GIF images are among the most used type of images on the internet today. Along with the usual and very familiar JPG or JPEG format, GIF is the format of choice for many web designers and web users when it comes to adding images or uploading them onto a specific website.
What is a GIF image? It is a computer image file format that describes a specific type of picture. The format was introduced in 1987 and stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Made out of 8 bits per pixel, GIFs permit up to 256 colors out of the normal 24bit RGB palette. It has been developed especially for use on the World Wide Web because it is very portable, making it easy to transfer using the low speed that were back then.
To make it more understandable, GIF images are mostly used for logos or small animated pictures that you see daily on the internet and probably already knew about until now, but never actually though what it is and why it’s called a GIF. If you knew how to make a GIF image it would probably be ever clearer.
To make a GIF image that looks like an animation or an animated GIF a number of frames is used. These frames are static images that are displayed one after the other in a specified time, that make the image look like it’s moving. It’s exactly like drawing on a few pages in a notebook and then turning the pages really fast to see how it would move.
GIFs are mostly used for small animations and very low-res clips or to store sprite data in games. Small GIF images are still used but GIF image editors have become rarer since this format has almost been replaced by Flash animation, which give more possibilities and increased resolution while maintaining the portability.