Animated Gifs As Motion Graphic Art Direction

Animated Gifs used as art direction for motion graphic projects are the least efficient in terms of process. You would think the opposite. At first glance it seems intuitive that since the gif asset is created as a replacement in case a user’s browser can’t process Javascript or Flash, that the more elaborate animation formats can be created using an animated gif as direction. In some agency workflows the animated gif has been used during the approval process with a client to specify how the final animation will look and play through.

The unfortunate challenge that accompanies using gifs as art direction is that transitions and assets can be built into the gif which must be accomplished differently in Javascript or Flash, or even worse, could be accomplished with more interesting motion. So if an animated gif was used in the approval process with your client, it is important to set the expectation that this gif is a guide, and the result in prevailing formats may vary slightly due to differences in the way these formats work or can work with more appeal.

Key frame art direction allows the more complex formats to lead the animation effects, and the gif to be designed, after all other production is finished, to match the other format(s).

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