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Grokking The Gimp
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9.1.3 Saving Animations to GIF

The GIMP allows animations to be made in RGB and Grayscale formats, but an animation must be converted to Indexed format  before it can be saved as a GIF. Trying to save to GIF without being in Indexed format generates an Export File dialog message that provides the user with information and options to correctly save the image.

Properly converting an image to Indexed format is accomplished with the function Indexed  found in the Image:Image/Mode menu. This brings up the Indexed Color Conversion dialog  shown in Figure  9.3(b).

  
Figure 9.3: Converting to Indexed
Figure 9.3

This dialog has two main option areas. The first covers the Palette options and the second covers the Dither options. The default options usually work fine, but if a particular conversion to Indexed format has problems, refer to Section  9.5, which discusses web-safe color palettes and covers these dialog options in detail.

After an image has been converted to Indexed, it can be saved in GIF format. This is accomplished by choosing Image:File/Save As  which brings up the Save Image dialog  shown in Figure  9.4(a).

  
Figure 9.4: Saving an Animation as a GIF File
Figure 9.4

The GIMP automatically saves the file in GIF format if the name entered into the entry box at the bottom of the dialog ends with the .gif extension. Alternatively, GIF can be selected from the Save Options menu. This automatically attaches the .gif extension to whatever name has been typed into the entry box.

Clicking the OK button in the Save Image dialog brings up the Save as GIF options dialog  shown in Figure  9.4(b). Because the image to be saved is multi-layered, the Animated GIF Options are available. These are not enabled for single layer images. The first option specifies whether the animation will loop continuously or not. Looping is the default. The next option is an entry box that specifies the time per frame for frames that have not been explicitly specified. The default is 100ms. For the examples in Figures  9.1 and 9.2, the timing information is given for each layer, so this option is irrelevant for these layers. Finally, the animation mode, either Replace or Combine, can be selected for all frames that have not been explicitly specified. The I Don't Care option defaults to Combine mode.

Grokking The Gimp
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