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An animated gif is a sequence of images stored in a single graphics file in GIF format. When the graphic is displayed on a monitor screen, the sequence of images is run consecutively at speed, giving the impression of movement. The method is essentially the same as that used in movies or TV; but the clip usually quickly loops back to the start, resulting in a short sequence that keeps repeating itself.
Animated Gifs in Fandom
In fandom, it is common to take a small section of screencaps and animate them as a GIF file. Since single screencaps are most often stored in JPEG format, the term "gif" is often used by fans to refer exclusively to animations.
Reaction gifs can be used to express emotion. A gif of Michael Jackson eating popcorn in a theater, for example, can mean, "This has the potential to be excellent wank." People also make gifs of moments they find funny, moving, or hot. Many users on Tumblr also create gif sets.
Some people want credit for the gifs they make. Watermarks. In January 2013, a Tumblr campaign was started to discourage the practice of "stealing" gifs by reposting (i.e. downloading and then uploading to start a new chain of reblogs) instead of reblogging. See the fail_fandomanon discussion.
Gifs as spam or trolling.
- The Graphics Interchange Format (or GIF) is a method of transmitting images online. The file containing the image is given the extension ".gif"; and such images are frequently just referred to as "gifs". Because it is supported by all web browsers, the GIF format is very popular. Gifs have the disadvantage that they have a limited palette of colours, making the format most useful for black-and-white drawings, or images with large blocks of solid colors, since there can be a loss of colour detail when the format is used for photographs or complex artwork. However, the GIF format allows areas of the image to be "transparent", allowing an underlying background to be visible; and it is popular for webart. The GIF format is also typically used in making animations.