Animated GIFs are pure marketing goldmines. You have the visual dynamics of a video on your site that is a fraction of the size an actual video or animation would have been. But, you probably already know how great animated GIFs are and that’s why you’re here in the first place. Well then, here are seven great tips you should keep in mind when you design animated GIFs for your site:
Tip 1: Start out your animated GIFs as videos
To make your life a whole lot easier, when you’re creating an animated GIF, first create it as a video. (Practically any video editing and publishing software will do here.) And then, once your video is complete and ready, import it into Photoshop via the command File -> Import -> Video -> Frames As Layers.
Tip 2: Cut down on the colors in your animated GIF
Remember that, with an animated GIF, you don’t really need to have a lot of intricate colors to make your point. In fact, limit the colors you use in an animated GIF. It will not only greatly help you in reducing the file size of the animated GIF, but it will also give you the consequent benefit of adding more actual content in your GIF without creating a monster of a file that doesn’t load on your site quickly enough.
Tip 3: Motion blur adds more pizazz to your animated GIF
If there’s going to be quick movements in your animated GIF, use motion blur whenever possible. For this has two uses: One, it actually makes the object look like its moving faster than it actually is and thus looks very professional. And two, it can help you cover up dropped frames and make the animation look really smooth.
Tip 4: Simple animated GIFs are the best
One key factor of the animated GIFs is that they run on a short duration of time. Plus, they often move fast and are on a constant loop. Hence, don’t go overboard with what you put into the GIF. You don’t need a thousand elements going into your 5-second GIF; a few that makes your point will do. Minimalistic is the mode to go when you’re designing animated GIFs.
Tip 5: Drop frames – especially duplicate frames
Where possible, reduce your file size. And one way to do that is to simply lower your frame rate and delete as many frames in the animation as you can.
Tip 6: Cut down on the colors when saving the final file
Yes, you’ve already used a limited number of colors on your GIF. Great. Now cut them down further in your “Colors” setting when you save the final file in Photoshop. Just make sure the GIF looks good enough with the minimum colors posible, and you’re good to go.
Tip 7: Keep your “Lossy” between 1 and 10
When you’re saving the final GIF in Photoshop, pick a value between 1 and 10 in the “Lossy” setting in Photoshop. It’ll further lower your file-size without ruining your GIF. Optimally, try to keep your animated GIFs within the file-size of 1MB.