in 2 regards: applying your principles to make a better animation for both you; and me.

Many Thanks for your feedback, bphlpt!

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Background: In Post # 277, I described, in detail, a layer-dragging problem I started having with my Photoshop 5.0 on a project I was working on.

After trying many work-arounds and after some discussions with CoffeeFiend, I still couldn't make the problem disappear.

Finally, in Post # 282, I concluded that there was some voodoo going on with PS 5.0 and I presented a picture of what the voodoo demon might look like.

Thank goodness the PS 5.0 layer-dragging problem went away after I completed that particular project in PS CS3.

So, to "placate" the evil-spirited voodoo monsters, I thought I'd better make an animation for them, before they messed with my PS 5.0 again.

This is what I came up with, http://postimage.org/image/bt4njhosl/


This is a frame-by-frame-animation: 96 unique frames, 0.04 sec display time per frame, 1 pixel per frame image-scrolling rate, 255 colors, 350x19px, 294 KB.

I'll give a brief description of how I made the image.

I removed the background around Mr.Voodoo, and made some changes in his appearance, with the red and black additions shown above.

To me, these changes make voodoo-man look even more "voodooish" and also make him resemble Marilyn Manson, IMO.

As far as the horizontal 2px-wide gray stripe across the mouth: it was "suggested" in the original image and I just beefed it up some. I have no idea what it represents, but it seems to me to make the demon more mysterious. And, as Andy Warhol said, "Art is what you can get away with", so I'm just getting away with the stripe. Case closed !! (lol)

Below, I've show the positions of the two faces at frame 1 of the animation, and I used a gray background so that it will be clear what parts of the images are transparent and what parts are not.

frame 1, http://postimage.org/image/mtuz11ylx/


It's obvious that the left-side image will move down and the right-side image will move up -- (1px at a time) -- until a complete traverse of the 17px-tall inside-region of the border has been made. Then, after a pause, the images will reverse direction in the vertical scrolling.

First, I made all 96 frames (in the PS layers "stack") for the faces moving relative to the border, without regard for the backgrounds.

Then, I made 8 backgrounds.

I used 4 sets of backgrounds. Each set consisted of two backgrounds: one used a "VOODOO" letter Color, say "C", on a background color of the PS invert-command of "C", denoted by "I-C"; and the other used a letter color of "I-C" on a background color of "C".

I did this to provide "optical vibrancy" as the background frames looped through the animation, as will become more clear from examining the *actual backgrounds* used, shown below:

background 1, http://postimage.org/image/jmz080f4x/


background 1A, http://postimage.org/image/3jv16hv7b/


background 2, http://postimage.org/image/81uungi2d/


background 2A, http://postimage.org/image/a8z3bdncl/


background 3, http://postimage.org/image/rquaxh00x/


background 3A, http://postimage.org/image/4v5d0ugrf/


background 4, http://postimage.org/image/6x39t7os7/


background 4A, http://postimage.org/image/xoq787lv9/


I used a casual, off-beat letter style for "VOODOO", and chose a transparent font to go along with the partially-transparent, terrible, voodoo-monster demons. I used the same "lattice-type" scanline pattern for each background, with the "A"s being white and the others being black. The opacity of the white ellipse layer was adjusted for each background, individually, to give more or less the same "polished" look for the complete background set.

It was a simple matter to add the appropriate background *under* each different scrolling-image-frame (i.e., as shown in frame 1, above, for example). Each background only stayed visible for 1 frame, before being replaced by the next frame in the background rotation. I always cycled the 8 backgrounds in the following order: 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4, 4A. (96 total frames)/(8 background frames/cycle)=12 cycles for the 8 backgrounds. I had to make the face images "pause" for 9 frames at both vertical "transition points" to make all the "math" work out correctly.

I had *absolutely no idea* how this BAD-MAMMA-JAMMA would look when it was animated. On looking at the first image presented above (i.e., the animation), it seems like backgrounds 1 and 1A "dominate" over all the others, at least for the relatively fast 0.04 sec display time per frame. Just out of curiosity, I slowed it down to 0.10 sec and, of course, the scrolling was *ridiculously slow* and the other-colored backgrounds could be seen better, but this didn't improve the look of the animation. I much prefer the 1 and 1A domination. It's more energetic and vibrant.

And, that's all there was to it !!!


It is interesting to see the effect of reducing the number of colors in the animation down to 63, http://postimage.org/image/lue36fomb/


The 255-color version is presented again for purposes of a direct comparison:


For all practical purposes, the two animations are "visually" identical. If one closely examines the individual frames in the 63-color version, some degradation is very apparent for some of the frames, but when all 96 frames are looped, this degradation is more-or-less "masked" by the frames which don't have much degradation.

I think the animations look about the same because there really were not that many different colors, in total, in the 8 backgrounds and the voodoo image.


"Too bad you can't buy a voodoo globe so that you could make the earth spin real fast and freak everybody out."

Jack Handy


Edited by larryb123456

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In this Post, I'm presenting an animated GIF I made for the band "Tool", http://postimage.org/image/t3u58nfxz/

The GIF is based on 2 resources:

a Tool-associated

and some


This is a frame-by-frame animation: 72 unique frames, 0.07 sec display time per frame, 1 pixel per frame scrolling rate for the face images, 255 colors, 350x19px, 279 KB.

The red and blue "pulsed" Tool letters stay in place for 3 frames, so the actual display time for these pulsations is 3x(0.07)=0.21 sec.

In this animation -- (for the first time, for me) -- I moved the scanlines pattern. As shown here, it moves to the left at a rate of 3 pixels per frame.

As far as giving the details of the construction of this animation, I thought I'd list all 72 frames, when necessary, since I thought it would be simpler to follow (and simpler for me to discuss).

The first thing I had to do was to remove the backgrounds around the Tool-associated face image (Magic Wand) and the Tool logo letters [the Magic Wand did not give good results, regardless of the Tolerance setting, so I used the Eraser (and Line Tool for anti-aliasing the aliased Eraser edges)]. I removed the backgrounds, of course, because I wanted the underlying ellipse, scanlines, and background to show through.

I proportionately reduced the Tool logo letters to 17px tall (the maximum height to fit inside the 19px tall userbar border) and the face image to 45px tall. These sizes appeared to me to be in good visual balance with one another. The relatively small 45px height of the face image would result in a fairly small number of total frames when the image was scrolled up and down, so that was good. I duplicated the face image to have one on the left side of the userbar and one on the right side. When I placed the Tool logo letters on the background with the ellipse and scanlines, they were way too dark, so I gave them a PS Brightness of +75.

The images below show the steps in the GIF's construction, http://postimage.org/image/du61wx9t3/


The top image shows the position of the faces for frame 1.

Obviously, the left-side image will move up and the right-side image will move down -- (1px per frame) -- until the movement is reversed at the other "transition" point.

As I'd mentioned earlier, I like to make a rather long "pause" at all transition points, to avoid a "bump-appearance", and to give smooth scrolling. A pause is made by duplicating -- (by a desired amount) -- the image frames at a transition point. For this GIF, I duplicated frame 1 eight times, and my frame-numbering nomenclature was: frame 1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 1H, 2, 3, ..., 27, 28, 29, 29A, 29B, 29C, 29D, 29E, 29F, 29G, 29H, 30, 31, ..., 55, 56. This resulted in the 72 total frames in the animation.

When I start an animation, I like to first isolate just the scrolling image, as I've shown in the top picture in the image above. Then, it becomes more clear how I can "piggy-back" other "sub-animations" on top of the scrolling image. Another advantage of working with the image alone concerns "symmetry" as the image reaches the second transition point (i.e., at frames 29-29H) and then reverses the scrolling direction. That is, frame30=frame28, frame31=frame27, frame32=frame26, ..., frame54=frame4, frame55=frame3, and frame56=frame2. By simply duplicating and renaming frames in the PS layers "stack" according to this pattern, a great deal of time is saved. So, at this point, I had all 72 face frames by themselves in a separate .psd file.

The second image shows frame 1 for the pulsating "Tool" letters.

I started the red pulsations at frame 1 as shown.

Recall that I mentioned that I had the "Tool" letters at 17px tall without a background (exactly as shown in this image but with the red being gray, of course). So, from that image, I removed each gray letter, individually, from the horizontal bar that went through the letters. I obtained the red and blue colors from PS Color Balance by adjusting each gray letter, in turn, with "Midtones", +100 red, and then +100 blue. Obtaining the reds and blues in this way insured that the grays, reds, and blues would be compatible. It is easy to see that once all the red and blue letters had been isolated, it was a simple task to reassemble them in the order shown in the different frames of the animation. This order is given, completely, by the following -- (recall that each pulsation stayed in place for 3 frames):

red T -- frames 1, 1A, 1B

red TO -- frames 1C, 1D, 1E

red TOO -- frames 1F, 1G, 1H

red TOOL -- frames 2-10

gray TOOL -- frames 11-28

blue T -- frames 29, 29A, 29B

blue TO -- frames 29C, 29D, 29E

blue TOO -- frames 29F, 29G, 29H

blue TOOL -- frames 30-38

gray TOOL -- frames 39-56

I had all these 72 pulsations frames separate in its own .psd file.

At this point in the development, I linked and merged each face frame with the proper pulsations frame. It was very easy to do. I selected a face frame in the layers "stack" and then dragged the appropriate (see above) pulsations frame over it, and then linked and merged the two layers.

The third image shows the ellipse layer.

The ellipse was white with opacity=14%.

At this point, I linked and merged each of the 72 face-frame/pulsation-frame layers with the ellipse layer.

The bottom two images show the only two positions possible for the scanlines, S1 and S2, as will be explained in the following discussion.

(The scanlines are white with opacity=20%.)

The basic scanline pattern is a forward-facing diagonal with 5px horizontal spacing. Let's denote it by "S1". In this animated GIF, I moved the scanlines 3px to the left for each frame. In the first movement, the scanlines would be exactly half-way in-between where they were previously in the scanline pattern. Let's denote this half-way in-between position "S2". In the second 3px movement, the scanlines would wind up in an arrangement identical to the basic pattern (i.e., S1). So, I only had to consider 2 background scanline patterns, in total, which really simplified things. The backgrounds would alternate, frame-by-frame, as S1, S2, S1, S2, S1, S2, ..., etc.

The scanline patterns are associated with the above-linked frames as:

frame1 -- S1

frame1A -- S2

frame1B -- S1

frame1C -- S2



continue this alternation



frame53 -- S1

frame54 -- S2

frame55 -- S1

frame56 -- S2

So, I first linked and merged S1 and S2 with the black 350x19px background. The final step in the GIF's construction consisted of linking and merging the appropriate "S" with the face-pulsations-ellipse (already linked and merged) layers.

And that's all there was to it !!!


"Overthinking, overanalyzing separates the body from the mind...withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must feed my will to feel my moment calling way outside the lines."

Tool lyrics from "Lateralus"


Edited by larryb123456

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Rafael "Rafa" Nadal is one of my most-favorite athletes.

It is amazing that pro tennis players can go full-speed in the hot sun for 3 to 4 hours at a time.

So, here is my Nadal animated GIF, http://postimage.org/image/6qjxaxbi5/


This is a frame-by-frame animation: 72 unique frames, 0.04 sec display time per frame, 255 colors, 350x19px, 193 KB. The left and right side images scroll up and down at the rate of 1px per frame. Each letter "pulsation" stays in place for 5 frames, so the actual display time for each pulsation is 5x(0.04 sec)=0.20 sec. The tennis ball moves back and forth at the rate of 4px per frame.

It's clear that I removed the backgrounds on all the images (Magic Wand).

The set-up for this animation is *identical* to that described in my previous Post for "Tool" (i.e., the left and right side images are 45px tall, so the vertical scrolling results in 72 total frames for the animation).

Based on past experience, I knew that a 1px per frame vertical scrolling rate gives smooth scrolling for a wide range of display-times-per-frame. For example, the "Voodoo" animation had a display time of 0.04 sec, and the images did not scroll *too fast*.

I first made the .psd file with just the scrolling of the left and right side images, following the procedure that I like to use.

Next, I turned my attention to the tennis-ball motion.

The ball starts on the right at position 1 and moves 4px per frame for 13 frames -- (i.e., to get to position 13) -- before reversing direction and going back to position 1.

I'd mentioned before that I like to "pause" at transition points, but for the tennis ball, I chose not to pause, so that there would be an "energetic" back-and-forth motion as shown in the animation.

It should be clear that position 13 establishes a "symmetry point", since the next positions for the ball -- (moving back to the right) -- are 12, 11, 10, ..., 3, 2, before the ball-motion loops indefinitely.

So, the *complete* ball motion is described by 24 positions in the animation.

I made a 24-position ball motion "test" GIF to see what display-time-per-frame worked best.

0.04 sec was the "winner".

It was important to establish the display time first, because that would let me know how many frames I should let each letter pulsation stay in place before the pulsation moved on to the next letter.

Based on past experience, I knew that an effective display time of 0.20 sec per pulsation worked well.

So, the "math" said I should leave each pulsation in place for 5 frames.

"Nadal Fan" has 8 letters, so it would be red-pulsed (i.e., I chose red) for 40 frames.

That left 32 frames with nothing going on with the letters (i.e., 72 total frames minus 40 equals 32).

I wanted *something* going on to be compatible with the high energy of the animation.

So I pulsed the word "Fan".

To distinguish it from the white-letter-red-pulsed "Nadal Fan", I changed the letter color to blue and used a red outline and pulsed this combo.

"Fan" has 3 letters, and with each letter staying in place for 5 frames, the pulsing required 15 frames.

I started this 15-frame pulsing half-way in the "remaining" 32 frames discussed above.

And that's all there was to it !!!


"My knee is hurting a bit."

Rafael Nadal


Edited by larryb123456

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I saw an avatar over at RyanVM's forum that I thought you would appreciate Larry - 6874470434854febf7b332.gif

Just thought I'd pass it along for your amusement.

Cheers and Regards

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The animated GIF presented in this Post concerns Brazil, http://postimage.org/image/typ0d1yf5/


This is a frame-by-frame animation: 188 frames (157 unique); 0.06 sec display time per frame; 255 colors; 350x19px; 208 KB.

Each letter "pulsation" stays in place for 2 frames, so the actual display time for each pulsation is 2x(0.06)=0.12 sec.

The vertical scrolling for the images takes place in increments of 1px per frame.

The background gradient is based on the green and yellow colors of the Brazilian flag, and the blue disc is from the center of the flag. The disc depicts a starry sky spanned by a curved band inscribed with the national motto, "Ordem e Progresso", which translates into English as "Order and Progress". The figure is an image of the world-famous statue Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This statue of Jesus Christ is 39.6 meters (130 ft) tall and 30 meters (98 ft) wide. I put a yellow outer glow around the statue to add to the visual interest. I used a combination of yellow and green diagonal scanlines.

Each set of scanlines has a horizontal spacing of 3px. The combination was made by aligning the green and yellow scanlines and then moving one set to the right or left by 2px to give an *overall pattern* which has a horizontal spacing of 1px. On the left side of the userbar, where the green part of the background gradient is, the yellow scanlines show up -- (but not the green) -- and on the right side, where the yellow part of the background gradient is, the green scanlines show up -- (but not the yellow). On the rest of the background gradient, this scanline combination naturally results, in a visual sense, in the 3px-horizontal-spacing scanline pattern shown in the animation.

The technique I used to achieve the "appearance and disappearance" of Cristo Redentor and the "Ordem e Progresso" disc has been discussed in Post # 246, which concerns the Albanian flag -- (this animation also has a 0.06 sec display time per frame).

There is one very minor difference in the Brazil animation, however. I included 80% and 90% opacity in the frame sequence -- (refer to Post # 246 if interested) -- so the appearance or disappearance lasts 2 frames, or 2x(0.06)=0.12 sec, longer. I don't think this small change is really visible to the naked eye.

I pulsed white letters with a dark-green outline when Cristo Redentor was visible (the white echoes the greenish-white of the statue and the green ties in with the dark shadows). I pulsed white letters with a dark-blue outline when "Ordem e Progresso" was visible (these colors, of course, reflect the colors of the blue disc). By pulsing entire letters instead of just outlines, the pulsations are more visible, which allows them to be easily seen as they move more quickly from letter to letter. Therefore, I was able to use a "rather small" effective display time of 0.12 sec for the pulsations.

Edited by larryb123456

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In Post # 294, I presented an animation for the band "Tool". Since I really like the group, I made another one which I'm presenting in this Post.

This is a frame-by-frame animation: 88 frames, 0.07 sec display time per frame, 255 colors, 1px per frame vertical scrolling rate, 350x19px, 320 KB. The magenta, gray, and green outlines around "Tool" each stay in place for 2 frames, so each outline "pulsation" is actually visible for 2x(0.07)=0.14 sec.



In this animation, I did something I haven't done before: for the bottom-most layer I used an *actual animation*, in this case an 11-frame animation. This will be discussed in complete detail, along with the complete details for the GIF's construction.

I used 3 resources: a Tool logo, an image of the Tool members, http://postimage.org/image/oz5dxvoub/, and a "black water waves" GIF animation, http://postimage.org/image/pco0nvg69/

The image below shows the steps (and Photoshop layers, from top to bottom), http://postimage.org/image/un8xgjugl/


First, I removed the backgrounds around the Tool logo letters (the Magic Wand worked great, leaving the black letters with the gray outlines) and the band members (I had to use the Eraser for this). I made the logo letters 17 px tall, the maximum size, and when they were put on the black rectangles on the left and right sides of the userbar, that left a horizontal distance of 244px to accommodate the band members. As shown in # 1 and # 2, the members are 50px tall, an excellent height that does not result in an excessive number of total frames.

# 1 shows frame 1, and the figures move up, at a rate of 1px per frame, until they reach the other "transition point" -- (i.e., the point at which the image stops before reversing direction in the vertical scrolling) -- shown in # 2. (It should be clear that # 1 also shows a transition point.) As I've mentioned before, I like to duplicate frames at all transition points to make an "observed pause" and to prevent a "jerky-bump" reverse motion. Normally I use 9 duplicate frames, but for this animation, that resulted in a total of 82 frames. To use the 11-frame background GIF animation, the total number of frames had to be a multiple of 11, so I added 3 duplicate frames at each of the 2 transition points to bring the total to 88 frames.

When I removed the background around the Tool members with the Eraser, I didn't go back in and clean up the aliased edges with the Line Tool for 2 reasons: reducing the very large JPEG (the second Resource mentioned above, 1280x1024px) to the small userbar size provides some smoothing in itself; and I knew I was going to use a dark background so that the dark aliased edges wouldn't be very visible. To explain: if one looks at the right cheek of the member on the left, the dark irregular edges can be seen on the gray background -- (and even moreso on a white background) -- and some "cleaning up" would be required to do a good job -- (but not on a dark background, where the contrast would be minimal).

The first thing I did was make a .psd file of the members moving under the border with the gray-outlined Tool letters at each end for all 88 frames (i.e., PS layers). Then I added the ellipse layer (white, opacity=10%) over the 3-px-horizontal-spacing diagonal scanlines (white, opacity=10%), shown in # 3, underneath each layer.

I made magenta and green outlines around the Tool logo letters by applying PS Color Balance +100 magenta and +100 green, respectively, to the black letters with gray outlines which I had previously "isolated" with the Magic Wand, as discussed above. I linked and merged these magenta and green Tool versions with the same-sized black backgrounds shown in # 1 and # 2, and put these 2 versions in their own little .psd file. To change the outline color of the right or left side gray-outlined Tool letters, all I had to do was drag the appropriate layer into the main .psd file, align it, and link and merge the layers. Of course, the difficulty was to arrive at a "rotation sequence" of the green, gray, and magenta outlines that would be compatible with the 88 total frames in the animation.

The following sequence worked out perfectly:

frame 1, left side = gray, right side = magenta

frame 2, left side = gray, right side = magenta

frame 3, left side = magenta, right side = gray

frame 4, left side = magenta, right side = gray

frame 5, left side = gray, right side = green

frame 6, left side = gray, right side = green

frame 7, left side = green, right side = gray

frame 8, left side = green, right side = gray

frame 9, same as frame 1

frame 10, same as frame 2

frame 11, same as frame 3

frame 12, same as frame 4


Continue with this rotation sequence for all 88 frames.

Of course, this shows that each Tool outline pulsation stays in place for 2 frames.

The "black water waves" 11-frame GIF animation discussed above in Resources is 101x68px. I opened this animation in Jasc Animation Shop and resized it to 244x19px, to fit perfectly in the userbar in the space behind the Tool members. I saved each of the 11 frames as a JPEG and made a separate .psd file of the frames. It was a simple matter to drag the appropriate JPEG under each frame (i.e., layer) in the PS layers "stack", and link and merge the 2 layers. All 11 frames of "black water waves" are shown at http://postimage.org/image/stqja7w69/, where I put the frames on a black background, because the details -- (notice the blue tint) -- are much more visible.

# 4 in the image above on this page is frame 1 of "black water waves".

In # 5, I have put everything together to show the *actual frame* corresponding to # 2 (i.e., the first frame at this transition point). Because the background is dark, notice that the dark "edge-irregularities" on the Tool members (mentioned earlier) essentially disappear.

My "Jasc Animation Shop" animator has a number of different setting combinations which can be used to produce different-looking animations based on the same frames. The animation shown above in the first image (255 colors, 320 KB) was made using "Optimized Octree" and "Error Diffusion", settings which produce the top-quality image. This animation is shown again here for a direct comparison with the animation below it (255 colors, 173 KB), which uses "Standard Palette" and "Ordered Dithering".




Even though the image immediately above has "less quality", to me, it is even more "artsy interesting" than the "top quality" image. The background is more engagingly defined and "sparkly", and the pulsed outlines around "Tool" are more appealingly grainy (these outlines somewhat resemble the "marching ants" in Photoshop.) Also, it looks like a subtle "screen" has been placed over the figures (it reminds me of the "texture" seen in old comic books). It is very interesting to me that a lower quality image can be superior to a higher quality image.

This indented paragraph provides more details about my "Jasc Animation Shop" animator settings, for those interested. In my Post # 245 I mentioned that the best option to reduce colors is “Error Diffusion”, which I defined, and I also defined 2 methods to create a color palette, "Optimized Octree" and "Standard Palette". Another option to reduce colors, which I didn't discuss, is "Ordered Dithering",

which reduces colors by adjusting adjacent pixels of different colors to give the illusion of a third color. It uses set patterns based on a known palette to adjust the pixels. This method can result in distinct patterns of light and dark areas.

And that's all there was to it !!!


"A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end - and if you put several circles over each other, then you get a spiral."

Maynard James Keenan, co-founder (1990) and lead singer of Tool


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There seems to be so much going on in that picture, that I didn't even realise that the background was animated until you mentioned it. Probably could do without it to make a version with a smaller file size.

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at_symbol_MSFN_letter_color.jpg Tripredacus

Of course, I knew that the background animation was going to be very, very subtle (as shown in my Post with the JPEG I made showing all 11 frames: http://postimage.org/image/stqja7w69/).

I used this animation for 2 reasons: I wanted a dark background so that the slight edge irregularities around the Tool members would not be visible (as I discussed); and more importantly, I just wanted *practice* in incorporating a relatively-large-frame animation in my GIF.

You can rest assured that in future GIFs, I will use background animations that will definitely show up better (when appropriate).

The background animation is much more clear in the "lower quality" version shown at the end of my Post, http://postimage.org/image/3o0qz39hj/

Also, the Tool members cover up most of the background where the animation is, which prevents it from being seen at its best.

Here is the background animation at the 244x19px size used, http://postimage.org/image/lmqmwkcbf/


You are so correct. The details are hard to see, much harder to see than in the original version shown in the Resource discussion, http://postimage.org/image/pco0nvg69/

My animator is somewhat unpredictable in "rendering" a GIF's file size.

The most important thing is the *number* of *unique* frames.

Since the alternating-side-to-side Tool pulsations are happening *in conjunction with* the 1px per frame vertical scrolling of the members, I think these actions, in themselves, determine the 88 unique frames.

That is, I think there would still be 88 unique frames whether I used the entire 11-frame animated background or chose just 1 frame to use as the background.

Typically, the folder I use to construct an animated GIF has a file size of 20 to 35 MB (uncompressed), so the 320 KB of this Tool animation is rather negligible. (And I have lots of unused disk space.)

Really, the file size should be more of a concern of the site on which I host my images.

Thanks, Tripredacus.

I'm glad you read my Post and made comments about it.

I hope this reply is interesting to you.

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