GIF Artists Are Truly Gifted

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NINE ARTISTS. THREE seconds. Four colors. One survivor.

GIFTJust kidding, everyone survives. But the rest is accurate! This is the format for 9 Squares, a collaborative animation project in which serious creative constraints produce mesmerizing results.

Here’s the gist: Nine designers are asked to create an abstract animated GIF. It has to live inside a 350-pixel square, it can’t exceed three seconds, and it can only use four colors, predetermined by the organizers. The resulting compositions are arranged in a tight three-by-three grid, making for a hypnotic quilt of motion and color.

The project was born on Tumblr, long a fertile ground for motion design (itself a recently minted Emmy category, hey hey). The spark was a kinetic GIF by animator Al Boardman—a grid of colorful, hyperactive boxes. Another animator, David Stanfield, suggested it might be a fun format for a collaboration. Other artists piled on and the group posted the first animated tapestry to Tumblr in March.

Read more at WIRED