[Animated Logo] This is an animated GIF of the school logo. If you don't see the logo rotating then your browser doesn't support animated GIFs. Netscape 2 displays animated GIFs; older versions do not.

How I made it

I created this animation by first writing a small Miranda script that computed the animation. This used my own Miranda graphics system which produces PostScript output. Then I used Ghostscript to convert the PostScript to a collection of bitmaps like this:
gs -sDEVICE=ppmraw -dNOPAUSE -sOutputFile=logo%02d -q -r18 Miranda_Graphics.ps -c quit

Each PPM bitmap was converted to a GIF like this:

for i in logo[0-9][0-9]
do
 pnmcrop $i |pnmscale 0.5|ppmtogif -map 6x6x6grey >$i.gif
done
I used pnmscale to reduce each one to half size. This produces a crude form of anti-aliasing. Using the same colour map for each GIF avoids some animation artifacts. I used a generic 6x6x6 colour map, since many browsers convert to this map anyway.

Then i used gifmerge to put all the GIFs together:

gifmerge -192,192,192 -50 -l3 logo[0-9][0-9].gif > animcse.gif

The only wrinkle here is the use of light grey (192,192,192) as the background in the original and the transparent colour in the GIF. The anti-aliasing means that this GIF will look best when displayed against a similar coloured background.

Are animated GIFs a good idea?

Technical issues

MPEG is obviously a better format for animations since it compresses much better and supports 24 bit colour. This particular animation could be compressed even more if I did it in Java (since the source would only be a few dozen lines long.) However, animated GIFs are likely to be more widely supported, so I chose this format. Netscape annoyingly loops the animation endlessly instead of the 3 times that is specified in the GIF.

Aesthetic Issues

Animated GIFs have the potential to be just as annoying as the evil blink tag. I'm not impressed by people using them just to show off. They should communicate something that can't be done with a static GIF. I believe this animation shows you something interesting about the logo.