GIFs are compressed so they do not take up much space or use up much bandwidth when being ran on a web browser. GIFs are compatible with every browser so there are no issues with anyone viewing the animation. No additional plug ins are needed. Supports transparency in the web browser so if there is a coloured background on a webpage, then the animation will match the background of the webpage therefore keeping the style and not making the page look messy.
Limitations GIFs can only support a limited amount of colours. GIFs cannot be edited once they The compression that is used (lossy) lowers the picture quality of the animation. GIFs will not animate in windows explorer and usually will not animate in an image viewer. So they have to be opened in a web browser such as Firefox.
When creating animations things need to be taken into consideration. File size of the animation needs to be quite small so that it doesn’t affect the bandwidth of the user. But the compression cannot affect the quality of the animation. The animation size needs to suite the webpage style. Banners/ squares can be used to suite the style. Sound can be a big factor, because the animation could really annoy the user because of an irritating background sound that cannot be stopped. So if an animation is going to auto play, then it should not auto play sound or have sound embedded.
There are many different animation formats. The most popular is SWF (Flash). This file format allows high quality images and also allows sound to be embedded within the animation. This format is used in webpages and is supported mainly with computers. GIFs only allow basic colour animation, they do not support any sound. The GIF format is used on webpages as well, but it is supported by most mobile devices and every computer. Animations can be exported into popular video media formats such as; .MOV, .WMV, .AVI… These formats make the animation suitable for viewing on TVs.
There are many ways to make a file size of a animation smaller. You can use different compression techniques and different file types. For example export animations from .SWF to .FLV which will make the overall size smaller. If you export as a GIF animation then you will loose quality but will have a very small file size suitable for most circumstances. You can also set Flash so not export hidden layers when it exports an .SWF file type. In publish settings in flash, there are options to turn down the quality of JPEG images, so compressing them making the exported animation smaller. Bit rates of any embedded sound can be changed allow a much smaller files size.