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Which is your design process when you create a GIF?

My design process is very experimental. Sometimes I have a very clear idea of what I want to create, in other occasions I play a little until I arrive at some place that I like or that I find interesting, but I never work using sketches, storyboards, etc. .

Most of the time I work in Photoshop, but in rare occasions I have used other softwares, like Final Cut Pro, Processing, and Quartz Composer. I have never used After Effects, which is a very common choice for a lot of GIF artists. I am a filmmaker, not a designer or a video editor, and  I am very influenced by the structural film tradition, so I feel much more attracted to horizontal editing (montage) than to vertical editing (compositing).



Most of my GIFS are minimal abstract animations created from scratch, but I also create cinemagraphs and other kind of GIFs using scenes from films and TV series. The workflow is a bit different because in one case we are talking about motion graphics and in the other case we are talking about found footage, but the design process is not so different because I always use the same software and my ultimate goal is always to create something hypnotic, a perfect loop in which you could lose yourself for hours.

How much time do you spend to create a GIF?

It depends on many variables. Some of my abstract GIFs are really simple and I only spend around 15 minutes from scratch. When I work with interpolations is quite easy and fast because I only have to set a couple of keyframes and the animation is generated automatically, but I also create GIFs frame by frame and working frame by frame is always slow. When I create cinemagraphs using scenes from films is also quite slow because in order to get a perfect loop I have to adjust a lot of things and be very methodical. In any case, most of my GIFs are just 1 or 2 seconds long, so I have never spent more than one hour to create a GIF.

Do you have some artists for inspiration? Who are they?

I love cinema more than anything else, I have always loved it, so I am inspired mainly by experimental filmmakers. The main inspiration of my flickering GIFs are 60s/70s films like “Arnulf Rainer” by Peter Kubelka, “The Flicker” by Tony Conrad, and “Epileptic Seizure Comparison” by Paul Sharits; also the first abstract animation films by people like Viking Eggeling, Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richer, etc., and the work from later filmmakers as Malcolm McLaren, and Lis Rhodes.

My work with cinemagraphs is related to “stasis cinema” —that is, films that consist only of one static shot, like “Fog Line” by Larry Gottheim or “Empire” by Andy Warhol.

Why GIFs have had so much success during these years?

GIFs are a really simple medium. You do not have to wait for them for downloading or streaming and most of them are quite short, so they do not require much time or attention. Besides, it is much more simple are fast to create a GIF than a video.

How your passion for GIFs was born? Do you only design GIFs?

I am a filmmaker and GIFs are like very simple short films. I work mainly with video and sound, I create experimental films and I am also a sound/noise artist, creating GIFs is not my main job. I started making GIFs just for the sake of it and most of the time that it’s still the case.


feel free, follow your instincts, and do not be shy

Do you have some tips for future giffers?

Just do what you want, feel free, follow your instincts, and do not be shy, show our work!

How do you pronounce GIF? “gif” or “jif”?

I am from Spain, so I pronounce it like “gift” without the “t”.

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