Class of 2015!! History major, double minoring in Environmental Sustainability and Digital Studies


Animated GIF Module Reflection

3 min read

Our group was amongst the four groups to choose the Art of the Animated GIF module for this last module assignment. In order to to try stand out, we wanted our focus on GIFs to be slightly different from previous groups who completed this module, and from what the other groups could have been potentially focusing on. Instead of going over the history of GIFs and showing examples of the first GIFs we made (not that there was anything wrong with that) we decided to focus on the uses of GIFs, tips on making GIFs, and the future of GIFs. For the uses of GIFs, we broke up the uses onto three different categories: Educational, Art, and Reaction. GIFs can be used for educational purposes since they can convey a similar amount of information as a short video, but without the hassle of trying to find the spot in the video and watching the entire video. One example we included in our presentation was a GIF showing the shifts in the continents over time. From looking at the GIF anyone could see that the continents of the world have moved around over time. 

In addition to teaching/learning, GIFs can also be art forms. GIFs are essentially a bunch of images coming alive and playing out a sequence. They allow people express more than just one idea. "Art GIFs" just can have more dimension than still images. 

While Educational GIFs teach and Art GIFs inspire, Reaction GIFs are used all the time in today's popular culture. Reaction GIFs are used when a person wants to evoke an emotion online but cannot find the proper words, or when words cannot do their feelings justice. Reaction GIFs are usually sequences from movies, tv shows, or videos that have a person responding to a situation in a dramatic way. 

While there are many other uses for GIFs, and kinds of GIFs, we felt that these three uses/kinds were the most prevalent online and that these are the kinds of GIFs people tend to make, which is why we also wanted to include a few tips on making GIFs in our presentation. Lastly, I wanted to look a the potential future of GIFs since animated GIFs in particular tend to run rather large in terms of file size. Videos in HTML5 function like GIFs in that they can loop forever, but what is nice is that you can pause them and they use less file space. GFY allows for a GIF to be played as a GIF when a page or browser does not support HTML5 videos, and allows HTML5 compatible pages and browsers to benefit from the smaller file sizes of the HTML5 videos. 

Overall, this was a nice module to end on, and I hope everyone likes our presentation! 

#module #finalmodule #gifs #animated gifs #dgst101