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Week 3 Inspiration – The Gif Renaissance

February 2, 2014 by Makare   

One of the things that I am incredibly happy about in the last couple years is the return of the GIF as an image format that is appreciated and shared by so many people. This 2012 article from NJ.com explains what GIFS are, why they went away, and how they have come back in a more concise way than I could. I want to focus on one project using animated GIFs that I think is pretty phenomenal.

This piece was created by   and incorporates the use of renaissance paintings that were taken into Adobe After Effects, animated and turned into GIFS that were then put together as a film that spanned the topic of life and death. It is an amazing and beautiful use of a medium that is more often than not used for humor and frivolity.

As producers we have tools at our disposal that give us a wide range of capabilities to tell story and connect with an audience. As with all things that we do going forward, we must know which tool to use and how best to utilize it. Telling story with GIFs is much like approaching a topic with photos, you’re story will only be as strong as the ability to get the story across visually, and like a photo spread when you tie many images together in a cohesive format you can make a powerful and beautiful statement.

GIFs are fun (just don’t ask people how to say the word, the two camps are violently opposed to each other on the actual way the word is to be said) and they can be used as Tagliafierro has done to add new elements to classic static images which can change our perception of the original artwork, in my opinion embracing these old-come-new methods of image sharing is absolutely


3 Comments »

  1. bjh@uoregon.edu says:

    Gifs are an interesting medium to consider. If you can approach them from the perspective of moving still frames then they can be very powerful ways to pass along the visual medium. However I do think that we are going to have a bias against them for quite awhile, as you said gifs as they are currently used are mainly for humorous images or other things. The misuse of a gif, or too many gifs, can slow down a webpage and not have someone even look at your story out of frustration. It’s something that is awesome but needs to be used carefully.

  2. jarrattt@uoregon.edu says:

    The animation of the paintings is definitely beautiful and I really enjoyed seeing them come to life, but what it allowed was even more exciting. It felt new to see the paintings from an entire style era curated in a way to tell a complete story unique to that time period that isn’t afforded through the paintings individual existences. It doesn’t even seem possible when hung together on walls in a museum. Here the paintings interact and talk to each other in a new and exciting manner because of the curation and arrangement in the video, but also because of the animation.

    As I watched this I couldn’t stop think about how the original artists could never have imagined how their works would eventually be used.

  3. lpaters5@uoregon.edu says:

    ^Yeah Jarratt, that’s a really interesting point in that it’s an entirely new way to view and experience classic art. I can’t imagine how creative we’ll be getting 10 years from now.

    I’ve always said gif as in the G sound because it stands for Graphic Interchange Format, as I understand it, so I’ve never understood the use of the “J” sound when the letter is not only a G but stands for a G word.

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