GIF-K-A-THON Report!

This past February 14th, Valentine Day’s came with an unprecedented heavy snow! On this day, Loftwork Lab held its “GIF KATHON 2014” in Shibuya, Tokyo.

“GIF KATHON” is short for “Animated GIFs Hackathon.”It is a meet-up event in which participants get together to have fun making animated GIFs. Here is a report of how the “GIF K-A-THON”went – a weirdly hot atmosphere that contrasted with the outside world, where snow raged all day.


Recommendations for GIF beginners! There is a wide variety of GIF apps for smartphones

First of all, Mr. Ishikawa, from Daily Portal Z, gave a lecture about the different methods to make GIF animations for those who had never made a GIF before.


The easiest tools to use when making an animated GIF are smartphone apps. There are many different types of apps, both free and paying, for both Android and iPhone devices.

GifMob Frame-by-frame recording. (Includes onion skin) Free.
GIFBOOM Choose automatic shooting or use a picture from your album. Includes community functions. Free.
Fixie GIF Camera Automatic shooting. Free.
motiongraph Cinemagraph. 105 yen.
PowerGIF Makes GIF files out of movies. Free.

[Puchidori] Looooop Frame-by-frame recording or automatic shooting. 200 yen.
Mopic Automatic shooting or conversion from a movie.
GIF SHOP Frame-by-frame recording. $0.99
GIFBOOM Choose automatic shooting or use a picture from your album. Includes community functions. Free.

Flixel Cinemagraph. Free.
Cinemagram Cinemagraph. Free.
Kinotopic  Cinemagraph. Free.

Once you download the app of your liking to your smartphone device, you can immediately start making animated GIFs. Just for the record, the most popular apps among the participants in the GIF K-A-THON were GIF SHOP and GIF BOOM.

It is also very important to have as many small props available as you can when you are making animated GIFs! The different combinations and movements that you can create with the props will widen the possibilities for variations. Below is an animated GIF set made with some LEGO pieces and a toilet mat. You can find all kinds of accessories for this purpose at 100 yen shops!


In order to create a high quality GIF, it is also a must to fix your smartphone in a spot using a tripod!

Influenced by an article that became popular these days saying that you can create a 3D effect by adding horizontal lines to an animated GIF,Mr. Hayashi from Daily Portal Z brought a couple of real poles. Wait, what?! You are not really going to take actual pictures, now are you!?



As expected, using real live items for the pictures was very difficult (LOL)

Draw an illustration and add movement to it to make an animated GIF!

The lecturer was Mr. Rentarou Nozaki, who produces animated GIFs by himself. Nozaki, who has 13 years of experience making animated GIFs, was awarded the Masakazu Amahisa Prize at the “International Animated GIF Award 2013,” which was held last year by Daily Portal Z.


These are at the“International Animated GIF Award 2013”

Weird Animated LOOP 【TONTON】

Weird Animated LOOP【SANKOKKO】

Weird Animated LOOP【GOTTSU】

Here is an overview of Nozaki’s method for making animated GIFs:
First of all, he draws the illustration on a photocopying paper – the regular type available at the market just thick enough that you can still see the drawing underneath through it. While looking at the drawing underneath, he draws as many illustrations as frames he wants, gradually adding movement to them, just like in a comic. Finally, he scans the resulting illustrations and edits the animated GIF with Photoshop.

The 3 hour-long, quiet yet intense GIF K-A-THON finished with all the participants presenting their creations to the group! 

The three hours went by quietly yet in a very intense manner, as the participants took pictures together or focused on shooting their frames by themselves in silence.
At the end of the GIF K-A-THON, all the participants presented the animated GIFs they made during this time to the group.

Works created at the GIF K-A-THON 2014(togetter)



We hope that this event has helped everybody understand that, even if you have no previous experience creating animated GIFs, as long as you have an idea, anybody can easily create their own animated GIF. and Daily Portal Z are both currently holding their own animated GIF contests. So if you give it a try and make your own animated GIF, please remember to send it in to enter the contests!

3 seconds MAGIC Animated GIF contest (Enter by Feb 24th )

Daily Portal Z

International GIF Animated contest (Enter by March 9th)

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