How to Make an Animated GIF with GIMP Step by Step

If we use our computer to store all kinds of photos and images, it is likely that we will use some program to be able to edit them. Without a doubt, one of the best known and free that is a great alternative to the famous Photoshop, is GIMP . This image editing program is extremely complete. Among its functions is the possibility of creating our own animated GIFs, and today we are going to teach you how to do it.

What is the GIF format

GIF is a format for exchanging images formed by a series of frames that follow one another, creating an animation without sound that repeats in a loop in 5 to 10 seconds. These admit transparency so that thanks to this you can obtain different animation effects , so that when you see each one in a row for a fraction of a second, it offers us the sensation of having movement or animation.

How to Make an Animated GIF with GIMP

It is curious that, although this format has existed since 1987, GIF animations have been enormously popular since the Internet appeared . The widespread adoption by users of mobile technology has also contributed to the expansion of its use, making GIFs a more efficient and faster form of digital expression than text and photos.

Compared to traditional video or image formats, the GIF format has a maximum of 256 colors , making them lighter than videos, as well as more dynamic than traditional images. In this way, GIFs take the best of both formats, being a widely used resource especially in messaging applications or social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

To many users it may seem that making a GIF can be a complicated task and nothing is further from reality. If you think that making a GIF can be fun, today we are going to show you how you can do it easily with GIMP, the powerful open source image editing software.

Why use GIMP

GIMP (acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free software project as an alternative to the development and distribution of private and commercial software. It is designed to be as close as possible, with the settings and features associated with the Adobe program so that we hardly notice any differences in its use. Therefore, we will not have to pay anything to download and use GIMP. Although it is not as complete an option as Photoshop , it is a great option for most users to carry out editing work without having to make any payment.

One of the clearest examples is the possibility of creating our own GIFs with a tool like GIMP . This is something extremely simple as well as useful for many users, so that they do not need to make a payment to be able to carry out this task as it would be the case with Photoshop. It is a clear example of how GIMP can be a valid and free alternative to perform functions that in principle we can think that the most appropriate option is Adobe.

How to create GIF with GIMP

To start creating our animated GIFs, it is important that the images that we are going to use are in PNG format . Now from GIMP we must click on the “File” tab, and select “Open as layers”. Next, we will select all the images that we want to add as layers to include them in our GIF. Once selected, click on “Open”.

GIMP Abrir como capas

Now we can sort our images from the layers tab located on the right side. The GIF animation sequence will start from the bottom layer and run through each layer from the bottom up. Later at the top, we click on the “Filters” tab. A drop-down menu will open where we will go to the bottom where it says “Animation”. Finally, we will select “Optimize (for GIF)”.

GIMP Optimizar imagen para GIF

If we want to check how our GIF will look , we can do it from the main menu. We return to the “Filters” tab, again click on “Animation” and this time we select the “Play” option. Now a new window will appear with the frames that we have included. In the upper left in small, we can give the “Play” symbol to play our GIF and see if we are satisfied with the result.

Once we have verified that the GIF remains as we intended, we can only save it. For this we must click on “File” and then “Export as”. Here we must assign a name , as well as choose the folder where we want it to be saved. Next, we must choose its extension as a GIF so we click on “Select file type” and select “GIF Image” and click on the “Export” button.

GIMP Guardar como imagen GIF

Finally, a new window will appear. In it within the GIF Options we must have the “How animation” tab checked, and within the “Animated GIF Options” we must have “Perpetual loop” selected. Also, we can configure the “Delay between frames when it is not specified”, being able to establish the milliseconds established between each movement. Now we only have to press “Export” and we will have created our new GIF.

GIMP Opciones para exportar GIF