The Lava Lamp Project


ThumbnailSo the other day I got the crazy idea I’d build my own GIF animator. Actually wasn’t that hard because I was using a command line tool called GraphicsMagick. No that’s not a typo. They spell it with “ck.” Anyhow, I built a little UI with MS Visual Studio so that I could select the images via a file dialog, set the delay & dispose properties, and then automate writing the command script from Visual Basic.

Then I used Paint.Net to create my images. It’s supposed to be a lava lamp. It’s a little choppy since I didn’t create enough frames for a really smooth animation, but at least it sort of acts like one anyway. Still got some changes to make and the program is just slightly buggy. But hey, it works. The animation is below.


And as to whatever nerds out there are wondering why I didn’t use Flash or HTML5 animation, I wanted to build a GIF animator, alright? But I may yet add the capability to write a script to animate the images with HTML5. It could happen. Anyway, your opinions (good bad or indifferent) are welcome. Emoji_Smile_20x20

And now, the nasty technical details…

If had used the GraphicsMagick command line tool by itself, this is what I would have had to type in the DOS window. I pasted it here so you can see. It’s the 23 images plus the necessary options for each one. Makes my fingers tired looking at it.


My little Visual Basic program to keep from doing all that typing, complete with a preview pane:


And lastly, my favorite graphics program, Paint.Net. I used it to create the individual frames. It’s free and it’s easy to use. It was created by an intern at Microsoft years ago, and originally was intended as a replacement for MS Paint. But MS changed their minds. They did however give the software rights to the intern, and he has continued to develop it on his own.


Okay that’s it. I dunno why I even posted this except that I was all giggly-shits when I finally got it to work. And holy moly it’s 1:40 am. Time for olde phartz like me to be in bed. Nighty night y’all. Emoji_Smile_20x20


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