Optimizing Animated GIFs / Contest Rules
Take the Penguin Challenge!
For reference, we've included the original rules below. Many people have asked about the restrictions, and would like a no-holds barred rematch. This is a distinct possibility. By fixing the number of colors, the rules fostered the improvement of GIF89a compression algorithms, and the optimization programs themselves. It worked, many of the contestants were the developers themselves, and in the course of the contest improved their own programs' compression and color reduction. The contest lives on, feel free to submit your entries or programs for evaluation.
The Original Challenge
I've squeezed about as many bytes as possible out of our animated penguin, and 4849 bytes represents the current (at press time) state of the art in GIF89a compression. But, talking to developers, further improvements may be possible. If you can create a smaller animation from the original graphic, you could win a copy of Photo Impact, Debabelizer, or another graphics tool, along with a year's subscription to Web Techniques and a WT T-shirt, from Web Techniques magazine.
Rules - Use whatever means you want. The animation must display properly on Netscape 2 and Explorer 2.1, comply with the GIF89a spec, have 22 colors, and appear identical to the online version. You must start from the 21K conventional full-frame animation in Figure 1 at the top of this page. Send your animation to email@example.com with an explanation of how you accomplished it, one entry per person. For e-mail submissions MIME attachments are preferred, Mac users please binhex the GIF. Make sure you include your contact information, name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. If we can duplicate your feat, you'll be in the running. The smallest three qualifying animations below 4849 bytes that we receive on or before June 30, 1997 win. Ties will be decided on a first-come, first served basis.
Comments are welcome
Created: October 2, 1997
Revised: Aug. 9, 2000