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Sometimes a GIF animation posted to illustrate an answer is too long. It would be convenient to pause, resume and rewind the animation. In other words, to have playback functionality for GIF animations. Is it possible?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about Blender.SE or Stack Exchange, but rather the .GIF codec and filetype $\endgroup$ – VRM Jun 6 '15 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ The question is about how to use Blender SE conveniently. If a GIF animation posted in an answer is too long, it's not easy to follow the animation and to understand the answer. $\endgroup$ – vvoovv Jun 6 '15 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @NoviceInDisguise sadly, I don't have enough rep to vote to close this (probably a good thing), but if I did, I would. You can argue that it's about using it conveniently, but that's not what meta is about (at least by my understanding). Meta isn't about how to use the site well or effectively, it's about how the site runs. Should "topic a" be off topic, should "topic b" be edited in this situation. I'm still learning, so if I'm wrong, please tell me, but from what I've seen here, I'm not. $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Jun 6 '15 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this aswell, pausing, rewinding a gif is specific to your browser and only in second thought a problem with SE - they don't offer a custom player for .gif, which would probably be overengeneering. (Add a feature-request tag if you feel like you want SE to make its own .gif player) $\endgroup$ – WorldSEnder Jun 7 '15 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ You suggested to close the question but you didn't suggest where to post it otherwise. So your suggestions? $\endgroup$ – vvoovv Jun 7 '15 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ Please read What is "meta"? How does it work?. A quote from there: Meta is for... asking questions about how the websites work... $\endgroup$ – vvoovv Jun 7 '15 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to reopen this question, we are using more and more gifs here (or maybe it's only me) and sometimes answers are cluttered with them. Gif player could significantly reduce downloaded data and user have control over the gif itself. We are writing answers along gifs so sometimes user won't play it. Also this method is widely used on sites such as Facebook or 9GAG. I've found something like this: rubentd.com/gifplayer as an example. I don't know if this is only BSE thing to use heavy gifs in answers but probably whole SE could benefit from it. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jul 23 '17 at 17:40
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I am of the opinion that GIFs should be as short as possible (I love that they cannot be longer than 2MB).

Long Gifs are hard to follow and sometimes it is confusing to understand what is the starting point or the end.

I prefer a structure like this for answers:

  • Step 1 (text explaining step 1)

  • Gif that reinforces what you just read.

  • Step 2 (more text)

  • Gif to illustrate

And so on...

Not all steps require a gif, so mixing stills and gifs might be more effective than a very long video that has to be watched several times before it makes any sense.

Additionally, long gifs can become a form of bragging as well: " Let me show you how fast I can do this!", instead of a proper educational tool.

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Save the GIF to your local hard drive and open it in GIMP.

Then Filters -> Animation -> Playback...

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    $\begingroup$ That's more of a work around than anything else. I have to say, this feels a bit off topic to me since you made this question with the answer in mind, but that's just me. $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Jun 6 '15 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ If you have a better solution, just post it here. $\endgroup$ – vvoovv Jun 6 '15 at 11:12
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Firefox browser has plugin for that like Toggle Animation Gif. Once installed it allows to pause or rewind the GIF animation.

Some programs for recording .gifs have option to include time elapsed which helps distinguish is it beginning of the animation or the end. E.g. Licecap tool has Elapsed time option available when you start recording.

Speaking about Blender, ScreenCast Keys addon has the Time option which will also show time elapsed from the beginning of the animation. It is not documented in the wiki, you can see it here.

I wouldn't agree with .gif player is being necessary, my opinion is that it's something user should decide according to their software, etc.

Lastly - if the gif is too long make sure to shorten it somehow. Include some of the instructions into image, include 2 gifs (although not the best solution), etc. It all depends on answer of course but generally if it requires that many gifs maybe you can demonstrate necessary information from other answers as there are plenty already.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about this plugin for Firefox but other methods doesn't make site lighter. I'm speaking here from pure technical view. Imagine question with 5 answers, every one has ~2MB gif in it. This is pretty heavy site to load. From gifplayer site: "The advantage of using this plugin is that you can load a lighter static version of the animated gif, and then load the actual animated gif, when the user wants to see it in motion. Improving the initial load time of your page." And lastly, user can't decide about it based on their software as for browser gif is just another image. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jul 26 '17 at 5:35
  • $\begingroup$ @LukeD "pretty heavy site to load" I can't agree. Nowadays sites especially with media rarely use less than 5 mb for loading up and 10 mb now really isn't that much. Methods with elapsed time won't make amount of mbs to load less, and they weren't intended to mean that. Every answer with one gif isn't really comfortable, I agree, and even less comfortable when 2 or more gifs. As I said important thing to do here is to base answer on links to other ones, to images instead of gif if amount of gifs starts to exceed 1 or if 1 is very big. User can decide at least to install the plugin. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Jul 26 '17 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ Where did you get that 5-10MB? I'm web developer and 10MB is really an overkill for user experience and even for basic SEO. Also you can't tell users to install plugin which is what I've found available only for one browser (not even top used). And yes, gifplayer (please check it) which I've cited load less data. A lot less if you don't want to play gif. If there is a method to make site faster, and easier to use why don't use it? When big players like Facebook are starting to use such method it probably mean that they research about this a lot, and it's beneficial. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jul 26 '17 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ "Where did you get" - from browser stats in Developer Tools. Yotube main page gets 3mb, yahoo mail 6mb, BSE main page 1mb. Player maybe could help (won't it download anything for its working? ah, whatever) but work for loading less gifs is fighting for those several mbs some gifs provide (hint - some images as well), so instead of 4-5 mb it will be 2. Great but it will be useful maybe for those who browse from mobile devices (not recommended anyway if loading media). My main point is one should not record answers in 5-10 mbs videos impossible to show, gif is NOT designed for that. That's all $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Jul 26 '17 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ Did you read my first comment? I've told you about 5 different answers every one with gif. Not 5 gifs in one answer. Now think about long gif, if you will use instead images to illustrate steps it would take even more data and could be less intuitive. Now read this: keycdn.com/support/the-growth-of-web-page-size as you clearly have no idea whats going on in web development lately. There are so many initiatives out there to reduce pages size that I can't even count half of them. From 4MB > 2MB there is 100% reduced size. gifplayer is loading 12kb and you can pause gif. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jul 26 '17 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ Check even this article from 2015, it's still pretty accurate: sitepoint.com/average-page-weight-increased-another-16-2015 Especially paragraph "Why should I bother? Few others do". $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jul 26 '17 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ Of course I have no idea what's going on in web dev now and I'm not going to. I just see that Internet quickly becomes into a crap of memory leaks in browsers and overheated cpu. Less size? Great if possible and really justified. I was for several times trying to tell that I don't want answers to have many gifs as I see many of them included where it is absolutely not that necessary and that is my point. I think we will agree to disagree as this is going to nowhere. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Jul 26 '17 at 16:39

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