Or How to make thing appear to move.

Animated GIFs

GIF Files are a set of Bitmap files (created using, say, Paint), and then combined to make the animation file.  The skill is in making the Bitmaps.  This is very similar to the old 'Flick Books' that we all made as children.

Flashing Light

Lets start with something simple: A Flashing Light.  For this we'll need two bitmap files.  One with the light on, and the other with it off.

Light01 and Light02

It's not time to introduce GIF Construction Set Professional. 

We start with a new file, and add the two BMP files.

Double Click-ing the individual tiles opens a set of options for the tile. - There's nothing to do with these, just now.

Double Click-ing the Header, allows to control the whole animation.  Again, we'll do nothing for now.

To create the file, simply File > Save as.

To see the file work, open it with a Web Browser.

(Exciting, isn't it.)


Traffic Light

How about something a little more adventurous?  - A Traffic Light

This time, we'll need a basic picture, and the sequence Red, Red+Amber, Green, and finally Amber

It's easier to create a master with all of the lights on, and the save it 4 times to create the separate bitmap files, and then go back and correct the colours.

Having created the four files, it's time to stitch them together.

If we Double-Click each image, we can change the timing.  I'm going to set the timing to be:-

Red                    - 200

Red+Amber       - 100

Green                 - 300

Amber                - 100

            Don't forget to set the header to loop


So lets actually make something move

The retina of the eye holds an image for a little less than 1/10 th of a second.  The pioneers of movies learnt that the eye would see flickering images if the frame rate was less that 16 frames per second.  Modern moving images, (film and TV, including home digital movies) use 24 frames per second.  If you're going to produce smooth animation, you'll need to work with delay settings of between 4 and 6 /100's of a second.


Using PowerPoint for Animation

Animation in PowerPoint is done in a completely different way.  It's all to do with placing items on a single slide, and how they appear, or disappear.

For this demonstration, let's create a the battery, switch and bulb circuit, that they learn about in primary schools these days:









We actually used Open Office which is available from

This provides similar functionality to MS Office and can both read and write MS Office files.