Constant Background GIFs

Hi all

I’m trying to create a constantly running static GIF in the background of my watch. See this example from the talented Montblanc winner @inmotion_watch

I want to do something similar for a 10 second GIF, which requires it to be broken down into 300 static images, at about 25fps (I want it to be smooth).

Since the app only supports 25 items in a sequence I’d like to do something like:
Layer 01: Sequence frames 01 - 25 from 0 - 1 second
Layer 02: Sequence frames 26 - 50 from 1 - 2 seconds
Layer 03: Sequence frames 51 - 75 from 2 - 3 seconds

Layer 10: Sequence frames 251 - 275 from 9 - 10 seconds
Layer 11: Sequence frames 276 - 300 from 10 - 11 seconds

And then repeat. So it’s a constant running loop.

From a resource perspective I’m fine with charging my watch every night, so I don’t mind the battery drain.

I have tried various options but I haven’t been even close to successful. I’m close to giving up but I thought I’d put it out to the community. Am I just chasing windmills?

[As a side note @Facer_Official, when you publish new functionality, such as this page, can you please make the examples able to be inspected? We’re flailing in the dark otherwise! 4.3.9 is now live (GIFs & more!)]

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I have had a play with the sequence function and sorry i do not think its possible to do what you are trying to do. out of interest what are you trying to animate as it may be possible some other way

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Yeah, I think so. I’ve done a lot of research into animations (you can find my tutorials). Functionally it can be done, but there are likely two issues with what you are proposing. The first is the simple performance of the design animations as a whole. Once you start getting over 50-75 elements/frames, things slow down and get choppy. The second has to do with the built in GIF animator element. I haven’t had very much luck with ‘stringing’ several of these together. Something with the way the animation performs when the watch wakes always created issues for me. Some of the elements get out of sync and I could never get more than 2 or 3 to work in concert.

@inmotion_watch would have to confirm, but I imagine he is really doing some trickery with the motion here. I can guess what he is doing here, but I’ll leave it up to him if he wants to share his secrets.

Here is my test of 100 frames over 10 seconds (10fps):

Here is a test with a total of 287 frames @ 8fps:

They both have the milliseconds showing, so you can see if the performance causes slips and skips in the animations. Overall for smooth animation, depending on what it is, 12-15 frames does well enough for most.

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Hi @dazstacey It’s a gif of my daughter growing up, mate.

From newborn to aged 16 and back to newborn using face morphing software. Similar to the effect of Michael Jackson’s video for Black or White. I lined up her eyes throughout so those never change. It’s really cool, but 300 pics.

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mmm well the only way it could work is to enter 300 lines switching from picture to picture but i think it would be a pain to do

Thanks for setting these up @eradicator09. They’re not loading for me just yet, but I’ll keep this window open.

As an aside, I looked through your tutorial and I could see where multiple still Images can appear one after the other, but I couldn’t see the coding for multiple Sequences, where one set appears after the other.

I look forward to seeing your examples above!

Yeah, exactly. That’s why I want to do 11 sets of 25 frame gifs!

Hi @eradicator09. No joy loading those test faces. Would you mind sharing the code that I would use to bring up each sequence in turn so I can test it on my watch?

Much appreciated in advance.

Just on a side note, the original watchface posted may not have achieved that effect with a gif, but rather:

Good luck on solving this, you’ve got some talented help already.

Thanks @cth4242, but I don’t see how that link is useful to me.

If you look closely at that original watchface from @inmotion_watch you’ll see that planet Earth does a complete rotation, with very tiny increments. As I see it there has to be much more than 100 still images to make that, not just two. (Also, as I mentioned at the top, the SEQUENCE command already allows me to animate 25 images but that’s not enough for what I want).

His animation is what made me thought I could do the GIF of my daughter growing up. I will also need to use many images to make it a smooth transition, not just two. And I don’t want to have 300 layers of still images, it’s just not workable.

I appreciate your thoughts though. If I do work it out (or get assistance!) I’ll post the solution.

No problem, it wasn’t meant to be a solution just pointing out that the globe that you see as rotating is as simple as having a flat image of the Earth slowly moving from left to right, with the globe portion of the image masking out the rest of the image… giving the illusion of a rotating image.

Meaning, I’m almost positive the original effect isn’t made from a gif. A lot of creators have had difficulty trying to animate longer animations.

As far as inspecting watchfaces, the original creator has to enable that option when publishing. You can try contacting them to see if they can republish or tell you how they achieved an effect and most will be glad to help.

When you’re looking at a design, look for this icon… if it’s present you can inspect the watch and see how they achieved an effect.


Anyways, sorry to derail, again, good luck hope this helps!

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Hi just so you know the earth rotating effect is achieved by scrolling a single image from one side to the other using a loop scroll effect like this

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Aha! Keep it simple, stupid.

@dazstacey and @cth4242 you’re right, it does appear to be a scrolling single picture instead of multiple static images.

I’ll give credit to @inmotion_watch for making his picture look like a rotating globe instead of all that work I assume he did! But damnit - that means I’m no closer in my attempt to achieve my goal!

I really appreciate you both persevering with me - oh, and @cth4242 that tiny rocket icon is the first thing I look for! My problem was that @eradicator09’s watches didn’t load for me. (until @ThaMattie sent the direct URLs, that is).

@tiktybu Those faces didn’t load in this page for me either, but if you open the iframe’s in a new tab, and remove the “embed” part of the url, they work for me



Thanks, @ThaMattie! I appreciate it!

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You can add /inspect to the end of any url to view it, provided again the option is enabled by the creator.

Sooooo, I think you could make it work making a “film strip” like so:

Then set the x position based on a timer:

You would have to calculate the width properly but I used this expression in the x position of the image:
((3509/2) - ((round(#DWE#*15)%11)*320))

3509 is the total width, divided by 2 because it is centered
#DWE# is the time since wakeup

  • 15 adjusts the speed
    % 11 <— 11 is the number of images in my animation strip
    and then 320 is the width of the image (and also of 1 frame)

Great idea mate i tried going down that route when i first read this query but as you can see from your on example the resolution drop is horrendous in fact you nice little anim is taken from 3200 pixels wide to 640 by the app so i decided not to offer it it is a shame tho cox i have hundreds of sprite sheets that would look cool but i cant be bothered to transfer to gif files.

640 is the maximum width? Bleh. That was a great idea though @ThaMattie!

i dont think 640 is the max, thats just the scaling it does… and the image was crap to begin with. you would just need to test it with bigger images i suppose

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