+185
Planned - After Launch

Let us have animated icons

Introduction 2 years ago • updated by Foolish 1 year ago 22 3 duplicates

It'd be nice to let us upload .gifs as icons. It's one of my favorite things about FA!

Answer

+1
Answer

We've been floating some interesting ideas around for how we could make this feature even better - and welcome your thoughts.


Animated .GIF files tend to be quite large (1-2MB for any appreciable length), especially for the sort of resolutions that Furry Network demands for icons. However, technology has moved on a lot since animated GIFs - including HTML5 video, GIFV (GIF video), and WebM video formats - all of which have broad browser support now. What's more is resizing video is a 'solved problem' nowadays as well.


What if we kept the maximum file size of 1-2MB, but made the animated icons be a square *video*, with maximum length of (say) 15-20 seconds - with clear guidelines as to what's acceptable in an animated icon? There's a lot of possibilities that open up by having a more flexible, higher fidelity creative canvas for people to make their own icons - and it'd likely be relatively easy from a technical standpoint as well.


Some other considerations would be requiring a non-animated icon to be in place in order to upload an animated one, and a simple setting in preferences to disable animated icons site-wide while browsing it. For mobile or performance-limited devices we could automatically disable animated icons, in which case the regular one would be used instead.


For uploading, would we need to provide a cropping and trimming tool (a-la Twitter), or would it be reasonable to expect users to be able to produce a video of a given size/resolution/format, appropriate for upload? We could probably link to a few online converters / editing tools (eg a .GIF to video converter), or pull an off-the-shelf conversion tool and slot it into the upload system for this - but how important will it be that we make the animated icon upload user friendly? We'd want to encourage artists to make actual *animated icons*, rather than permit/encourage random videos or whatever be uploaded that have nothing to do with being an animated icon.


Your thoughts and feedback please - we think this could be really cool if done right!

Duplicates 3

+7

I'll agree with this, but please include an option to disable the animations, if possible. Not everyone is on a powerful device, and a lot of animated icons will really push low-end mobile phones and tablets.

+2

Would be nice to have animated png allowed for icons too, .gif's are from 90's and look rather horrifying with anything except pixel animation, a modern computer can do better c:

+1

I'd be wary of that, even though I want it as well. APNG is only supported by Gecko and Webkit browsers, like Firefox and Safari respectively. Anyone running Chrome, Opera, Edge, or IE sadly wouldn't see any sort of animation.

+2

natural solution would be to upload both animated and unanimated avatars where users are either automatically displayed the still picture if their browser is featureless or completely opt-out from animated icons from their settings c:

+2
Planned - After Launch

We like this feature, and it has a surprisingly wide base of support. Bravo!


We have a few technical issues we'll need to deal with on our end (for example, resizing animated GIFs, as user icons are different sizes on each page), and as a result we're going to hold off on this one until after launch.


Unless it gets a ton more votes, of course :D

Would a side-effect of this be to also have transparent backgrounds on GIF and PNG images? The ability to have transparency on icons would be great, too!

animated icons is already a planned feature: http://support.furrynetwork.com/topic/1161700-let-us-have-animated-icons/


But please no banners as gif files, that will look insanely ugly because gifs are such bad quality x____X

It'd be neat to have this support! :V I do the pixel art, so 95% of my content I have to upload is in animated gif format.

+1
Answer

We've been floating some interesting ideas around for how we could make this feature even better - and welcome your thoughts.


Animated .GIF files tend to be quite large (1-2MB for any appreciable length), especially for the sort of resolutions that Furry Network demands for icons. However, technology has moved on a lot since animated GIFs - including HTML5 video, GIFV (GIF video), and WebM video formats - all of which have broad browser support now. What's more is resizing video is a 'solved problem' nowadays as well.


What if we kept the maximum file size of 1-2MB, but made the animated icons be a square *video*, with maximum length of (say) 15-20 seconds - with clear guidelines as to what's acceptable in an animated icon? There's a lot of possibilities that open up by having a more flexible, higher fidelity creative canvas for people to make their own icons - and it'd likely be relatively easy from a technical standpoint as well.


Some other considerations would be requiring a non-animated icon to be in place in order to upload an animated one, and a simple setting in preferences to disable animated icons site-wide while browsing it. For mobile or performance-limited devices we could automatically disable animated icons, in which case the regular one would be used instead.


For uploading, would we need to provide a cropping and trimming tool (a-la Twitter), or would it be reasonable to expect users to be able to produce a video of a given size/resolution/format, appropriate for upload? We could probably link to a few online converters / editing tools (eg a .GIF to video converter), or pull an off-the-shelf conversion tool and slot it into the upload system for this - but how important will it be that we make the animated icon upload user friendly? We'd want to encourage artists to make actual *animated icons*, rather than permit/encourage random videos or whatever be uploaded that have nothing to do with being an animated icon.


Your thoughts and feedback please - we think this could be really cool if done right!

+1

I'm amazed that you've actually taken in coinsideration modern tools for animation! This sounds brilliant, although small enough .gif files could easily also be accepted. Another one I'd like to see accepted is animated png - it doesn't work on all devices but then defaults to first frame.


I don't think you need to build a custom cropper, or that can be something to do later. Cropping and converting gifs to video can be easily done with no-cost software so it shouldn't be an issue to people.

It should be noted that some gifs are actually smaller than the video version due to having a limited color palette. Imgur is known to not convert smaller gifs because of that.


I also suggest a much smaller limit for animated icons. 15-20 is way too long. These are suppose to be icons, not actual mini-vids.

+2

WebM via the HTML5 <video> tag seems like the ideal technology to use behind-the-scenes to deliver animated icons. In practice you'd provide MPEG-4/H.264 fallback, since WebM is only fully supported on about 65% of all browsers.


Ideally, you'd use something like the below code:


<video autoplay loop muted poster="profile.png">
  <source src="profile.webm" type="video/webm">
  <source src="profile.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  <img src="profile.png" alt="">
</video>

Note that the <img> tag will only be rendered if the browser does not support the <video> tag.


I noticed you mentioned GIFV, however it's worth mentioning that this is not an actual file format; rather, it is Imgur's way of delivering HTML5 video (webm/mp4) in a format that can be viewed and linked to as conveniently as an animated GIF. Embedding a gifv is unfortunately not as simple as sticking it in an <img> tag.

-4

Just NO. Why? Look at FA.


Cons: Loading a page with 20 1Meg gifs on a mobile device will bog it down in no time. And burn through the data cap. In order to view a 100K artwork, have to download 20Megs of crap.

Lawsuits due to you know a user will upload a animation that will trigger an eplitic attack.


If you do implement this, please do the following:

Require a static upload in addation to animated. This is so one can either turn it on or off.

Require a 30 days seperation between the static upload and animation one. This will prevent one from creating several accounts and uploading 2Meg animation and commenting on artwork with all accounts, creating a 20Meg download for all users that veiw the artwork.

opt-IN, this will prevent lawsuits and complaints from new users bitching about chewing up there data cap.



+1

> Loading a page with 20 1Meg gifs
It's been proposed that instead of gifs, animations will use HTML5 video technology to greatly reduce the necessary filesize. According to sites like gfycat, these technologies use 10 times less data than the equivalent GIF animation. The avatar upload form might accept animated GIF as an input format, but would transform it to a smaller format before use.

> on a mobile device
I don't feel that animated avatars would be suitable for a mobile experience, I'd expect them to be off by default or even unavailable on mobile.

> Lawsuits due to you know a user will upload a animation that will trigger an eplitic attack.
I refer you to 47 U.S.C. § 230. Section 230(c)(1) provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an "interactive computer service" who publish information provided by others. This is known as a "safe harbor" provision.

>
Require a static upload in addation to animated. This is so one can either turn it on or off.

I'd expect that settings would be implemented to allow users to disable the display of animated avatars. However, instead of a separate static upload, I think the first frame should simply be displayed as a static image. This is overall less complicated and easier to understand than having two separate uploads that might be wildly different.

> This will prevent one from creating several accounts and uploading 2Meg animation and commenting on artwork with all accounts, creating a 20Meg download for all users that veiw the artwork.
Then that's spam and would be dealt with as such.

> opt-IN, this will prevent lawsuits and complaints
I support opt-in. As for lawsuits, see above. (Seriously though? Filing a lawsuit because visiting a site used your download quota? Anyone doing that would be laughed out of the courtroom, if they could find a lawyer who didn't laugh them out of the lawyer's office.)


I think in regards if epileptic attacks we should focus on the fact that people can die, rather than lawsuits...

I was responding to Techwolf's comment, where he seemed most concerned about lawsuits.


People can certainly die from seizures, which in the case of photosensitive epilepsy can be triggered by flashing lights or certain shapes. But is it a website's responsibility to not display content that may harm a tiny percentage of users? Or should the user be managing their illness responsibly by being careful and not putting themselves in situations that may harm them?


The real threat isn't found in animated user icons, anyway. The true killers can strike on any website, any time. No matter where you browse, you might be only one click away from death...


+2

Idea: Add an account setting with 3 states:

- Enable animations
- Disable animations: Displays the first frame as a static image
-Animation on demand: This one would display static with a little icon overlaid on it letting you know it's animated. Then you could click on it to make the animation load.

Don't forget about aPNG support. Animated PNGs, that is, which are sometimes smaller than GIF while still having much higher quality.

I do not believe animated png are supported enough by browsers yet.

Yet? :P They used to be, the problem is there wasn't enough demand for it so many browsers don't bother including support. I just finished making some APNG images to use in a suggestion I'm about to post even.

Either way, using something that does not work in all major browsers is not generally wise - unless you don't care about your users6audience and want to go a "take it or fuck off" route.