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Animated Pulsating
Heart GIMP


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Create And Save An Animated Pulsating Heart

Animated Pulsating Heart GIMP

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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create and save an Animated Pulsating Heart.  To work along, you are welcome to download the Transparent Heart I am working with HereUnzip the file and open the image onto GIMP’s workspace.

Animated Colour Changing Sphere
Optimise And Save Animations In GIMP

You can quickly Undo a step at any time by pressing Ctrl then Z. Alternatively, click a previous Undo History snapshot - Windows then Dockable Dialogues then click Undo History. In addition, to Zoom in (or Zoom out) of your image; from the top menu, choose View then select a Zoom Tool from the subsequent drop-down list.

Resize Images
Understand Layers
Optimise And Save Images
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes

Open your Transparent Start Image onto GIMP’s workspace - File then Open -
then O.

Ensure the Layers and the Undo History Palettes are visible, and then drag them into position over your workspace - (Windows then Dockable Dialogues - then click Layers and Undo History).

And then Duplicate the Red Heart Layer by left-clicking over the following Create a duplicate of the layer three times. You will now have Four Identical Heart Layers - as illustrated below.

You will now have Four Identical Heart Layers layered on top of each other, as illustrated below.

Now, (in the Layers Palette): activate the Top Heart’s Layer.

And then click the following Create a new layer.. tab. And then click OK to the subsequent Create a New Layer dialogue box - as demonstrated below.

A New Transparent Layer will then be added to the top of the Layers Stack, as illustrated below.

Incrementally Smaller Red Hearts Note
In the next steps, you are looking to reduce the size of the four hearts incrementally. For the animation to look right, the Second Heart must be slightly smaller than the First Heart, and the Third Heart must be slightly smaller than the Second Heart, and the Fourth Heart must be slightly smaller than the Third Heart.

It’s time to resize the Four Red Hearts. Therefore, activate the First Heart’s Layer.

And then from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Scale Tool. And enter the following Keep Aspect settings into the Options Box.

Now, left-click over your image, (and ignoring the Scale dialogue box for now), grab the Top Right Repositioning Handle - and move it diagonally towards the Bottom Left - as illustrated below.

After you have slightly reduced the First Heart’s Size, click the Scale tab to commit the Scale.


Then left-click over the Middle Repositioning Handle - and then drag your Scaled Heart to a central position, as illustrated below. Remember to commit the Scale by clicking the Scale tab.


You are looking to reduce the size of the remaining three hearts incrementally. The Third Heart must be slightly smaller than the Second Heart, and the Fourth Heart must be slightly smaller than the Third Heart.

Now, activate the Second Heart’s Layer, and slightly reduce the Heart’s Size using the Scale Tool, exactly as you did with the First Heart. Then activate the Third Heart’s Layer, and slightly reduce it’s Size using the Scale Tool. And finally, activate the Fourth Heart’s Layer, and then slightly reduce the Fourth Heart using the Scale Tool

After you have completed this, your Workspace’s Image and Layers Palette will resemble the following.

Congratulations, you have now created your (Layered) Animation-frames, and they are ready to save as an animation.


Now is a good time to
save your work as a GIMP XCF File.

To view your animation. From the top menu, choose Filters then choose Animation and then choose Playback. And from the subsequent Animation Playback dialogue box, click the following Play (Start Playback) tab.

Your Five-layered Image will now animate.

7/ (
Read More About Image Optimisation Here).
Now, it’s time to stroke each Red Heart with a Solid Colour. Stroking each Red Heart with a Solid Colour smoothes potential ragged edges. (If you don’t stroke your image, once saved; it’s edges will be unsightly and ragged). 

First, set the Background Colour to a colour that closely matches (or is identical) to the website or forum background you will be uploading your Animated Heart to. For example, if your website/forum background is Solid White - then change the Background Colour to Solid White. I am going to blend my Pulsating Heart Animation with this page’s pink background colour, and I have therefore set the Background Colour to Pink - as illustrated below.

Then from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Web and then choose
Semi-Flatten. You will notice your image has now been stroked the Background Colour, which in this instance has been set to Pink.

Tip: Colour Picker Tool
Link Here to discover how to set the (Foreground) and the Background Colour to a Solid Colour of your choice.


Now, activate each Red Heart Layer (one at a time). And Stroke the remaining Red Hearts with the same Solid Colour. After you have completed this, your Image and Layers Palette will resemble the following, and you are ready to Save your Animation as a Single Layered Transparent Gif.


(Optional) Optimise Your Gif Notes
Optimising your animation can reduce the eventual file size. To optimise your animation: from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Animation and then select either Optimise (Difference) or Optimise (for GIF).

9/ Tutorial Continued (Export/Save Images As A GIF: GIMP 2.8 - Click Here).
From the top menu, choose File and then choose Save As. And from the subsequent
Save Image dialogue box, navigate to a Destination Folder of your choice. Then save your Image as a GIF, and then click Save. As demonstrated by my screen capture below.

How to Save Images Tutorial Here.

And from the subsequent Export File dialogue box, mark the following Save as Animation box, and then click Export.

And from the subsequent Save as Gif dialogue box, enter settings of your choice, (or accept the default settings), and then click Save.

For personalised animation speeds, experiment with different Millisecond (Delay between frames) values.

Default 100 Milliseconds (Frame Speed)

100 Millisecond Example

100 Milliseconds Example

Slow Down Your Animation
To slow down your animation’s speed, increase the Delay between frames to around 150 milliseconds. (for personal results, always experiment with the speed setting).

150 milliseconds example

150 Millisecond Example

Animated Pulsating Heart GIMP (150 Frame Delay)

Loop Forever    
When this option is marked, the animation will play repeatedly until you stop it.

Delay Between Frames If Unspecified   
You can set the delay, in milliseconds, between frames if it has not been set before. In this case, you can modify every delay in the Layer Dialogue.

Frame Disposal When Unspecified
If this has not been set before, you can set how frames will be superimposed. You can select one of the following three options:

I Don't Care
You can use this option if all your Layers are opaque. Layers will overwrite what is

Cumulative Layers (Combine)
Previous frames will not be deleted when a new one is displayed.

One Frame Per Layer (Replace)
Previous frames will be deleted before displaying a new frame.

Congratulations, you have created and saved your Animated Heart, and it is ready to upload to a server in your usual manner.

Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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