WHAT IS A GIF?
“The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.
The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel allowing a single image to reference a palette of up to 256 distinct colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of 256 colors for each frame. The color limitation makes the GIF format unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.
GIF images are compressed using the Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality. This compression technique was patented in 1985. Controversy over the licensing agreement between the patent holder, Unisys, and CompuServe in 1994 spurred the development of the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) standard; since then all the relevant patents have expired.”
WHY DO I CARE?
In short, you don’t.
CAN I SEE BUSSEY FOREVER?
WHAT IS THE PROPER PRONUNCIATION?
“The creators of the format pronounced GIF with a soft “g” as in “George”. However, many people pronounce GIF with a hard G, as in a ‘gift’ reflecting the way the G is pronounced in the phrase the acronym refers to (Graphics Interchange Format), and both pronunciations are given as correct by the Oxford English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary. According to the creator of the GIF format, Steve Wilhite, the original pronunciation deliberately echoes that of an American peanut butter brand, Jif, and the employees of CompuServe would often say “Choosy developers choose GIF”, spoofing this brand’s television commercials. This pronunciation was also identified by CompuServe in their documentation of a graphics display program called CompuShow.”
ARE THERE ANY GIFS INSPIRED BY VALUE CITY?
WHAT ABOUT THE COLOURS?
Well… Wikipedia say:
“GIF is palette-based: the colors used in an image (a frame) in the file have their RGB values defined in a palette table that can hold up to 256 entries, and the data for the image refer to the colors by their indexes (0–255) in the palette table. The color definitions in the palette can be drawn from a color space of millions of shades (224 shades, 8 bits for each primary), but the maximum number of colors a frame can use is 256. This limitation seemed reasonable when GIF was developed because few people could afford the hardware to display more colors simultaneously. Simple graphics, line drawings, cartoons, and grey-scale photographs typically need fewer than 256 colors.
As a further refinement, each frame can designate one index as a “transparent background color”: any pixel assigned this index takes on the color of the pixel in the same position from the background, which may have been determined by a previous frame of animation.
Many techniques, collectively called dithering, have been developed to approximate a wider range of colors with a small color palette by using pixels of two or more colors to approximate in-between colors. These techniques sacrifice spatial resolution to approximate deeper color resolution. While not part of the GIF specification, dithering can of course be used in images subsequently encoded as GIF images. This is often not an ideal solution for GIF images, both because the loss of spatial resolution typically makes an image look fuzzy on the screen, and because the dithering patterns often interfere with the compressibility of the image data, working against GIF’s main purpose.
In the early days of graphical web browsers, graphics cards with 8-bit buffers (allowing only 256 colors) were common and it was fairly common to make GIF images using the websafe palette. This ensured predictable display, but severely limited the choice of colors. Now that 32-bit graphics cards, which support 24-bit color, are the norm, palettes can be populated with the optimum colors for individual images.
A small color table may suffice for small images, and keeping the color table small allows the file to be downloaded faster. Both the 87a and 89a specifications allow color tables of 2n colors for any n from 1 through 8. Most graphics applications will read and display GIF images with any of these table sizes; but some do not support all sizes when creating images. Tables of 2, 16, and 256 colors are widely supported.”
WHAT’S EATING gifBERT GRAPE?
This stupid fucking gif right here.
WHAT ABOUT TRUE COLOUR?
I’m going to have to refer to Wikipedia on this one.
“There are at least two rarely-used methods that can generate a GIF that, if decoded according to the GIF89a standard, will produce an animation that ends with a 24-bit RGB truecolor image.
GIF89a was designed based on the principle of rendering images (known as frames when used for animation) to a logical, fixed-size screen. Each image could optionally have no delay after it is rendered, and could have its own 256-color palette. Also, each image need not fill the entire logical screen, and the animation can cease after the last frame; it need not begin again. The multi-frame, zero-delay, and unique-palette features, optionally combined with transparency, allow for each image to replace only a portion of the previous image’s pixel data. When used without looping, a more-than-256-color final result can be achieved.
For example, a GIF can be encoded to render as a series of overlapping full-screen images, each image filling in color that wasn’t in the previous one. Transparent pixels can be used to preserve colors from previous images.
A similar method that doesn’t use transparency is to encode the GIF to render as a series of less-than-full-screen images adjacent to each other, rather than overlapping.
These methods are not widely supported by GIF-generating software, and Web browsers and other image viewers may not contain completely compliant GIF89a implementations, so their ability to display such GIFs accurately may be limited.”
CAN I SEE A GiF FROM GOD?
Here you are.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY GiFS OF LUIS GUZMAN?
GifMan, but yes, several
WHAT DYA SAY?