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Suggestions for new GIFfers

Last modified: 2008-03-29 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: editors | fotw | gif |
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Have been reading the list for years, but never have learned how to "gif" a flag illustration. I'd like to learn how.
I would sincerely appreciate any help anyone can offer me in learning how to do so -- any links to manuals, tutorials, articles, etc.; any suggestions for graphics software to use and their instructions, etc.
Edmund Midura, 16 June 2007

For those who are not familiar with graphical editing but would learn how to "gif" a flag illustration, this page offers some starting points given by those whose graphical editing skills are somewhat more advanced.


We draw flags. "Giffing" and "Giffer" are two very misleading terms (even if they do sound cool), as they give the impression that we have some magic button we press to convert photos, jpegs etc into first class quality fotw gif images.
Oh how I wish - hours upon hours of drawing finite details are the true story behind the vast majority of images on fotw.
Martin Grieve 23 June 2007

Absolute beginners should do some theoretical learning as well, and get to know the meaning of some basic concepts, like pixel, anti-aliasing, dithering, RGB, transparency, resolution, palette or vector. Wikipedia offers a decent prime on most of this terms.
António Martins-Tuválkin 21 June 2007


If you have no experience with graphical work at all, I would suggest starting out by familiarizing yourself with MS Paint (bundled with Windows). It cannot be used to make complex images, but the basic commands are similar to the ones you will encounter in a more advanced program like Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop. Speaking of which, many community colleges offer a course on one or both of these (useful if you want to try them out first, as the programs themselves are a bit pricey), and printed user guides are usually available in libraries. There is also a freeware high-level graphics editor called GIMP, but I'm not sure I would recommend it.

Of course, you can always just wing it (worked for me). The programs tend to look forbidding - lots of tiny buttons - but everything is labeled, and if you have an idea of what you want to do you can usually figure out how to do it.
Eugene Ipavec 21 June 2007

The problem with MS Paint is that it does not (at least up to the W2k version) allow control over the final image mode and file format, which are very important when doing stuff other than photos (like flat flag images).

I surely put Gimp quite above MS Paint in my recommendation scale, though #1 would surely be PhotoShop. It is very expensive if you buy the latest version new, but it should be simple to get your hands on, say, version 5, as an OEM bundled along with scanners or some such.
António Martins-Tuválkin 21 June 2007

Most of what you learn in MS Paint, you'll have to unlearn once you shift to an actual drawing program.
Jorge Candeias 23 June 2007

I would suggest that any potential flag artist should learn a decent vectorial drawing package first (Illustrator, CorelDRAW, CAD). The "giffing" part is only an hour away (learning) after that.
Martin Grieve 23 June 2007


The first gif I made was the flag of the Tibetan resistance. I wouldn't even have tried to gif it if I had not found a drawing of its two swords in a book. I scanned it and used Paint to colorize it.
Corentin Chamboredon 21 June 2007

Most of us actually draw the elements we need. We may be able to use what we find, but as an aid, not as a colorizing source.
Jorge Candeias 23 June 2007