How To Make A GIF Animation File In GIMP

Do you want to make a GIF animation file? Using GIMP could be your solution. GIMP is an amazing free and open source image editor similar to Adobe Photoshop. Making a GIF file in GIMP is actually fairly simple. This article will discuss step-by-step how to make a GIF file in GIMP.

Step 1: Download and Install GIMP

Go here to download gimp. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you use Ubuntu or other popular Linux distros, very likely GIMP is already in the default repositories, and you could just install via something like:
sudo apt-get install gimp
Then open GIMP.

Step 2: Get The Images That You Want To Make A GIF Out Of And Order Them

In this step, ideally you will put all of your images in one folder, and order them. For example, you could name your first image image1.jpg (or image1.png), the next image as image2.jpg (or image2.png), and so on. Although it isn’t necessary to order your images, it makes it quicker to make the GIF file in GIMP.

Step 3: Open Your Images

You will now open the first image that will be in your GIF animation.

In the main menu choose:
File → Open (then find your first image)


After the first image, you will open all additional images as layers.

Next, you will open your second image by doing:

File → Open as layers


And find your second image.
Repeat the above this step for all images.

You could actually import all images including the first one if you do
File → Open as Layers
and then select all of your images, but this would only be useful if the images are ordered properly.

Step 4: Open The Layers Dialogue Box And Order Your Images

In the main menu choose:
Windows → Dockable Dialogues → Layers

Though, you may already have the Layers box enabled in which case you wouldn’t have to do the previous step.

It will look like the image below.



The layer (image) on the bottom will be the first part of the animation and the layer (image) on the top will be the last part of the image.

You can manually move the layers in the box to change the GIF’s animation order. If you know that you imported them all in order, then you don’t have to worry about manually ordering the layers.

Step 5: Test What The Animation Will Look Like

Before you actually make the GIF, it is a good idea to test what it will look like. In the menu choose:

Filters → Animation → Playback.

A new box will pop up, and you can play your animation. You can change the speed as well as the number of frames per second.

You can exit out of the test animation box now. If you found that you want to change the animation order, you can move around the layers in the layers box that we opened up in step 4.

Step 6: Lastly Make The GIF BY Exporting It

In the main menu choose:

File → Export As

Then at the top, name your file, and make sure to end the name with .gif

Then click on Export. A final popup window will show up like the one below.


The only necessary option is that you click to enable “As Animation”. The other options you can play around with to get the GIF you like the most. The GIF will have a specific time delay between images in milliseconds, so make sure you choose the one that you think is best. You don’t want it too fast or too slow.Lastly, click on Export.

Your GIF file should have been created, and you can go view it now. If you don’t like the speed of your GIF, you could just create another GIF file repeating step 6.

The images from this article were of a GIF image I made for another site of mine. I tweeted the GIF animation on its Twitter page here.

Did you like this article? Do you anything to add? Let’s discuss it in the comments below.

Posted on Categories GIMP

6 thoughts on “How To Make A GIF Animation File In GIMP”

  1. This is a great, clear istruction guide on how to make a GIF. I remember using GIMP when I would make diagrams for scientific documents and it was sooooo hard. I wish I had your instructions back then! ?

  2. Thanks for the kind comment. There is sometimes a bit of a learning curve using GIMP, but once you get beyond it, GIMP is quite fantastic.

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