Images and Animations
First of all, all images seen on my pages are my original creations. Some of them are pretty simple, some of them took a lot of effort. If you want to use one somewhere else, just ask me. If you're not sure, assume that I retain copyright.
Now I think I need to explain my animations. Some people puke every time they see an animated gif. I put myself in that category originally, but I'm also an engineer so I had to know how they worked and what could be done.
The first one was
which is just my silly page title, but I animated the sequence in which all the letters are drawn. It's a one time animation so most people don't even see it happening. You may have to reload to see it.
The next was
which is also a one time only animation (Click on it to see it happen again). I wanted to show the bike racing across the screen. The problem is those little images take up some space and I couldn't display too many frames. The little bike is just a scaled down version of the larger drawing I made of my TDM.
And then came the monster.
I've got an HP48sx calculator that I've been using mostly as an alarm clock since college. I remembered that I had a really cool animation of a Lissajous figure on the calculator. This is a mathematical construct which also shows up on an oscilloscope screen given the right sinusoidal inputs. The hp48 would actually do the math and generate polar plots for each frame, store them in HP's GROB (Graphics Object) format and then flash them up in sequence to do the animation on its own screen.
So I ran the program to generate the GROBS, then uploaded the 24 frames of the gif to my laptop. I found a program someone wrote to convert GROBs to tiffs. I then uploaded all the images from my laptop to a unix account where I converted all the tiffs to gifs (at the time I had nothing on the laptop to do it). Then downloaded the gifs back to the laptop where I used MS Gif Animator to put all the gifs together into one big animated gif added a delay between frames and made the background transparent. Then I uploaded it it back up to my site and here it is.
Basically, I sprinkle this animation around my pages because it is so unique and it took so much time and effort for me to create it.
There's another similar image here.
I recently had an argument with someone that went like this.
them: "Gif animations are evil and should never be used... ever"
me: "I think there are other uses for them that are not so bad."
Whether you agree with my use of the above animations, I think I've got an answer to the above view. That is my recent Lookout Mountain Movie.
Warning: follow that link at your own risk. It's a very large image.
Basically, for some people such as myself, there are no other tools for creating true movies. While it's not particularly efficient, I believe it to be a legitimate use of animated gifs, even if you're sick of animated add banners and under construction signs.
BTW, I made the Lookout movie with the DC50 digital camera, scaled the images down by a factor of 4, reduced the color depth and then used HTML to show the frames at double their new size. Even after all that, the 55 or so frames still take over a meg of space. I actually walked the road and took a picture every 5 seconds or so and simulated motorcycle lean with my head.