jennsbl Animated avatar

Starting with the sage advice and helpful avatar creation info from @meizlizard's post:

meizlizard wrote:

Animation is a neat feature, but don't abuse it. Don't use animation just for the sake of having animation. Make sure it adds something to your avatar that improves it.

While I quite agree with this I've not seen anyone answer the question of "how-to". Rather than asking again myself I decided to venture out and try it. YMMV.
I had "greened" up my avatar in Pixelmator but I also use Photoshop (I'm still a lot more comfortable with it though I'm unlikely to upgrade in the face of so much good competition these days!).
If you don't have an avatar at your disposal to start with try looking at the wonderfully prolific thread - - for resources to start with or ideas to kick you off on your own avatar creation.

What I did to make the dragon flame:

Using your chosen graphic editor, make a series of small/incremental changes to your image. Keep it to just a few steps.
I tried 8 steps, saved as GIF 32 Dithered and found I had just one too many increments to keep the file to 40KB.
I reduced it to 7 steps and hit 40KB exactly. You may have to play with this a bit to get the file size small enough.
Here's a shot of some of the progression I used:

I did a Google search and came up with a couple different free options to animate a GIF. The one I settled on works fine for producing a reasonable animation quite simply:
I chose to limit mine to 7 loops so it didn't get annoying if you were looking at it for long. GIFfun is quite straightforward to use.

(1) Collect your incremental images in a folder
(2) Drop the folder onto the GIFfun window
(3) Click "Make GIF"

Voila, animated GIF. GIFfun opens the file in your default brower so you can see the result immediately. It creates two files. The one you will want to upload is the one with the .gif extension, not the HTML preview file it created.
Have fun! (and sorry to all of you who dislike animation and will have to endure the creations potentially spawned by this)

This post was written by: jennsbl