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Gif Size Reduction – Tips & Tricks From James Curran

April 27, 2021 ·
James Curran
James Curran Animation Director

GIF is a format that you may need to export your animation to pretty often. So, in this quick lesson, @James Curran gives you a few simple but super-useful suggestions on how to reduce the size of your animated gifs. This plays a huge role especially when you’re working with interactive presentations or animations for websites.

How to reduce Gif Size Quick Guide

To reduce the size of a GIF file, you can try the following methods:

  1. Decrease the dimensions: One way to reduce the file size of a GIF is by reducing its dimensions. You can use an image editing software like Photoshop or online tools to resize the GIF to a smaller resolution. Remember to maintain the aspect ratio to prevent distortion.
  2. Limit the number of frames: GIFs are made up of a series of frames. By reducing the number of frames, you can decrease the file size. Consider removing unnecessary frames or reducing the overall duration of the animation.
  3. Optimize the color palette: GIFs support a limited number of colors, typically 256. If your GIF has more colors, you can optimize its color palette. Convert the GIF to use a smaller color palette, which can significantly reduce the file size. You can use tools like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or online GIF optimizers for this purpose.
  4. Reduce the color depth: GIFs can have a bit depth of up to 8 bits, allowing 256 colors. By reducing the color depth to 4 or 2 bits, you can further decrease the file size. However, this method may result in a loss of color fidelity, so it’s important to preview the changes before saving.
  5. Adjust the dithering settings: Dithering is a technique used to simulate colors that aren’t available in the GIF’s color palette. By adjusting the dithering settings, you can optimize the balance between file size and image quality. Experiment with different dithering options to find the optimal result.
  6. Enable lossy compression: Lossy compression can be applied to GIFs to further reduce their file size. This method sacrifices some image quality to achieve higher compression rates. There are online GIF compression tools that can help you apply lossy compression while preserving the visual integrity to an acceptable level.
  7. Use specialized tools: There are various software programs and online tools specifically designed for optimizing GIF files. These tools can automatically apply different optimization techniques and provide you with the best possible results. Examples include Gifsicle,, and

Remember to keep a backup of the original GIF file before making any modifications, so you can always revert back if necessary. Additionally, note that reducing the file size too much may result in a noticeable loss of image quality, so find the right balance between size and visual appeal.

What is the Animated Loops with James Curran course?

James will use his 15+ years of experience as a professional animator to teach you everything he knows about making animated loops, which he’s made A LOT of. Whether you want your characters to be running, jumping, or spinning in 2D, 3D, or isometric scenes, this course covers it all.

From fundamental loop theory through to inspiration on how to generate your own loop ideas, you’ll come out of this course fully prepared to start taking on the world with your own never-ending animations.


Animated Loops
with James Curran

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