Frequently Asked Questions

Please check this page before emailing me with the same questions

We love answering everyones questions in email, but with 100 emails a day, we do not have time anymore. And thanks to Debbie Roberti at the Espresso Graphics for giving me permission to copy parts of her FAQ page. She has done a wonderful job on it and her animation Archive. As time passes we will add more of our own FAQ's and links to this page.


Click on the question and it will take you to the answer:

I have WebTVand I want to use your graphics. How can I, without linking directly to them?

Thanks to a new site on the web, now you can move any graphics and animations to your site! It's called Transloader Now, We have not used it, but a gentleman using WebTv told me about it and he says it works great!

What is an animated GIF?

An animated GIF is a graphic file format (technically referred to as GIF89a) that has the ability to store a sequence of still images, much like a traditional cartoon flipbook. When viewed through a web browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, this series of images is played back in sequence, creating the effect of animation. Thanks to Gif89a technology, web developers can add simple animation to their pages without the use of Java, Shockwave, or CGI scripting.

How do I download an animated GIF?

Mac users should click and hold on the animated GIF until a drop down menu appears, and then select "Save this Image as" (I've notice that with Netscape Communicator 4, this doesn't always work on the first click. Click again and hold).

Windows users should right mouse click on the animated GIF, and chose "Save Image As" from the drop down menu.

How do I put an animated GIF on my webpage?

There are no extra tags or formatting commands to learn. Within your HTML document, animated GIFs are treated the same way as non-animated GIFs. You can center them, resize them, and basically do whatever you please with them, using the IMG SRC image attribute.

For example, if you want to include an animated GIF called arrow.gif on your webpage, just upload the GIF to your server as you would any other web graphic, and insert the following tag into your HTML document:

<IMG SRC="arrow.gif">

Remember, including HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes within the image tag (even if you don't intend to increase or decrease the on-screen size of your graphic) speeds up webpage display.

I've downloaded an animated GIF and now it doesn't animate. Why?

It is this question alone that encouraged Debbie to write this FAQ. First off, in order to view a GIF animation, you must embed it in your HTML document using the IMG SRC attribute (just as you would for an ordinary, non-moving GIF or JPEG), and then view the HTML document in a browser that supports GIF animation (like Netscape version 2.0 or later, Internet Explorer version 2.0 beta 2 or later, and recent versions of the AOL browser). Browsers that do not support GIF animation will display the first or last frame of the GIF animation, but not the animation itself.

In addition, GIF animations ONLY appear animated when viewed through a web browser. You cannot, for instance, embed a GIF animation in a Word Perfect, Microsoft Word or Pagemaker document, and expect it to animate.

Secondly, GIF animations will not animate if opened in popular paint or image editing applications such as PaintShop Pro, Photoshop, and Corel Draw. If fact, opening and saving an animation in any of these applications will permanently corrupt it, and then, when you do try to view the animation in your browser, it will not animate.

Lastly, some web editors like FrontPage and Pagemill allow you crop and make GIFs transparent. This works for non-animated GIFs and JPEGs, but when you modify animated GIFS in this fashion, they will not animate anymore. According to Microsoft's home page:

"An animated GIF contains several different layers that represent different sequences of the same image. When you modify the properties of an animated GIF, FrontPage Editor changes only the first layer of the image and discards the remaining layers. To work around this problem, use a graphics editor that is designed to edit animated GIF files, such as the Microsoft GIF Animator."

I've downloaded an animated GIF and it looped for a couple of times and then stopped moving. Why?

It could be that the GIF file was corrupted while downloading, or more likely, that the creator of the animated GIF designed the GIF so that it would loop for a specified and finite number of times.

It could also be that your browser cache is full. Go to your browser Preferences and under "Advanced" click on the button that says "Clear Disk Cache Now" for Netscape and "Empty Now" for Internet Explorer.

How do I upload an animated GIF to my server?

This procedure varies from server to server and is dependent on the helper applications you use. In general, however, you will upload an animated GIF in the same way that you upload a non-animated GIF or JPEG graphic. As a Mac user, for instance, they upload animated GIFs as "raw data" using Fetch.

Can I link to a GIF animation on your page instead of downloading and then uploading the GIF to my own server?

Absolutely not. Download the GIF to your computer and then upload it to your server.

How come GIF animations appear to loop faster on some computers and slower on others?

The biggest drawback with GIF animation is that the speed in which an animation loops (even though you can set an interframe delay within most GIF animation applications) is dependent on the processor speed of the computer you are using to view the animation. For example, an animation viewed through a browser running on a 200 MHz Pentium will loop much faster than if viewed on a 90 MHz computer.

I've downloaded an animated GIF that has a white or colored bounding box around it? Can I make it transparent?

Possibly. As far as we know, animated GIFS must be made transparent during the animation process. However, some GIF animation programs allow you to open and alter GIF animations downloaded from the WWW. But all animations are copyrighted and you should check with the artists before doing so. You can find the artists usually in the comment block of an animation using an animation program to view it.

How do I make my own GIF animation?

To create an animated GIF, you need a paint, draw and/or image editing application (such as PaintShop Pro or Photoshop) to create the individual animation frames, and a shareware program such as GifBuilder (for Macintosh) to merge the frames together into a single animated GIF that you upload to your server, just as you would an ordinary, non-moving GIF or JPEG.

The GIF animation shareware and trial versions of the software you need to create your own animations are available for download on the WWW:

Are there any tutorials on the web that will take me through the process of creating an animated GIF step by step?

There are several excellent tutorials available:

MAC USERS: AGAG's (Animated Gifs Artists Guild) How to make you own -- A Macintosh Tutorial

PC USERS: AGAG's (Animated Gifs Artists Guild) How to make you own -- A PC Tutorial and more.

Optimization and Compression, Join in with the artists, learn techniques, or post your latest creation! : AGAG's (Animated Gifs Artists Guild)

Other tutorials, tips, and techniques include:

Can I download any of the animated gifs on your animation pages?

Our animations are free to use on any homepage or non-profit page without a link. If you have a Collection or a business site you must add a link to Dream Artists. Sites that charge for access or for the animations may not use them.

What program do you use to make your animations?

Animation programs don't "make" the animations. You must make the frames yourself and the animation program puts them together. It's kinda like Cartoons are made, frames of pictures with each being slightly different and then when put together they move. We use several different programs counting on the effect we want. The simplest to use is: Movie Gear.

I get these pesky borders around some of my graphics. How can I get rid of it?

Borders show up when you add a Link to a graphic, to get rid of those pesky borders just add border=0 into the image tag like this:
<img src="filename.gif" border=0>

I know how to use frames and how to have an entire page show up in the viewing area if desired... I just can't figure out how to make just one single image show up. I'm new to this and am really wanting to make my page as user-friendly as possible. If possible, could you help me out here by explaining how to do this?

ScreamDesign Tips page, also has the best information on everything you need to know about html. He even has a tutorial on Frames.

I want to sell about 600megs of gifs on CD-ROM and wanted to know what are the resell rights on .gif files and wavs files?

Unless you made all of the gifs you plan on selling, you have no rights to sell them. In fact, you can pretty much be assured that if you decide to sell them anyway, that you will be legally pursued by several companies who lawfully license the images from the artists for distribution. See, they purchase the rights from the artists, if someone comes along who doesn't play right, they'll pretty much want to crush them. This goes for the artists as well, you'll make a lot of enemies selling what belongs to them and not you.

Same story goes for wav files.

If you have any questions about copyrights, please refer to the following sources -
Copyrights in Cyberspace
http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
Liability for Internet Copyright Infringement
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/it03024e.html
Copyright Law
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/it03315e.html

Note that the domains include foreign sources. Copyrights are international protection.

For the record, there is no "unaware" defense to copyright liability. If you didn't make it, you must assume the copyright is in effect.

I will urge you to NOT produce the CD ROM without lawfully licensing the images from the individual artists.



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