Multiple ways to optimized GIF file size and performance
GIF is an old bitmap image format from 1987, and its features for compression and optimization are quite limited. To be honest, GIF is probably still around only thanks to its frame animation feature, which has not been fully superseded by any of the more modern formats for a very long time. Over the years, some clever techniques for file size reduction and smart color optimization have been developed, but they all have varying degree of efficiency for different images.
Let's take a look on some of the ways how you can reduce the size of your GIF.
Some of them may not work as expected on your image if it already has some form of optimization applied, but the only way how to tell for sure is just trying it and checking the results. We have automated some of the steps, so it shouldn't be too complicated.
1. Cropping and resizing the GIF
Before you start experimenting with anything more sophisticated, you should consider resizing and/or cropping the image to minimum required dimensions.
Smaller image dimensions tipically have smaller file size (there may be some exceptions - if you reduce image dimensions just by few pixels by resizing, it may actually increase file size in some cases).
2. Getting rid of unnecessary parts of animation timeline
Do you need full length of the animation?
If no, you can split the image to frames using the GIF Maker tab, choose to skip any unwanted parts and press the "Animate" button to recreate the animation with lesser frame count.
3. Reducing the frame rate
Another way how to get rid of some of the frames (useful in case your animation has very high frame rate), is to drop every second (or third, fourth) frame.
If the frames are changing very fast and there is little movement in the animation between them, this may be an effective step to reduce file size and in some cases improve website performance, if the browser is struggling to display multiple, high frame rate animations.
To do this, load the image in our GIF Optimizer and select "Remove every 2nd frame" option.
Now when you have surgically removed some of the data from the GIF, you can try some more advanced options under the GIF Optimizer tab.
4. Lossy (LZF) GIF compression
This is usually the preferred method for compressing images in ezgif. It can reduce animated GIF file size by 30%—50% at a cost of little dithering and noise, and works quite well on almost any GIF.
It's powered by Lossy GIF encoder which implements LZW compression algorithm.
5. Color reduction
This option will reduce the number of colors in each frame.
It makes multiple variations of your input image, and you can choose the one that has the best size/quality ratio for your needs.
6. Optimizing GIF transparency
This option makes identical or very similar parts in consecutive frames transparent, only saving the actual color infromation in the first frame.
If you use this method together with Lossy (LZF) compression, you should run Optimize Transparency first. Lossy compression may add some noise and render this method less effective!
The results are heavily varying depending on the nature of the image.
It may give very good results in situations when images have large, static areas with solid color or without noise and movement, such as screen recordings of applications or simple animations using plain, solid colors and lines. But mostly will perform poorly for converted videos and other images saturated with colors and movement.
Simple animations with solid colors can get a huge reduction in size using Optimize Transparency method.