Animated GIFs and MP4 Movies

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Animated GIFs are a fun way to present images from a photo booth and are supported in Breeze Kiosk v2.2 onwards. Animated GIFs are animated in the main image and slideshow views. To avoid too many distracting moving images animated GIFs are not animated in the thumbnail display and only show the first frame of the animation.
 

The latest versions of Breeze Systems' DSLR Remote Pro photo booth software can capture animated GIFs and MP4 video files.

 

There are a number of things to bear in mind when using animated GIFs or MP4 movies:

 

1.Automatic looping - the main advantages of animated GIFs are that they can be displayed in a continuous loop and are supported by almost all email clients, web browsers etc. MP4 movie files don't loop automatically but some social sharing sites (e.g. Facebook and Instagram) will display them in a continuous loop.
 
2.File Size - GIF files use lossless compression which results in larger file sizes than other image formats that use lossy compression such as JPEG. This can be an issue if you only have a slow internet connection because it may take a long time to upload the image files. File size can also be a problem when using some services such as MMS which usually limits the maximum file size to 300KB or 600KB.
MP4 files use lossly compression which gives much smaller file sizes (typically 1/20 the size of the equivalent animated GIF) with little loss of quality.
 
3.Color Limitations - GIF images are limited to a palette of 256 colors per frame which can result in poor rendition of color photos. Compare this with JPEG which can have more than 16 million different colors and it is clear that there will be some reduction in quality when converting a series of JPEG images to an animated GIF.
MP4 files don't have any color limitations and can display full 24-bit color images.
 
4.Facebook Limitations - Facebook does not support animated GIFs in its photo albums. When an animated GIF is uploaded to Facebook using Breeze Kiosk it is hosted on Giphy.com and a link is posted on the user's timeline.
MP4 files can be uploaded to the user's "Videos" album and will automatically play in a continuous loop.
 
5.Twitter Limitations - Twitter supports the direct uploading of animated GIFs to a Twitter feed but when Twitter receives the GIF it converts it into an MP4 movie file and then plays it back in a looping player when viewed on a web page. This can result in a loss in quality and so you may need to experiment with different image and file sizes to get the best results.
MP4 files can be uploaded to a user's Twitter feed but won't play in a continuous loop.
 
6.MMS/SMS Limitations when using Twilio - Twilio may resize an animated GIF to conform with MMS file size limits (usually 300KB or 600KB) and this may cause the animated GIF to fail to play back properly. Whether an animated GIF sent as an MMS is displayed properly may also depend on the user's cellphone. Sending an animated GIF as an SMS message with a link to where it is hosted on a separate website allows file sizes of up to 1MB. Most smartphones will display the animated GIF in a web browser when the user clicks on the link in the SMS message. However, please note that link to the animated GIF will only be valid for 7 days after sending the SMS message.
MP4 files have the advantage that the file size is much smaller than animated GIFs, but won't displayed in a continuous loop when viewed on the user's phone.
 
7.Email - animated GIFs can be sent as email attachments with no size limit other than time it takes to upload the data. Most email clients on PCs, tablets and smartphones should display the animated GIF correctly. To make the sending of emails quicker you can choose not to send the image file or animated GIF as an email attachment but to send a link to the image hosted on a separate website instead. For this to work you need to upload the animated GIF to a separate website. One way to do this is to use the offline email mode and then after the event upload the photos to your website before sending the emails.
MP4 files have the advantage that the file size is much smaller than animated GIFs, but won't displayed in a continuous loop when the email is viewed. There isn't a standard way to embed an MP4 file in an HTML email message - the <img> tag can only be used for JPEG and GIF images and the HTML5 <video> tag isn't supported by most email clients. Most email clients will handle the video as a file attachment.