How to make an animated GIF in GIMP

This post explains how to make an animated GIF in GIMP.  A GIF is a format in which you can save a series of images so that they move from one image to the next to make a simple animation. This could be compared to having drawings in a booklet in front of you and when you flick through the booklet the drawings appear to be moving.


Why would you want to make an animated GIF? Because it draws attention and adds movement to your online space. And, it can look really cool.


Making a GIF is very easy. This tutorial runs you through how to make a GIF using GIMP.


If you’re not familiar with GIMP it is an open source image manipulation program, similar to Photoshop, but non-proprietary. If you haven’t got GIMP already then go ahead and install the best copy for your computer. GIMP is FREE. Go to GIMP installation.


How to make an animated GIF in GIMP


1. Gather together a set of images you want to animate. Ideas? – different words that could look like they’re moving, a character moving an arm, leg, head etc, or changing colour…

These are the images that I’m animating. They are similar enough to move together and create an interesting ‘flashing’ colour change.

 How to make an animated GIFHow to make an animated GIFHow to make an animated GIFHow to make an animated GIFHow to make an animated GIFHow to make an animated GIF


2. Open GIMP and then open the first image you want to animate.


3. Go to the Layers dialogue box on the right hand side. Name the layer of your first image something distinctive.


You now need to create layers with the rest of your images. Each layer is like a ‘page’ for your animation, just like the pages in a hand held animated booklet which you flick through to create animations.


4. On the menu at the top of the screen, click, File, then Open As Layers. Select the next image in your animation. You can change the order later if needed. Now click on the new layer and rename if needed.


5. Repeat this process with the rest of your images. the dialogue box should look something like the image below.


How to make and animated GIF


6. ANIMATION TIME! When your images are all ready go to the menu at the top of the screen, click, Filter then Animation, then Playback. A box should pop up with your animation.


7. If the images are too big or too small go back to GIMP and resize using the resize tool.


8. To save – file, Save As, scroll down to file type GIF.  GIMP then takes you through a series of questions. The answer to the first question is save as animation (see image below). In the next box you can change the frame rate to be slower or faster.



Here’s my finished GIF, click on the image and see what happens. Have fun playing and watch out for more GIF’s appearing on this website!

 How to make an animated GIF in GIMP






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4 Responses to How to make an animated GIF in GIMP

  1. Man Cave Zen March 16, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Great reference. I’ve used this site several times when I keep forgetting how to do this when making banners.

    One edit: In step 8 you say to go to File>Save As. I think you mean to go to File>Export At least in version 2.8.2. That threw me for a minute.

  2. RebeccaOGM March 17, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Thanks for the update, great to hear you’re finding the post useful.

  3. mauro December 25, 2015 at 7:16 am #


  4. TEXRGD May 14, 2016 at 6:27 am #

    Good article. Thanks.

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