Why can't blender save as gifs?

I’m always using gifs in my elysiun posts but i have to take the long approach of rendering an avi then opening in corel and exporting as a .gif. Why cant this be done in blender? I think it would be a really cool feature for blender, maby even a sequencer plugin or something to combine .pngs would work.

just a thought…

(i don’t know how hard this would be but it would be really nice)


it can’t be done in blender because nobody has written and submitted the code to do it

[that and its not a really good idea, gif images need to be palatized [which is non trivial] and have a bunch of methods to compress reasonably [also non trivial]. To create a reasonable animated gif it is best to use an image map and paint the colors youself [from the pallate directly] so the compression does the best possible [gradients, particularly dithered gradients don’t compress very well in gif]]

AFAIK, GIF uses lossless compression with only 255 total possible colors in its pallette - thus, as z3r0d says, gradients are troublesome, especially when animated.

Also, if I remember, there are legal issues surrounding the GIF format - it is not an open graphic format, and a liscence fee is required of software that creates GIFs.

Found this:

Not sure of its accuracy, but its something to think about.

I really had high hopes that the PNG format would support multiple “pages” or frames like GIFs do, so that it could be used for animations with full 16-24bit color, but I don’t think it does (at least AFAIK.) The file sizes would be significant, tho, I guess. GIF’s capacity to limit the color pallette helps alot to keep file sizes down, I think.

Most of the LZW patents around the world expired in 2004. The last one standing will expire in 2006 an is owned by IBM, which I doubt will start sueing open source initiatives.

MNG is what you’re waiting for, but the support is really absent.
Also, PNG supports pallettisation too, so that’s not the problem.


I don’t see why you would want to use .gif, the gif is limited to the use of 256 colors and that is a major limitation. Just use PNG.

Well, I looked around the www a little bit and couldn’t find a program, commercial or not, that could handle X–>GIF encoding from the command-line…

My thought is that it wouldn’t take much to make a simple python script that would do all the repetitive stuff for you…

Of course it’s a limitation but sometimes file size is more important than image quality.

The only thing I can see as a serious issue for creating .gif’s through blender is how much/little control over the palette one would have… I personally would probably still end up rendering png’s and changing them to .gif in an image editor later on.

Heres the reason i like to use gifs: http://blender.isoserv.com/uploads/0040_0070.gif

in browser animation, great for forums and low in file size.

i guess i’ll have to stick with pngs for now but it’s something that could be done i think, if i ever get any good at programming and scripting i may work on it.

Although its possible it would probably be wasteful and hard to manage.

thx for informing me. :slight_smile:

For animation purposes you can use png just as well.

If its a single image, then nothing beats the compressability of jpeg. Simple as that.

Besides, considering how limited and crappy gifs are, it usually takes some tweaking to get decent results. As such it would probably be a lot faster and save you alot of headache if you simply use a separate program to convert the image sequence into animated gif.

no, you need MNG, but blender AFAIK doesn’t support that either. nor does any common web browser that i know of.


you can render as single frames and then convert it into a gif animation in another program

He already knows how to create GIF animations… so all the suggestions on how to are nice but I think he’s just wondering if there’s a nicer way to automate the process out of Blender.

I’ve wondered some about the lack of MNG support in common web browsers. If it can read PNG its a trivial step to read MNG…