Creating an Animated GIF Using GIMP 2.8

1. If you have not already done so, download and install GIMP. As of this writing, the latest version is 2.8, and it is available at the URL

2. Create the frames of your animation as image files, in any file format that GIMP recognizes (for example, .gif, .jpg, or .png). Place all the images in a single directory, and name each file with a common prefix and a numeric suffix so that they sort in the correct order (for example, “Frame01.png”, “Frame02.png”, “Frame03.png” and so on).

3. Start GIMP, and wait for it to finish loading. If desired, enable single-window mode by selecting the item “Windows – Single-Window Mode” from the main menu bar.

4. In GIMP, select the item “File – Open as Layers” from the main menu. In the “Open Image” dialog that appears, navigate to the directory that contains the image files for the animation’s frames. If necessary, click the “Name” column header on the list box to sort the files in the correct order. [In the original version of this post, the user was instructed to sort the files in descending order, but it now appears that this advice might have been incorrect.]  Then select all the image files in the list box and and click the “Open” button. The Open Image dialog will disappear, control will return to the main GIMP window, and each loaded image file will be displayed as a layer in the “Layers” pane.

5. Select the item “Filters – Animation – Optimize (for GIF)” from the main menu. The layers in the Layers pane will be renamed and prepared for export as an animated GIF.

6. Select the item “Image – Mode – Indexed” from the main menu. In the “Indexed Color Conversion” dialog that appears, click the “Generate optimum palette” radio button, enter the value “255” in the “Maximum number of colors” box, and select the value “None” in the “Color dithering” box. Then click the “Convert” button. The dialog will disappear and control will return to the main window.

7. Select the item “File – Export…” from the main menu. On the “Export Image” dialog that appears, select the value “GIF image (*.gif)” in the file format select box, enter the desired name in the “Name” box, and click the “Export” button. Another dialog will appear, this one titled “Export Image as GIF”. Activate the “As animation” check box, modify any other settings as desired, then click the “Export” button. The images will be saved as frames of an animated GIF file.

Frame1 Frame2 Frame3 Frame4 Frame5 Frame6


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8 Responses to Creating an Animated GIF Using GIMP 2.8

  1. Eye Mœba says:

    excellent thanks.

  2. Vickie B says:

    Saved me hours of trouble on a project. Thanks for the clear and accurate instructions.

  3. Jello Repani says:

    i opened it in chrome its not doing anything

    • Likely this problem is happening because the .gif file is on your local filesystem, and Chrome has some sort of security in place designed to prevent local files from doing anything that might conceivably help hackers to gain access to your system. They’re pretty paranoid about these things. I have just created a sample animated .gif using these instructions and attached it at the end of this post. If you can see my gif running here, then yes, it’s something Chrome is doing to suppress local files.

      I’m not sure what to suggest as a workaround, except maybe to just open it in Firefox instead. That still seems to work.

  4. Much thanks! ❤ Recently switched over to GIMP from Photoshop and still adjusting.

  5. Pingback: Create an animated Gif – photomediations: an exhibition

  6. Andy says:

    Thanks for these remarkably clear instructions! I’d been wasting my time trying to get gimp-gap to work on gimp 2.8.10 until I found this.

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