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Animated Spheres 
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Create An Animated Sphere
GIMP (GNU) -
Intermediate Plus

Colourised Animated Spheres GIMP
Greyscale Animated Spheres GIMP

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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create an Animated Colour Changing
Sphere. To work along, you are welcome to download the Transparent Start Image I am working with
Here.  Unzip the file and open the image onto GIMP’s workspace.

Notes
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.

Gradient Banding Note
Animated Pulsating Heart
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes

1/
Open the Transparent Blue Sphere onto GIMP’s workspace - File then Open - Ctrl then O.

Note
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).



2/
Now, right-click over the Layer 1, and select Duplicate Layer from the subsequent drop-down list. Then repeat this a further five times. You should now have seven identical Layers in the Layers Palette, as demonstrated below.



3/
You are looking to alter the seven orbs’ colours. Therefore, activate the Top Layer - as illustrated above. Then from the top menu, choose Colours then choose
Colourise. And from the subsequent Colourise dialogue box, create the following Red Colour by moving the Hue and Saturation sliders, and then click OK.
 


                           

4/
Understand Layers
Now, hide the Top Layer’s Visibility by
clicking away (toggling) its Eye Icon
And then activate the Second Layer - as illustrated below.
 


5/
Then again from the top menu, choose Colours then choose Colourise. And from the subsequent Colourise dialogue box, create the following Orange Colour, and then click OK.

       

6/
Now, hide the Second Layer’s Visibility. Then activate the Third Layer. Then Colourise the Third Layer’s Orb. This time, I am choosing Yellow. (Hue 58, Saturation 70).

                           

7/
Then, in exactly the same way as you did with the First, Second and Third Orb Layers: activate and then change the Fourth, Fifth, Six and Seventh Layer’s Orbs. I changed mine to Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet respectively.

After you have completed this, your Layers Palette will resemble the following.
 
                            

8/
Important
Click back each Layer’s Visibility Eye Icon. Then activate the Top Layer.



Tip
Now is a good time to save your Layered Image
as a XCF File.

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

                          

9/ View And Save Your Animation
To view your animation. From GIMP’s 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 Seven-layered Image will now animate.



10/ (
Read More About Image Optimisation Here).
Now, it’s time to stroke each Sphere with a Solid Colour. Stroking each Sphere 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 Sphere 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 Animated Sphere 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.

                       

11/
Now, activate each Orb Layer (one at a time). And Stroke the remaining Orbs with the same Solid Colour. (Filters then Repeat Semi-Flatten - Ctrl then F).

After you have completed this, your Layers Palette will resemble the following. Congratulations, 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).



12/ 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.



How to Save Images Tutorial Here.

13/
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.

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

Default 100 Milliseconds (Frame Speed)


100 Millisecond 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 milliseconds setting).

150 milliseconds example


150 Millisecond Example



Gradient Banding Note
After saving your animated Orb as a Gif, you will notice some Gradient Banding. Due to the rainbow colours required to create this effect, Gradient Banding (unsightly blending) is an unavoidable consequence. The best way to minimise the Gradient Banding is to convert your Orbs to Greyscale before the Saving process, in Chapter 8. Alternatively, convert your animation to Greyscale during the Export/Saving process - as illustrated below.

          

14/
Congratulations, you have created and saved your Colour Changing Animated Sphere, and it is ready to upload to a server in your usual manner.

Loop Forever (Further Optimisation Notes).  
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
beneath.

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.

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