GIF Movie Gear is intended to create simple 2D animations, mainly in the animated GIF format. As an animated GIF is essentially a sequence of static images, you will first need to load those frames. Fortunately, several image formats are supported as input, including not only static GIF but AVI, BMP, JPEG, PSD, PNG, ICO and ANI as well. Likewise, the resulting animation can be saved as animated GIFs, AVI videos, Macromedia Flash animations, Windows animated cursors and icons, among others.
The application’s interface is easy to use, yet you might need to read the accompanying tutorial before you start taking your first steps with it. Unfortunately, it does not look very attractive, even more if we consider that this is a tool intended for web designers.
Various simple steps will allow you to create your animation without much effort. All you need to do is load frames and order them. At this point, you will be able to preview the animation. However, you would probably want to tune it a little more. This can be possible by editing colors, changing the time and controlling the looping.
Nevertheless, the real value of this application does not come from the above mentioned capabilities, for those may be available from many other similar programs. What brings extra value is the optimization feature. Just remember that downsizing images may be crucial in reducing the time a webpage takes to download. GIF Movie Gear does so by eliminating redundant portions of the image. In this respect, multiple methods are available, such as reducing the number of colors used in the palette, using the so-called “dirty-rectangle” optimization, using transparency for inter-frame optimization, removing unnecessary frames, cropping the animation’s physical size and resizing to a smaller physical size. Surprisingly, the program can actually reduce file size without compromising its quality.
In general, GIF Movie Gear is quite good at creating animations, and mostly at optimizing them. Unfortunately, in order to build your animations, you will need a picture editor to create and edit the source frames.
- It supports multiple file formats.
- Easy to use.
- Powerful optimization capabilities
- Unattractive interface.
- It does not include a picture editor