Are there methods for cutting down on file size with animated gifs without decreasing quality?

I’m in the process of replacing a lot of flash content with anything other than flash. Most of it’s simple animated diagrams such as the one below:

enter image description here

Rather than write javascript each time an image like this appears and risk one of several content writers, who aren’t developers and could easily be confused, overwhelmed, or mistakenly change code, I figured many of the flash animations could simply be replaced by an animated gif. However, I’ve underestimated how large what look like simple images can get when animated. For example, the one below is 228kb, which isn’t the end of the world, but much heavier than I’d like to go.

Are there certain methods during the image design process that I can use to cut down on the file size?

I would’ve assumed it’d be something like png’s, where they can become very heavy with detail, but if you stick to simple shapes and solid colors, they can be extremely light.

Answer

While GIF is a lossless format, it’s also restricted to 256 colors. So in many cases, you’re doing to see a reduction in quality from your source file if it’s over 256 colors.

But if you want to optimize the design for the GIF format, some things you can do:

  • use flat colors (not gradients)
  • limit the number of colors you use
  • have said colors repeat horiztonally more than vertically (a GIF of horizontal stripes compresses much smaller than a GIF of vertical stripes)
  • Only animate the smallest part you need to

But, generally speaking, animated GIFs are huge.

An alternative would be do use sprite animations (Javascript and CSS): http://www.spritely.net/

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Eric , Answer Author : DA01

Leave a Comment