So I wrote some (faily superficial) intro about GIMP and animation for our hungarobernd here >>17775
but that thread is mostly unrelated so I suppose I couldn't do worse by posting it here...
Well, actually not so much more to say but let's see, first I should say that I didn't actually use any of the plug-ins since what I needed was very simple
As mentioned, for involved animation work some plug-in is necessary because there's almost none of the typical animation devices built-in, for example there's no timeline. The most featureful one is GAP (which for my system comes in a separate package), though still not a typical animation system, instead more like a collection of animation-related tools. It's a relatively complex array of tools so I won't say more, you should read the tutorials in the official documentation. Then there's also this FAnim plug-in which is evidently much simpler, maybe too simple
actually, if you need to animate seriously perhaps should just use some other appropriate tool, maybe Krita or Synfig:
however, if you just need to run through a few handdrawn frames then you simply make each one into a layer (bottom-most layer is the initial frame). You can use layers normally for editing but at the end of the process there should be one visible layer for each frame. Some remarks:
- you can control frame period (and therefore frame rate) globally in the GIF export window
- to override the period of individual frames you edit the corresponding layer's name so that it includes the text '(<period>ms)' where <period> is some integer duration in milliseconds
- similarly, you can override the 'transition method' between frames: if you put '(replace)' in the name then the frame replaces the previous, while '(combine)' merges the frame into the previous (the default is to combine)
- useful things under Filters/Animation:
* the Playback tool for previewing
* the Optimise for GIF tool for reducing file size: assuming the frames are combined, it will remove redundant pixels
* the few pre-made effects are mildly interesting but AFAICS they apply to the whole image, so in order to combine them you would need to separate parts of the image into different documents apply the filters and then blend the parts again into a single composite animation. this quickly becomes unwieldy doing manually and is the kind of process that GAP should help you manage.