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    GIF Your Own Adventure: Gifmelter

    Written by

    Daniel Stuckey


    I spend a lot of my downtime, and a lot of my regular time chatting on Dump.fm, an image-based chat room started by a few friends of friends. It's a virtual space for net artists and codey-Photoshop-art nerds to 'dump' their favorite things. It's a great place to get inspired if you have anxiety over attending public openings or leaving the laptop unattended.

    On Friday, a couple users were passing around this groovy Javascript-enhanced visualizer, namely Chris Shier. Basically, it's an awesome way to repurpose and view animations. The Gifmelter is a combination of a renderer created by a co-founder of Dump, Tim Baker, and Shier's implementation of moving GIFs as brushes. Shier, who works in legal databasing in Vancouver, B.C., explains how it works thusly:

    The heavy lifting of Gifmelter is done by Tim's gif.js renderer. Normally, canvas can't access all the frames of a GIF and just shows the first frame as a static image, but Tim finally let me get ahold of his library, which makes in-canvas Anigifs available. This means I can apply my canvas effects to the GIF, and use it like a brush. I'm looking forward to exploring more of what can be done between canvas interaction and animated GIF.

    As you can see below, Shier's results are incredibly satisfying.

    Though it doesn't work with all GIFs, and some browsers are a little glitchy with the code, you can try using your own GIFs with the Gifmelter. Navigate through one of the Fullscreen links below and add your GIF's URL (hosted elsewhere on the web) after the first question mark in the address bar:

    ( http://csh.bz/gifmelter/melt.html? + http://i.imgur.com/EEBBY.gif = http://csh.bz/gifmelter/melt.html?http://i.imgur.com/EEBBY.gif )

    In the case that you fail or can't find a GIF that will work with this, I placed a handful of Dump favorties in these frames for your Javascript-induced, GIF-gazing pleasure. Enjoy:









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