Adding Falling Snow, Part 2 – Animated Images

This post is a bridge between

Yesterday’s post on falling snow 

And actually making an animated image like this tomorrow


Geese in a snowstorm

200 yards from my front door

It really was snowing that day

Made with my 1st camera – a 2 MP point & shoot

Literally a grab shot; I came into sight & away they flew

Just a second to react – lucky


Part 2 – Another “pre-requisite post”

Before tackling animated snowfall

Tomorrow we’ll make the snow fall – really

This post looks at some of the variables that must be decided when

Creating images for use in an animated GIF


How many should be in the set?

The number in the set is image dependent

Animexample3edit Animexample


In the above, six images were adequate due to the simplicity of the subject


small ball

For the ball in a box, eight were exactly enough

Any fewer would ruin the effect

missing balls

More, although unnecessary,

would make the animation smoother


hole 1-3 snow

There is no “right” number for a snow scene like the above

Factors like animation duration and

Animation smoothness come into play (more below)

This example uses 15 images

Each is shown for 0.2 sec for a total of 3 sec.

The 3 sec. is smooth, but there’s a jump at the end


Image order?

Clearly this is important.

The correct order is usually obvious.

If it’s wrong, that’s obvious, too

bad ball

Above, the order of the 8 balls shown above was randomized


back ball

And, next, the original order was reversed

snow rise

If the snow fall image order is reversed,

We get snow “rise”


How long should each image be on the screen?

That depends on the effect you want –

Illusion of motion – fractions of a second

0.3 snow above; 0.2 boxed ball

Seconds instead of fractions if you want a slide show look

0.03 seconds

fast count

3 secondsslow count


Animation – The Illusion of motion (smooth or jerky?)

An animated GIF image (this is what we’re making) has a finite duration

It repeats over & over

Generally, we’d prefer to have nice smooth motion

With animated GIF that’s often easier said than done

Motion will be jerky if –

Images are poorly made

Number of images is too small

Time for each image is too large

There is discontinuity in the “jump” back to the 1st image after the end

The first two ball animations were fine

The final image matches the 1st image

The falling snow – not so fine

The 1st & last images don’t match

As a result there’s a “jump” at the end

Tomorrow’s post will look at this issue


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2 thoughts on “Adding Falling Snow, Part 2 – Animated Images

  1. Pingback: Snow falling « MJ Springett

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