PicGif gives designers an easy way to create animated gifs.

Once upon a time, I took a web design course in college. This course focused on the basics of HTML and included a few lessons on creating animated GIFs. While I found this knowledge valueable, the steps to get an animated GIF on one’s website can be fairly cumbersome. Let me start at the beginning.

A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a bitmap image format that supports up to 8 bits per pixel per image. It also supports animation. GIFs are compressed images and are usually very small in file size. In order to create an animated GIF for your website, email or any other reason you might want it,  you must first find a GIF compiler. That’s where PicGif for Mac comes in.

PicGif-1PicGif for Mac is a great piece of software from developer PearlMountain. Over the past few months, we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several apps from PearlMountain including CollageIt Free, Picture Collage Maker 3 and PicLight. They build solid software that’s well-designed and easy to use and PicGif is no different.

PicGif allows the user to create animated GIFs from photos or short videos. It supports hundreds of image formats like JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG and RAW and most common video formats like MOV, MPEG, MP4 and AVI. PicGif gives users option to combine multiple formats into a single animated GIF.

PicGif uses the drag-and-drop method to allow users to quickly import the images they want to use. Once imported, the user chooses the size of the finished GIF, whether it should be portrait or landscape orientation, the background color (if any), the frame delay and the order of the sequence (normal or reverse).

The most time consuming part of creating an animated GIF is creating the images. The nice thing about PicGif is that it’s designed to work with photographs that you already have. I used several photographs from an ice storm we had recently to demonstrate the finished product.

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I also created an original image of a heart that grows. It’s pretty basic, but demonstrates how well this app works. I created the background and heart in Photoshop. The heart was a vector shape that I rasterized and then duplicated 4 times. On each layer, I kept the image in the same place, but changed the color and increased the size. Then, I saved it as a PNG file. Each PNG file is approximately 250 KB in size. The GIF I created using PicGif is only 195 KB in size. It’s actually quite remarkable considering the quality PicGif pushes out.

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Overall, I am very impressed with PicGif. It’s very easy to use and the quality of the file it outputs is outstanding. My favorite part about PicGif is how easy it is to create the exact size you want. The developer included a drop down menu with the most common GIF sizes. A user merely needs to select the size and then choose a fill mode. To use the GIF in a webpage, you simply need to insert it like any other image. If you want to share via email or iMessage, simply use the share option within the app.

PicGif is a great addition to any graphic artist’s toolkit. It is currently on sale for $4.99 in the App Store, but regularly retails for $19.90.

 

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