GIF Animation Studio, Animating Your Web Site

COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW  

532  words

Title: GIF Animation Studio, Animating Your Web Site;  Author;  
Richard Koman; Publisher; Songline Studios, Inc. and O'Reilly 
& Associates; ISBN: 1-56592-230-1; Soft cover, 170 pages, 
US$39.95  CAN$57.95 

Reviewer; Raymond Saint Arnaud, "To put your content onto 
their screen. GIF Animation Studio, Animating Your WEB Site 
is a great starting point."

GIF Animation Studio. Animating Your WEB Site

So, why would you be interested in GIF animation? Imagine yourself 
surfing through the Internet's World Wide Web. Some pages 
command your attention with their content, others by the grace of their 
visual appearance. The ability of a WWW page to capture the 
viewer's attention has become key in the design of a site. If surfers 
do not get past the first few pages, the WWW sites message never 
get to it's intended audience.

In the search for more powerful attention grabbers, WEB developers 
have resorted to better graphics and the addition of animation. 
However, to view some of these animations, the at home user has to 
download a special piece of software called a plug in to enable their 
WWW browser to accept and interpret the animation.

This is quite easy for the technically competent. However, as the WWW 
expands into more homes and businesses, where technical expertise is 
not available, sites requiring a download will never be seen. The 
average surfer will either not understand how to download a plug in, or 
will not want to take the time to do so. After all, if the browser that 
came with computer cannot show the animation, is it worth seeing?


For developers that recognize this limitation and want to use animation 
as an attention grabber a far more elegant solution is at hand, GIF 
animation. Gif animation can be read by a standard browser like 
Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or Netscape 2.0. For the viewer, nothing 
is required. Once a page is entered a GIF animation downloads in the 
same way as normal text information and performs its animation. This 
kind of animation is seen as part of those little banner advertisements 
on the home page of most search engines.

How do you create a GIF animation? GIF Animation Studio by Richard 
Koman is an excellent place to start. The book has clear explanations 
about the GIF format for animation as well as still images. The author 
offers a very good explanation of how color is used on the Web, how 
to use the standard palette or create custom palettes. This is worth 
reading by any developer who wants to use color effectively on the Web.

Also included is a CD-ROM with freeware and shareware programs 
that facilitate the creation of GIF animation. There are programs for MAC 
and Windows users. Also included is a trial version of Adobe PhotoShop 
3.0 and sample GIF Animation that are used in the book. 

To create a GIF animation, you create the individual cells of the animation 
in an imaging program. Then use the animation software to assemble the 
cells in a frame sequence to create the animation effect. An animation 
does not have to be complex to attract attention. Any form of movement 
will be an attention grabber in an otherwise static environment.

Because technical books tend to become dated rather quickly, the 
authors maintain a Web site that allows readers update on new GIF 
developments.

So, why use GIF animation? The answer is to create dynamic Web 
sites that are easy to access, capture the viewer's attention and put 
your content onto their screen. GIF Animation Studio is a great starting point.



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