Category Archives: GIF Fight

GIFing with Jean-Claude


“Oh Sheep! This is gonna look bad.” – The directors cut.   (Created by Rochelle Lockridge  for the JCVD #GIFFight)

My latest round of creativity induced OCD started with a new GIFFight challenge from Michael B Smith (@mbransons)

There’s also a DS106 Animated GIF Assignment 1190 for any of the GIFFight projects to post to.

After downloading 1.1GB of short .mov clips of Jean-Claude Van Damme from Funny or Die JCVD Make My Movie Challenge there was no turning back.  I was riding the dopamine wave.  There were some new learnings and tricky bits with the Adobe Elements software I was using that I’ve included below in the process portion of this post.

My first GIFs used downloaded images from the Tate Collectives which I had been introduced to through a previous GIFFight Challenge. Animate the crap out of 1840’s Tate Artworks as part of the Tate Museum 1840’s GIF Party. (There’s also a DS106 Animated GIF assignment 1248 for this too.)

Two of my Tate 1840’s GIF Party entries:



JCVD Erupts With Mt. Vesuvius

Vesuvius In Eruption from the Tate Collectives


JCVD To The Rescue. “I’ll protect you.”

Past and Present No. 1 from the Tate Collectives

The continued ride on that dopamine wave resulted in me making the following JCVD gifs to give a few of my DS106 mates a giggle.

Wanting to celebrate John Johnston’s hitting 106 likes on his JJGifs Tumblr site I searched through his posts and found a GIF of sheep running past that I thought would work well. Due to Tumblr size restrictions I was forced to shorten the “directors cut” version you see at the top of this post.  I just thought having him shooting the place up then realizing it was just sheep passing by added another layer of absurdity. The shortened version below is still funny watching JCVD slink away with the sheep though.


“Oh Sheep! This is gonna look bad.” Shorter version due to Tumblr size restrictions

Sheep GIF from JJGIFs

The GIFaChrome corporation recently posted that Colin’s new body guard, Jean-Claude Van Damme may need to tone down his enthusiasm somewhat.  He’s going to scare everybody off…. not just the bad guys.


JCVD is the new bodyguard for Colin the Dog (@GIFaDog). The GIFaChrome mascot.

A crazed Jean-Claude Van Damme freaked out on Twitter. His overactive testosterone levels blinded him to the fact that DS106 doesn’t need protecting from @clhendricksbc.


Jean-Claude freaks out over @clhendricksbc Twitter thumb.

Remember the DS106 Headless ’13 Riff-a-GIF spontaneous collaboration Riffs Sprouting Up Overnight? Which started out as a doctored photo of my grandson “DJ at Stonehenge“, Glad Jean-Claude wasn’t in the picture back then “protecting us”.


Stonehenge under attack – “Run for your lives! I’ll cover you!”

The How I Did It portion

I’m thinking it would be helpful if I were to create a screen cast tutorial for this process.  Like I said above, it’s a little tricky and has taken a fair bit of effort on my part to learn how to do it. Future project……

  1. Downloaded the 1.1GB (yes Gigabytes) of .mov clips from Funny or Die JCVD Make My Movie Challenge.
  2. Imported the clips into Adobe Premeire Elements 12 and added them to the time line.
  3. Added the still image onto a track under the JCVD clip. Premiere Elements knew that the movie clip was formatted so that it should have a transparent background and automatically created a video merge effect.
  4. Render, Publish+Share as Computer files => Scroll down to choose JPEG
  5. => Advanced => Basic Settings Click “Export as Sequence”
  6. To easily make the GIF in PSD from many images without having to drag and drop each. (A very painful process when you have 82 frames.)  The easy way…. File=>Place
  7. File => Save for web => make sure to check the “image sequence”.  Check for compliance with Tumblr size restrictions max 500px wide and must be less than 1MB

Going one step further, so that I or others (or me 🙂 ) could use the JCVD transparent images for their projects I produced a GIF and accompanying layered PSD file.

To create transparent background of JCVD for use in PSD files.

  1. Added JCVD movie clip to time line.
  2. This time our background will be a solid color that we can delete when it gets into Photoshop.
  3. Open project assests => New Item => Color Matte => pick color (I used green screen)
  4. Render, Publish+Share as Computer files => Scroll down to choose JPEG
  5. => Advanced => Basic Settings Click “Export as Sequence”
  6. Save
  7. Open jpg series in Photoshop Elements with File=>Place.
  8. click on layer changing it from background to layer
  9. Select a portion of the green. Select Similar. Select Inverse.
  10. Refine Edge. Output decontaminate Colors – amt 100% – Output to New Layer
  11. Smart Radius = 2.1 , Smooth = 1
  12. Edit => Cut (or ctrl-X)
  13. Delete original layers with the green background
  14. File => Save for web => make sure to check the “image sequence”.  Check for compliance with Tumblr size restrictions max 500px wide and must be less than 1MB.



Headless Over Heels In Love


Headless Over Heels In Love [Tumblr Link]

GIFFfight_ManequinsI’m joining the GIF FIght again.  This time we were given a pair of stark white mannequins to work with. I like to give some time to thinking about my projects before I start them. [Link to past example of my non-linear creative thought process. ] I had a couple of ideas in mind that would use existing GIFs that I could riff off of like Alan Levine’s (@Cogdog) blue caterpillar. It didn’t work here, but I’m going to use it someday. I then tested out what it would take to move the arms to have them hold hands.  It could be done, but with more work than I had time for. My daughter is getting married on Saturday and if I wanted to complete this DS106 Headless13 Week 2 AnimatedGIFAssignment1190 I needed to get it done now. graphics-hearts-230756I then had the idea of giving this lovely headless couple pumping hearts.  I tried my luck over at Microsoft Clip Art, but again nothing seemed to work.  A Google image search on animated heart and GIF was fruitful and led me to a whole bunch of free heart GIFs at: Using Adobe Photoshop CS5

    1. graphics-hearts-741799I opened the animated heart GIFs which show up with all of the layers intact.
    2. Combined the two heart GIFs with the mannequin base layer
    3. Selected all of the layers for the hearts
    4. Moved them into place
    5. Enlarged the small heart layers to match the size of larger heart.
    6. Created the animation frames by selecting the appropriate layers.  There is no need for merging of layers when using the full version of Photoshop.
    7. Resized the entire image to 350px by 500px making sure it would be less than 1Mb so Tumblr would accept it.
    8. Previewed at 256 colors, liked it and saved as a GIF.

To complete the process I uploaded my completed GIF to my Tumblr account, wrote up this blog post, and posted to Twitter and our DS106 Google plus community.

 Past GIF FIght Entries:

Other links to animated hearts I decided  not to use.

Chomp Chomp The GIF Fight


As I become more and more experienced with any of the digital media platforms we play with here in DS106, my thought process for how I choose and go about creating matures. Let me walk you through how this one went.

I read the tweet announcing the new #GIFFight challenge photo had been posted at about 9:30pm.

I was seriously considering going to bed early. But now my mind started thinking about what in the photo I could animate. That was it. I was sucked in. But I really did want to get to bed at a decent hour. So… it went something like this.

Run! Run! I forgot my meds again!

Run! Run! I forgot my meds again!

Hmmm… I could animate Superman flying across the page… Yeah, that might work…. Or I could add the ‘Batman & Robin Run Away From $#!%’ GIF to up top under one of the monster guys. Nah… would probably make the GIF too big. Tumblr only gives you 1Mb and 500px to work with. Let’s see. Oh, how about incorporating the headless theme? I could have Pac-Man come in and eat Batman and Robin’s heads off. Nah… I’d have to rebuild background. Hey.. That Pac-Man concept is good. I think Pac-Man is an 80’s thing too. Yep. Trusty ol’ Wikipedia confirms it. First introduced into the US in Oct. 1980.


Public Domain Image

Let’s find a usable, non-copyrighted image with a Google search. Drat, all of these are copyrighted or unknown licenses. Wait, here’s a simple-looking one. And what luck. It’s a CC Public Domain licensed wikimages.




Pac-Man can move along the white lines, looking like original game.

Now that I have my image, how shall I move the little guy across the page. Hey wait a second, there are white dividing lines between the images, sort of like the video game. Yeah… I can make him move along the lines.




Pac-Man open, closed & change directions

Oh, but I’ll need to have his mouth open and close. Let’s do some copying, pasting and a little band-aid work to create a Pac-Man with a closed mouth.

Great I have all of the pieces. Let’s start him moving along the line. No that’s not right. He is moving too far from frame to frame. That’s better when they are closer. Hmmm.. he has to turn the corner, I need to duplicate my two pacman layers and rotate them 90deg clockwise. Chomp, chomp, chomp. He finishes his way out of the GIF.


Pac-Man can eat the pellets

Let’s take a look at it. Yep. That looks right. Hey wait…. There are little pieces as he’s heading out of the frame that look like the pellets that Pac-Man eats. Oh… I have to do something with that.  Another round of copying, pasting, resizing of a layer to cover the objects as he passes by. Now this is lucky… Because of the way I have Pa-cMan moving across the screen and his size, I won’t have to make the pellets disappear gradually. They can all be eaten in one pass as Pac-Man chomps by. Now we’ll post to Tumblr. Tweet out #GIFFight completed.

Oh that’s really ni…. wait a minute, hold the Tweets.  The shadow by the pellets is partially obscured by the new layer covering them up. Drat. I want to fix that. Let’s see if Tumblr will let you replace a photo without having to change the post link. YES! I can delete the old one and add a new one in its place and no one needs to know about the mistake at this point. Go back into Photoshop. Erase a bit of the new cover layer so that the entire shadow is visible. Save as a GIF remembering to bring it down to 500px. Open Tumblr post, delete old version and replace with new version.

Ta Da!

Get Ready to Tumbl! The #GIFFight is on.


“DS106 Joins the Rebel Alliance” and the Tumblr #GIFFight by @Rockylou22

DS106 joined in the Tumblr GIF Fight (#GIFFight) this week.  Our subject?… to GIF-ify Darth Vader. A few of us (who I knew about) stepped right up when the tweet from @mbransons came across our screens.

And now Talky Tina has posted August 2013 GIF Challenge #12: You Ain’t My Father, Bub! GIF Fight! [ Animated GIF Assignment 1190]

I had so much fun making Groom Outta This World With Joy, followed by his surfing the DS106 space shuttle in celebration of joining the “rebel alliance”, that I couldn’t help making another, and then another. Since I’ve moved over to the full version of Photoshop I can do so much more. (I apologize for the slight background image bump on animation frame #3.  I tried to fix it, but finally gave up.)

GIF #1: DS106 Joins The Rebel Alliance

There are three moving animations In this GIF. A feat too time consuming and technically difficult to have produced with Photoshop Elements. All those merging of layers just to get an idea of what I had would’ve been a nightmare.  [See earlier post: Groom – Outta This World] In the full version I can maintain all layers and view work in progress by simply selecting and deselecting layers for each animation image. The bouncing globe only required a capture of Vader’s front fingers to be placed as a layer over the globe when in the palm of his hand. What was tricky here was getting Dancing Groom and the DS106 Space Shuttle to align properly as they moved across the screen. Timing, spacing, positioning, etc. But again, through the wonders of really nice (and unfortunately expensive) software it wasn’t a chore – just a little fiddling around.

GIF #2: What Really Happened to Humpty Dumpty

I’ve been downloading images from Microsoft Clip Art lately and would often see animated GIFs that I thought would be fun to use in projects.  But I couldn’t get them to load into Photoshop as layers because the files are what’s called Indexed color mode and they need to be in RGB.  You’ll never believe how easily I got around this technical difficulty. (After a bit of trial and error though.)

  1. Open the GIF in GIMP 2.8 as layers


    Humpty Dumpty GIF

  2. Image=>Mode=>RGB (See screen shot below)
  3. File=>Export
  4. Select file type as Photoshop image (*psd).
  5. Click Export
  6. Select “As Animation” in dialog box (see screen shot below)
  7. Click Export
  8. Open with Photoshop.  All layers will be visible.



Converting a GIF from Indexed to RGB in GIMP


Export RGB GIF as animation : GIMP screenshot

Poor little Humpty Dumpty.   He was lulled into a false sense of security watching a sweet little butterfly. Then WHAMMO! The Death Star zooms in and knocks him off his wall.

By hacking into the image layers of the original GIF I…

  • Made the wall shorter.
  • Extracted Humpty from each layer to have more control over how he moved in the scene.
  • Extracted the butterfly to get two separate image layers: wings open, wings closed, to create the illusion of flying away.
  • Put the egg into its own layer. (Which ended up being used in GIF#3.)
  • By lassoing the last pillar and pasting it into a new layer I had a place where the egg could splat.

GIF#2: What Really Happened to Humpty Dumpty by @Rockylou22

GIF #3: Oh Crap! Run, Run


“Oh Crap! Run, Run” Tumblr #GIFFight submission by @Rockylou22

Number three in my Vader series stars a little ducky Duck_Lifesaver_Transparentescaping the wrath of Darth after laying an egg in his hand. I took the egg from the Humpty GIF and placed it in Vader’s hand. I used the same fingers layer I had used in GIF#1 to make it look like Darth was actually holding the egg in the palm of his hand.

Besides getting my duck to run across the railing, the splatter of egg onto the post and slowly sliding down took some creative effort. Thanks to a video tutorial by Michael Branson Smith, I learned how to distort an image by using the transform layer command.  Talky Tina had used this effect in her Flower Power GIF to make the flowers mold around the top of her Drill Sgt hat. I had been wondering how this was accomplished.

Select image layer => Edit => Transform => Warp => adjust handles till it looks right


Warped egg in Vader’s hand.

As I was writing up this section of my post to get the correct sequence for transforming an image layer I noticed that I should’ve warped the egg in Darth Vader’s hand too. It looks so much better for dripping if it’s draped.

Feel free to Riff and hack into any of my GIFs. It’s fun to see the creativity of DS106 in action with stuff I’ve posted.

I made a point of including all of the GIF files so you could use them if you wanted and a few other pieces of art used in this post.  [Talky Tina  August 2013 GIF Challenge #13: RIFF-a-GIF]

Transparent GIF of Groom’s Joy Ride on the DS106 Space Shuttle


Groom’s Joy Ride aboard the DS106 Space Shuttle. Right click to download. Open in photo editor as layers to use.