Can TB import all layers in a GIF file?

Hi. I’ve read in the Help files that TB can import GIFS…however when I try to import a GIF that has more than 1 layer into an image element…only the 1st layer is imported.Is there a step I’m missing? If not, I don’t understand of what use it is to be able to import GIF files if all the layers are not imported? Thanks for any help.

Hi bruceth,

sorry for the late reply.

This is a very interesting question.

When talking about layers you are probably referring to an animated gif which contains multiple images and has a special flag for web browsers to make the image substitution (along with other properties for looping and duration).

This feature was added in the GIF89a specifications which we didn’t implement because of many reasons.

The most obvious is that TBS is a vector based software and our support for bitmap images right now is limited to static frames. It’s enough for animator to do rotoscopy and mix live video with animation. We can even mix 3D with a sequence of images.

You have to understand that an animated gif is the lowest quality of animation you can get (as far as I know). It’s suitable for web banners or graphics but not for animation. It’s very compressed and not high quality at all. You usually don’t want to import a gif and re export to an other format. You would usualy export from a source file to animated gif if you need low quality, low bandwith animation on your website (even then I would use flash). Even if you can save it as 16bit file with the alpha channel, you can only include 256 colors in a gif file.

Keep in mind Toon Boom Studio is a professional animation tool which can be used by hobbits for fun. Not the other way aroundand animated gif are not used in animation.

We support the gif format because it’s common file format for bitmap images like jpeg or png. The support for gif stops to displaying a static image.

I hope that make sense.

That said, there are still some ways to make it work. I don’t know if you use Mac or Windows, but a image processing utility will convert an animated gif to a sequence of image (I use ImageMagik on Linux, the most powerful of all … well in my opinion. It can be installed on a Mac but … you might need some help to install it properly).

I can look for one for Windows. Just reply to this message and tell us what kind of system you are using.