GIFs work, they're mesmerising.
They move, change colour, loop over and over. Even after watching multiple cycles of a few still images linked together, there is something about them that keeps you staring at the screen.
As with pokie machines and neon lights, we are drawn to GIFs like moths to flame. The not-quite-photos, not-quite-videos are attention magnets that demand further investigation.
Some years ago I saw a program about perception that for some reason stuck with me. It spoke about the fact that as humans we only become conscious of a change if there is a 10% variation in our sensory environment. This means that to become aware of a change in temperature whilst swimming in a lake, for example, we must swim through an area 10% colder than the previous spot. The same theory applies to noticing an increase in volume when someone turns up your car radio or sweetens your tea.
Being aware of sensory change is an evolutionary feat and autonomic mechanism of consciousness that probably has a lot to do with the reason we humans are still kicking around planet earth. When there is a change in our environment, our attention is immediately brought to it so as to determine whether or not the change poses a threat to our survival.
Light is the primary manner through which we perceive our environment and with this in mind, it makes sense that GIFs (aka morphing light) would cause us to look - or stare - at them. We are preprogrammed for hundreds of thousands of years to do just that. It's almost impossible not to, even if just momentarily.
So, GET GIFFING guys.
This was one of the first attempts I made at making a GIF a few years ago. My friend has a few butterflies tattooed on her ribs, the largest of which I was able to make fly away. The whole process was far more time consuming than I would like to dedicate to such a thing - that and the speed of the butterfly is out of kilter. However, it was a good way to explore different features of Photoshop and I have made quite a few since with less dramas.