How to Animate JPG Computer Files

By Daniel Ketchum

Finding a key does not require editing the Windows Registry.
i Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

Many people like to create small animations that they send in emails to friends and family or use on their web pages. Sometimes this animations are based on JPG files, such as photos. A single JPG file can't be animated without an expensive and complex program. However, a series of JPGs can be turned into a simple slideshow-like animation. You can do this by using the freeware program GIMP to quickly produce your own animated JPGs.

Step 1

Transfer the images or photo JPGs you want to turn into an animation onto your computer. You can take them directly from a digital camera; copy them from a flash drive, SD card or CD; or you could just scan them in. If you use a scanner, make sure you set the scanning resolution to at least 600 dpi.

Step 2

Go to and download the latest version of the GIMP application. Then install it to your system. A shortcut to the program will appear on your system.

Step 3

Open GIMP. Select “File” and click “New.” In the dialog box that pops up, name the file “Animated 1” and set the width and height in pixels that you want for your animation. Make the resolution 72 pixels per inch and click “OK.”

Step 4

Select “File” and click “Open.” In the dialog box that opens, browse to the files you loaded. Select the fist one you want to use in the animation and open it.

Step 5

Select “Edit” from the menu and click “Copy.” Then go back to the “Animated 1” document, select “Edit” and click “Paste As Layer.” Now use the “Scale” tool found in the toolbar to resize the JPG to fit the canvas. Some cropping may occur.

Step 6

Repeat step 5 to bring in (in sequence) all the images you want to use in your animation.

Step 7

Select “File” and click “Save.” In the dialog that opens, set the file type as GIF and click “Save.” In the next dialog that pops up, select “Make Animation” and click “Save.” In the last dialog, set the duration you want for each frame. Then set “Disposal Method” as “Replace.” Click “Export” and your JPG files will be saved out as animated GIF.