#8 Internship Journal-Social GIFs

Currently, I am doing social gifs of Swish Beverages(Drinkbabe). Krystal (our social media manager) assigned Saba and me to make new Swish Bev gifs for updating on the Giphy. So people could use our gifs as they use sticker function on Instagram for decorating their photos and also their Instagram story. At the same time, it is also a kind of advertising campaigns when our social gifs are in widespread use.

In the beginning, I only use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to make gifs. To do that, I had created the graphics for each frame of the gif and then add each frame in the timeline tool of Photoshop.

However, there are three disadvantages by using Photoshop for making gif files. First, the exported animated gif is not a high pixel density but with low resolution. I can easily see pixels on these animations. Second, it takes a longer time to create animation in Photoshop because I need to have every frame done in Illustrator before I started using Photoshop. Then I also have to design the movements and modify angles for each frame in Photoshop which is time-consuming, complicated and prone to error. Third, because of the complexity and length of making animated gifs through Illustrator and Photoshop, I only can create some easy and straightforward gifs (no more than fifteen frames).

I have been bothered for a while until I saw the animated gifs that made by Saba. Her gifs are a very high pixel density with smooth, realistic movements. Therefore, I ask her how did she do it? She told me that she imported the ai files from Illustrator to After Effects, and create the movements by using the effects and presets in After Effects; then export to video file and transfer the video to Gif file through Photoshop. I am pleased and thankful to Saba, my colleague, and friend who is always patient on helping me when I have questions.

Here is an explanation about why the After Effect video file has HD GIFs: “You could do more colors with an MP4 video the file size would most likely be close or smaller in size to the animated GIF which only supports 256 mapped colors.  You would not need that many frames, and you would not be using a high frame rate.”

I was baffled at the very beginning because I had never done anything design work in After Effects, let alone working on the GIFs. Therefore I watched lots of After Effect tutorials to familiar with this software in the following weeks. Finally, I learn how to make high-resolution GIFs.

Now there are total thirty-two Swish Bev gifs on Giphy, and I make thirteen of them. Compare with other design projects I made, I prefer to do GIFs because they are entirely my own creation, at least for now. Also, I can have more chances to learn new skills including After Effects and animation.


@ Swish Bev • Babe(Drinkbabe)