Week 11 Assignment Guide

The art of the animated GIF

image by Living Stills

The animated GIF is a form of digital image that is almost 30 years old, but recent years have seen its resurgence through popular use in social content sites like Tumblr and Reddit. In this unit, we'll research the history of the animated GIF, explore cultural practices around GIFs and their uses in different communities, and produce and share some of our own animated GIFs.


For Monday (8am)

Read all of the readings linked below and leave at least two annotations in our digitalstudies hypothes.is group.

For Tuesday's class

Look over a few of your colleagues' annotations and reply to at least two of them.

Look at the resources provided below and come up with a plan for your first animated GIF. This can involve manipulating a video clip from a movie or TV show, manipulating a video clip you have taken yourself, or filming a video clip yourself with the goal of converting it into a GIF.

  • Some of you will be using your own computers to create your GIFs. If that's the case, install the necessary software before class, and come with some possible video clips picked out (and downloaded, if possible).
  • Others of you will be planning on using the Macs in the HCC. (The ones on the first floor have Photoshop and other advanced media production software.) If that's the case, come with some possible video clips picked out and play around with the software in the lab before class, trying at least to get through the process of trimming your video.

Tuesday class meeting

In class, I'll answer questions and do some tech support, but we'll spend most of class working on making our GIFs.

For Thursday's class

Make at least two high-quality animated GIFs and share them on Slack in the #gif channel. Leave at least two positive comments on your classmates' GIFs, preferably someone who has not yet received a comment and who is not at your table.

Thursday class meeting

In Thursday's class, we'll show off and discuss finished work, reflect on the process, figure out any last-second tech support that is needed, and introduce Week 12 (animated GIFs).

For Friday (8am)

Finish any necessary work on your two (or more) GIFs. This may involve finishing making them after getting stuck and receiving help on Thursday, or making any necessary last-second changes. Share at least one of them publicly, either on your domain, on social media, or (preferably) both!

Be sure to do some work on your domain this week. That would likely be posting your GIF(s) ― though be sure to include some contextualization for that GIF, so your site visitors outside the class can fully understand and engage. Or if that project doesn't fit your site's theme, you can make other additions/changes/deletions on your site.

Complete your self-assessment for Week 11 and add it to the document you created last week. Be sure to comment on the updates you made to your domain, and include links to project work and at least some of your annotations/replies.

For materials due Monday and Tuesday, see the Week 12 Guide.