An Overview of GIF Image Format.

By | February 14, 2011

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), a very popular bitmap format of images due to its portability and wide supportability. GIF format has the ability to allow a unique image to use 256 distinct colors which are selected from 24-bit RGB color space, 8 bits are supported for each pixel in this format, but the more special thing about this format is it supports to animation and allows multiple palettes of 256 colors in each frame. Due to having ability to animate a image GIF is most widely used and most suitable for small graphics and professional logos.

GIF uses lossless compression technique which supports only 256 colors and this differentiate it from the JPG. In lossless techniques by adoption of data compression technique there is no data lost, which maintain the quality of image as original. PKZIP is the well-known compression technique of lossless compression. Maximum space reduced can be up to 50 % only in any other lossless compression technique. If one want more compression to reduce more size then lossy compression technique is recommended for it, but on the other side lossy compression technique can be tolerated by cetain types of files like graphics, audio and video. Hence lossless technique is more effective than lossy in terms of quality maintenance of any file. This difference in two types of compression techniques also differs the GIF format from JPG format because lossy compression is used in JPG type format. Animation editor makes it possible to put together a GIF image as a animated image, further more it can be also supportable for image transparency which is an important aspect from designing point of view. Unisys is the company which owns the compression algorithms of GIF format hence one need to license from them to use it.