- As an alternative to video in the MP4 format, there might be times when you want to include an animated GIF in your fixed-layout EPUB or publish online project. Why? Well, there are three things that you can do with animated GIFs that you can't do with video. GIF files can be set to play a specific number of times, and then stop. GIF files don't display an on-screen controller. And finally, GIF files can have transparent backgrounds. In the Exercise Files folder, in the 06 Including video folder, in the Links folder, you'll find a file called Home_loan_sign_loop.
Open that file in a browser. I created the artwork for this animated GIF in Illustrator, and then I brought the artwork into After Effects to extrude it, rotate it, and add lighting. Animated GIFs can be created in and exported from Photoshop, Flash Professional, and many other tools. For more information on how to create an animated GIF from Photoshop, see Creating animated GIF from the course Photoshop CC Essential Training (2015). To learn how to create an animated GIF from Flash Professional, see Exporting an animated GIF from the course Flash CS3 Professional Fundamentals with Todd Perkins.
Close the browser, and then grab that Home_loan_sign_loop GIF file again. And open that in Photoshop. So we can see, besides being able to create an animated GIF, Photoshop also allows us to open an existing animated GIF and change it properties. So we're going to go to File, Export, Save for Web, and down here in the bottom right corner, there's a Looping Options. And right now, this GIF is set to loop forever. We're going to change that.
So in the drop-down, choose Other, and tell it that we want it to loop four times. So it's going to play it's sequence four times, and then stop. So OK out of that. Click on the Save button. And let's name this Home_loan_sign_loop_4x. Save it into the Links folder, or wherever you can find it later. Then close Photoshop, and open the file 06_06_animatedgif_begin, in a design.
We want to place that GIF right down here in the bottom left corner. So all we do is choose File, Place. Grab the GIF that you just made. Open it up. Place it like any other image. Position it the way you want. And that's all there is to it. There's no options in InDesign that you can set for how that GIF should play back. It's going to play back the four times that we specified in Photoshop that's saved in with the GIF file. And an animated GIF file always plays on page load.
Note that this GIF has a transparent background here. We wouldn't be able to do that with video. Video in InDesign always has a opaque background. So let's preview this and see what this looks like. In the EPUB Interactivity Preview panel, click the Play icon, and you should see that thing start to rotate. And it should start to rotate four times, and then stop. While limited in how you interact with them, GIF files can be a simple way to place auto-play animation on a page. They have the advantage of a clear background, the ability to play a specified number of times, and no visible controller.
- Creating animated navigation buttons
- Building interactive slideshows
- Creating reveal buttons
- Adding multiple choice and branching quizzes
- Creating a scrolling panorama
- Embedding video
- Creating buttons to send email