GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format. That's as far as I go in explaining these images. All I know is that this is the format that moves haha.
All you need:
Images - these can be hand drawn or photographs. To draw animation, you can use tracing paper so you can draw over the previous images and just changing parts to make the motion. Ensure that the tracing paper is held securely (a big memo clip) so you have continuity.
Photographs - can either be digitally modified or you can take consecutive pictures defining the movement.
GIF Animation programs or an online Animator. - I use Microsoft GIF Animator . This is an old Freeware program and there are a lot of other free ones you can use but I like this because it's really so simple to use. It doesn't take up much space as well on my PC.
An online GIF maker I've tried is the Gickr.com which operates similarly to Microsoft GIF Animator but you don't need to download anything. The off-putting thing is that your image will have Gickr's watermark, albeit small, on the finished product.
Here's one I made today. It's in commemoration of Friendship Day which will happen on July 30 (or on the first Sunday of August).
When you have the different set of images, like this:
Once you have these same sized images, you can import them using the INSERT button on the Microsoft GIF Animator or if you're using a tool like Gickr, you can just upload the files onto the site.
Fix the sequence (if needed). If using the MS Animator, you do this by dragging the images to the order they sequentially appear.
Go to the "Animation" Tab to indicate if you want the animation to go on forever. In that case, tick "Looping" and then "Repeat Forever". You can choose to put 2, for example, to indicate you want it to stop after the 2nd time the animation ends. It will freeze after that.
Next go to the "Image" Tab and put in the duration. I used values ranging from 40 to 55 because I had words so the balloon GIF is quite slow. You can make it as fast or as slow as you like by pressing the arrow button on the upper right hand corner where you can preview your work and make adjustments if need be.
It's really this simple. Why not try making one? Have fun!