Feb. 14: 90-Minute Mastery – The Art of the GIF

Learn how to make animated GIFs that will engage your audience! Cronkite News Digital Desk Director Lori Todd will show you how.

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  • Today I attended a 90-minute mastery on the art of GIF making with Cronkite’s digital director, Lori Todd. We worked in Photoshop on an animated gif made by someone, then moved on to make our own! I had no idea you could make gifs in Photoshop and it was so easy! We took still photos of Legos and brought them together to be a gif, then did the same with a video. For mine, I used Legos to create my name, so each frame added a new letter. All you do is drag your photos into adobe and create layers with your images. You can then create a timeline and loop it on forever, which is the most important part of creating a gif. You can change the duration of each slide to make your gif super quick or slow, I preferred the quicker one. I really liked how hands on this was, and Lori was so fun.

  • 90-minute mastery on the art of GIF is a very useful class on creating animations for a series of images or videos. The class is conducted by Lori Todd, Digital Director of Cronkite News.
    In 90 minutes, she taught us how to create GIFs products with the photos download from the Internet, on our own with lego blocks, and video. Before studying, I thought it was challenging to create such animation GIFs, and it required me to be competently at photoshop. However, making GIFs is simpler than I imagined. I must not be a tech wiz to create GIFs.
    During the class, Lori also introduced some compelling storytelling examples of using GIFs in creating the media/press products such us in Burlington Free Press, Baltimore Sun, NPR, Quinto Elemental Lab. She has also mentioned some benefits of using GIFs, which is a way to animate images in the smallest file size. It is a useful marketing tool, more in particular, on social media. GIFs will effectively attract your audiences. I really like this 90 minutes master.

  • February 15, 2020 at 11:49pm (This was submitted to my teacher on the date specified, please contact Melanie Alvarez to confirm)

    My first 90 Minute Mastery session with Ms. Lori Todd, Cronkite’s very own News Digital Desk Director, was so much fun. A group of us gathered in room 414 on the fourth floor at Cronkite on Feb. 14th right at 10:30am, to learn all about the art of GIF making with the Photoshop program. We all began with a brief power point presentation of the basics for how to upload images onto the program to get them to layer and repeat in sequence. After a few questions from us students we began to explore on our computers. Ms. Todd had a folder already which we used to copy and drag photos onto the Photoshop program. Once we loaded it, we saw it was pictures of a skull with different expressions. We had all the photos layer on top of each other which then made the skull look like it was actually moving. One exercise we tried in class was to use Lego pieces to create little figures which we then later took a couple pictures of. This exercise required creativity which was so fun. In my pile of Lego’s I found a door and a figure of a man wearing a banana suit which was quite funny. I thought it would be cool to begin taking pictures of the door opening slightly little by little to reveal the banana man coming through the door till he exists. After my pictures were taken, I sent them to my email and then downloaded the images onto the computer. Once I opened the downloaded files, I uploaded those pictures to Photoshop. Once the pictures are loaded in the program I clicked on “Create Frames from Layers” then chose the duration of each clip as I wanted it to appear to my audience. I tried a couple of different seconds till I decided to go for 0.5 secs and set it to loop “Forever”. The program then looped my images creating something that looked like a short video clip. It really did seem like my Banana Man was going through the door. I made sure to save my work and send it to myself. I clicked on File, Export, Save for Web, Forever, 2-Up, 128 Dithered, I hit Play, then Saved it after it all looked good.

    Ms. Todd let us know that the pro’s to GIF’s are that they can engage the audience a lot more than videos. The reason for that is that sometimes people don’t want to click through and watch videos till the end. “GIF’s can be a quick way to show the viewer what you would like and they will see the content no matter what on your page without having to click on anything”, said Ms. Todd. She explained that short 10 sec videos can also be uploaded onto Photoshop and set to loop so that the audience once again doesn’t have to continue to click play and pause etc. She showed us on the projector examples of other websites who have used video GIF’s quite successfully. The Baltimore Dance company used video GIF’s to break down a couple of dance moves for their audience to learn. The video continued to loop over and over and included a paragraph with the dance steps. The video GIF was super helpful because if somebody is really trying to learn at home from their computer they can practice without having to rewind and play and pause.

    Everyone in class then looked through their phones and selected videos they wanted to turn into video GIF’s or they could shoot a quick 10 sec video right then and there. Since it was Valentines day, I chose to do a quick video of me blowing a kiss to the camera. I sent the video to my email then downloaded it and uploaded in to Photoshop. Once it was there and I was a little more experienced with the process, I began to correct the settings and crop it. I looped it to make the clip start over and over. Once everything looked good, then I saved it using the same process as before. It looked great overall and I felt so proud of my GIF’s.

    The Art of the GIF class today taught by Ms. Lori Todd, was easy to learn and gave me more confidence when using the Photoshop program. I must admit this was my very first time with Photoshop and this master class really helped me to get comfortable and not be so overwhelmed with it. I feel like I will definitely use this new tool I learned to incorporate it to my blogs for the Fashion Journalism Club website I write for at Cronkite. I think it could definitely be a fun way to get our readers to be more engaged with our content. I would love to teach my peers in the club so each can see how they would like to use it and help make our blogs more fun!

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