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Affinity Photo - Create an animated gif


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A verry good software to create GIF-Animations is GIMP. Though it has no timeline. But you don't really need a timeline to create GIF-Animations. The frames of the animation are the layers. It is less like a video clip, but more like a flicker book. Another solution could be Krita, that even has a timeline, but I am not experienced in making GIF-Animations with it.

Edit: One additional annotation: GIF-Animations are possibly a little bit outdated (only 256 colours). You can also animate with PNG-Animations - in a better quality. And even the new Webp-format can be used for animations, as far as I know.

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1 hour ago, Rich_QLD said:

Does Affinity have plans to make animated digital ads/Giffs?  If so, when?

This would be a very handy tool to have.

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums.

Probably they have no plans for this. But if they do have any, they will not comment on them until the function is nearly ready for release.

-- Walt
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On 2/7/2021 at 4:22 PM, v_kyr said:

Aren't there enough GIF animation building tools (?), the net is full of them, freeware, opensource, commercial ones etc.

Well... no. Seems Photoshop is the only simple one that can handle PDF layers. GIMP probably too if you can figure out the interface. Maybe Krita. I had 20 years ago a simple GIF animator app that could produce beautiful animations from Photoshop layers, but I guess this market just vanished when PS gained GIF animation ability.

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Until the petition is successful(182 signatures so far), I've found a few more alternatives to try and hold us over!

Google Web Designer Free

Rive Free

Saola $80 or $52 if we all teamed up. 

Let me know if any of these are helpful or if you have any more apps worth trying.

 

edit:

I've tried google web designer and it is really cool in concept with interactive animation, but it's really buggy, it's like a joke shaking my animation like its a criminal. I looked at the timeline preview and it reveals why it's shaking;

image.png.31db5bd53b1de69e196c43b1d1c8a5e6.png

 

I also tried Rive but it also doesnt handle effects, shadows, masks, or even internal boolean cuts from existing svg files. So importing from Affinity is basicly impossible. I love the browser based concept though.

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As an additional tip concerning my post about GIMP: there are several plugins for creating animations in GIMP. The most powerfull might be GAP (GIMP Animation Package). It is a package with several animation-plugins. You find it on GIMPScripts.net (November 2020). Also the free G'MIC plugin (also available for Affinity Photo) has some animation filters in its category "Sequences".  But there are also other plugins out there. E.g. "Multi-Replicate" that can be used to create linear transformations of image objects (move, scale, rotate...). Or the plugin "Follow Path" from Arachne, that does something similar along a path you have to draw before. It also can create colour transitions and blend objects in or out. It can create 500 layers/frames maximum. GIMPs Warp tool already has an animation feature by design, that creates animations from the unwarped source image to the warped image. Another good thing is the plugin "Export Layers", that allows to export all layers of an image document as PNGs in just one step. For example to sample them in a video editing software to create a video.

GIMP may look a bit rustic in some things, but it does a pretty good job in many things and offers a lot of opportunities.

An alternative I'm not experienced with might be Synfig Studio, a vector based 2D animation software that is free and open source too.

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6 hours ago, cloois said:

This is such an easy and useful addition to make.

What makes you think adding animation capabilities of any kind would be easy? As it is, AP has no support for a timeline or automatically switching among different slices, layers, groups, etc.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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6 hours ago, cloois said:

Exporting layers as an animated gif with a fixed frame rate is trivial. (I could do it in half a day)

How would handle for example a document with many different groups or slices, some representing a fixed background & others the part that should be animated?

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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9 hours ago, R C-R said:

What makes you think adding animation capabilities of any kind would be easy? As it is, AP has no support for a timeline or automatically switching among different slices, layers, groups, etc.

FWIW Procreate and Adobe Fresco had no support for a timeline or automatically switching among different slices, layers, groups, etc. until they both decided to add equivalents within their own mental models/constraints. IMHO both have created quite different, but equally useable (and well received) interpretations that have greatly expanded what is possible with each app. 

There's lots of possibility between easy and impossible.

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You don't really need a timeline to create GIF-animations. But it is of course nice to have one. GIMP doesn't have a timeline too, but you can create very nice GIF-animations with it.

I don't know if it is easy to add the necessary code for GIF-animations to Photo. Krita, as far as I know, doesn't have this option too. Even it has a timeline and it once was a split off of GIMP. And its developers are very busy.

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7 minutes ago, iconoclast said:

You don't really need a timeline to create GIF-animations.

Then how would you set how quickly the GIF cycles through the different images in the animation; IOW, set the delay(s) specified by the Graphic Control Extension (GCE)? What about choosing if it continuously loops or not? Both are at least to some extent dependent on supporting some type of time interval(s) between the frames of the animation.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

Then how would you set how quickly the GIF cycles through the different images in the animation; IOW, set the delay(s) specified by the Graphic Control Extension (GCE)? What about choosing if it continuously loops or not? Both are at least to some extent dependent on supporting some type of time interval(s) between the frames of the animation.

Those settings are in the Export dialog of GIMP. Didn't do it for a long time, but as far as I remember, those are global settings only. There are also different options to optimize the layer stack for GIF-animation-export. This means e.g. that redundant parts will be removed to get smaller files.

And if you really want to drive it to the max, you can install GAP, the GIMP Animation Package. That is a package containing a lot of scripts and plugins for animations. It had much more content in the past, because as GIMP 2.10 came out, many of the old scripts and plugins didn't work any longer. Not all are updated yet. In the past there was e.g. a plugin or script for animated morphing in this package. And also one to export animations as MPEG-files. Very cool, but as I said, I haven't used it for the last time. So I don't know what is in the package actually.

Except GAP, there are also some other plugins and scripts available for animation or that are usefull for animation. E.g. features to handle layers.

Edit: By the way, there is a function n GIMP by design, that I miss in Affinity Photo and Designer. It allows to invert the layer stack with only one click. A useful function, not only for animations.

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Just to stir things up:

Why would anybody still want to create animated gifs anyways? It's having bad performance, the format is older than the internet and it doesn't even has semi transparency...

There's APNG now which is supported in all modern major browsers (https://caniuse.com/apng)! 😎

To add to this:

if Affinity would decide to add a timeline, then there will be people asking: why is there no support for AVI, MP4 etc... 
Why is there no support for Lottie files? 
Why is there no support for filters... plugins...?

I think it's wise that Affinity (hopefully) sticks to the core of the software programs. It's not an animation program. And they have their hands full already on creating features and fixes for these. Be good at what you do best; stick to the core. There are animation programs enough already. Even free ones with a timeline, like Krita.

 

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1 minute ago, Friksel said:

Just to stir things up:

Why would anybody still want to create animated gifs anyways? It's having bad performance, the format is older than the internet and it doesn't even has semi transparency...

There's APNG now which is supported in all modern major browsers (https://caniuse.com/apng)! 😎

That's a question I usually ask in such cases too. Also that GIF only supports 256 maximum colours is a point that should be in mind. But as it seems the GIF-animation still has its fans.

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7 minutes ago, iconoclast said:

Those settings are in the Export dialog of GIMP.

My point is there is nothing like that in AP -- nothing that could be used to set the delay(s) between frames, if the animation loops or not, & not anything that could be added as a scripting addition for that or anything to optimize export size.

So what exactly would be 'easy' to add to AP to make it suitable for animated GIP creation?

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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2 minutes ago, R C-R said:

My point is there is nothing like that in AP -- nothing that could be used to set the delay(s) between frames, if the animation loops or not, & not anything that could be added as a scripting addition for that or anything to optimize export size.

So what exactly would be 'easy' to add to AP to make it suitable for animated GIP creation?

As I said, I suppose it is not that easy, because if it was also Krita would already have Animated GIF Export for years.

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