Thursday, 29 October 2015


An animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) file is a graphic image on a Web page that moves - for example, a twirling icon or a banner with a hand that. In particular, an animated GIF is a file in the Graphics Interchange Format that contains within the single file a set of images that are presented in a specified order.

There are several websites where you can download animated GIFs though they tend to be ridden with adverts. However, if you search in BING and choose Animated GIF in the type drop down menu you will filter the type that you want. Click on the image you prefer and choose save picture from the right click menu. Check that the type is GIF before you save.

Now comes the useful bit when we can use the animated GIF in Scratch2.

Click on the upload a sprite from file folder to import a Sprite and navigate to the animated GIF file that was saved earlier. At first it doesn’t look particularly useful until you notice that all the images that created the animated GIF have also been imported as costumes to the sprite. This means that you can use them in Scratch to animate the sprite.
This is a great way to discuss image types and why there are so many e.g. BMP, JPG, PNG and GIF. It’s also an easy way to introduce some animation within Scratch. Just write a short script to change costume repeatedly using the CHANGE COSTUME block. You will probably also need a WAIT block unless you have a really slow computer! Children will have to know that decimal numbers exist as the wait will need to be between 0 and 1; it’s just one of many occasions when what we want to do in Scratch requires more maths than we have at our disposal. Of course we can use change costume to animate a library sprite in Scratch if it has more than 1 costume but the animated GIFs that you import may have up to 20 different costumes and will appear more lifelike!
Nottingham e-Learning Community is part of Nottingham City Council, Children and Adults