How to Make a GIF in Krita: A Fun and Friendly Guide

Create Eye-Catching Animated Images with Krita’s GIF Feature

Are you ready to bring your artwork to life? Learn how to make a GIF in Krita and showcase your creativity in a whole new way. With Krita’s intuitive interface and powerful tools, you’ll be creating mesmerizing animations in no time.


Welcome to the world of GIFs! These short, looping animations have taken the internet by storm, capturing our attention and making us smile. But have you ever wondered how to make your own GIFs? Look no further – Krita is here to help.

As an open-source digital painting software, Krita offers a wide range of features, including the ability to create GIFs. Whether you’re an aspiring artist, a seasoned animator, or just looking for a fun project, this guide will walk you through the process of making a GIF in Krita.

But first, let’s address the elephant in the room – what exactly is a GIF? GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and it’s a file format that supports both static and animated images. Unlike videos, GIFs don’t require any special software to view, making them incredibly popular on social media platforms and websites.

Now that we have a basic understanding of GIFs, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating your very own animated masterpiece using Krita.

Setting Up Your Canvas

Step 1: Choosing the Right Dimensions

Before diving into the world of GIF creation, it’s important to set up the canvas with the appropriate dimensions. Open Krita and navigate to “File” in the menu bar, then select “New” to create a new document.

When prompted to enter the dimensions, consider the intended usage of your GIF. If you plan to share it on social media or a website, it’s best to keep the dimensions small to ensure faster loading times. A width and height of 500 pixels or less is generally recommended for web-friendly GIFs.

Step 2: Selecting the Right Frame Rate

Once you’ve chosen the dimensions, it’s time to set the frame rate for your GIF. The frame rate determines how fast the animation will play, with a higher frame rate resulting in smoother movement. However, keep in mind that a higher frame rate also leads to a larger file size.

In Krita, the frame rate is measured in frames per second (FPS). For most GIFs, a frame rate of 10-15 FPS should suffice. To adjust the frame rate, go to “Settings” in the menu bar, select “Configure Krita,” and then click on the “Animation” tab. Here, you can modify the frame rate according to your preferences.

Step 3: Enabling the Onion Skin Feature

Before we start creating our animation, let’s take advantage of a handy feature in Krita called Onion Skin. Onion Skin allows you to see faint outlines of the previous and next frames, making it easier to maintain consistency and fluidity in your animation.

To enable Onion Skin, go to the “Animation” menu in the top toolbar and select “Onion Skin.” You can customize the number of previous and next frames to display, as well as the opacity of the onion skin overlay. Play around with these settings to find what works best for you.

Step 4: Saving Your Project

Before we dive into creating the animation, it’s essential to save your project to ensure you don’t lose any progress. Krita supports various file formats, but it’s recommended to save your work in KRA format, which preserves all the layers and settings for future editing.

To save your project, navigate to “File” in the menu bar and select “Save.” Choose a location on your computer where you want to save the file, give it a descriptive name, and select the KRA format from the dropdown menu. Click “Save” to store your project safely.

Creating Your Animation

Step 5: Adding the First Frame

Now that we have our canvas set up and the project saved, let’s start creating our animation! In Krita, animations are built by adding individual frames on separate layers. Each layer represents a frame, and when played in sequence, they create the illusion of motion.

To add the first frame, click on the “New Paint Layer” button at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will create a blank layer on which you can start drawing or painting your first frame.

Step 6: Bringing Your Artwork to Life

With the first frame in place, it’s time to unleash your creativity and bring your artwork to life. Use Krita’s wide range of drawing and painting tools to create your animation. Whether you prefer digital painting, sketching, or even adding text or shapes, Krita provides all the tools you need to make your vision a reality.

Remember, each layer represents a frame, so make sure to paint or modify the necessary elements on each subsequent layer to create a seamless transition between frames. You can add more layers by clicking on the “New Paint Layer” button whenever you need a new frame in your animation.

Step 7: Utilizing Shortcuts and Features

Krita offers a variety of shortcuts and features to streamline your animation process. Here are a few tips and tricks to enhance your workflow:

1. Keyboard Shortcuts

Krita provides numerous keyboard shortcuts that can save you time and effort. For example, pressing the “D” key activates the default brush, while “B” selects the brush tool. Familiarize yourself with these shortcuts to work efficiently.

2. Transform and Duplicate Layers

When creating complex animations or repetitive movements, you can save time by transforming and duplicating layers. Use the “Transform” tool to resize, rotate, or move a layer, and the “Duplicate Layer” function to create copies of a layer with the same content.

3. Onion Skin Navigation

While working on your animation, you can navigate between frames using the Onion Skin feature. By clicking the left or right arrow keys on your keyboard, you can quickly jump back and forth between frames, ensuring smooth transitions and consistency.

4. Multiple Undo and Redo

Animation is a trial-and-error process, and mistakes are bound to happen. Thankfully, Krita allows you to undo and redo multiple steps in your animation. Just click on the “Undo” or “Redo” buttons in the top toolbar or use the corresponding keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + Z for Undo, Ctrl + Shift + Z for Redo).

Step 8: Fine-Tuning Your Animation

Once you’ve finished creating your animation, it’s time to fine-tune and perfect it. Krita offers several tools and techniques to add depth, effects, and refine your animation:

1. Layer Opacity and Blending Modes

Experiment with layer opacity to create fading or transparent effects in your animation. Adjusting the opacity of specific layers can give your GIF a more dynamic and polished look. Additionally, try different blending modes to achieve unique effects and color interactions.

2. Filters and Effects

Krita’s extensive collection of filters and effects can take your animation to the next level. Apply filters such as blur, glow, or noise to specific layers or the entire animation to add depth, texture, and visual interest.

3. Transformations and Motion Paths

If you want to create more complex movements or transformations in your animation, Krita offers advanced transformation tools. Use the “Warp Transform” or “Liquify” features to distort or reshape specific elements, or experiment with motion paths and keyframes to create dynamic movements.

Step 9: Previewing Your Animation

As you work on your animation, it’s crucial to preview it in real-time to ensure smooth transitions and overall cohesiveness. Krita provides a built-in animation player that allows you to play your animation at any time during the creation process.

To access the animation player, go to the top toolbar and click on the “Animation” menu. From there, select “Play Animation” to view your animation in action. If you notice any issues or areas that need improvement, simply make the necessary adjustments and play it again until you’re satisfied with the result.

Exporting Your GIF

Step 10: Adjusting Export Settings

Once you’re happy with your animation, it’s time to export it as a GIF. Krita offers various export options to customize the output according to your preferences. To access the export settings, go to “File” in the menu bar and select “Export Animation.”

In the Export Animation dialog box, you’ll find a range of settings to modify. Let’s take a look at the essential options:

1. File Name and Location

Choose a memorable and descriptive name for your GIF and select the folder or location where you want to save it on your computer.

2. File Format and Compression

Make sure the file format is set to GIF, as Krita supports exporting animations in various formats. You can also adjust the compression level to control the file size and quality balance. Higher compression reduces file size but may result in a loss of image quality.

3. Looping and Frame Delay

By default, GIFs loop indefinitely, which means they play in a continuous loop without stopping. However, you can specify the number of loops or set it to “Infinite” to create a never-ending animation. Additionally, adjust the delay between frames to control the speed of your GIF’s animation.

4. Export Range

If you only want to export a specific range of frames from your animation, you can define the start and end frames in the Export Animation dialog box. This allows you to create shorter GIFs or focus on specific sections of your animation.

Step 11: Exporting Your GIF

Once you’ve customized the export settings to your liking, click on the “Export” button to generate your GIF. Krita will process your animation and save it as a GIF file in the designated location on your computer.

Step 12: Sharing and Enjoying Your GIF

With your animated GIF ready, it’s time to share it with the world! GIFs are incredibly versatile and can be shared on various platforms, including social media, messaging apps, websites, and even embedded in emails or blog posts.

To share your GIF, simply upload it to the platform of your choice. Many social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, support native GIF playback, making it easy to share your creation with friends, followers, or the online community.

You can also consider creating a dedicated GIF gallery on your website or blog to showcase your animations. This allows visitors to view and appreciate your talent, and it’s an excellent way to attract new viewers and followers.

FAQs – How to Make a GIF in Krita

1. Can I create GIFs with transparent backgrounds in Krita?

“Absolutely! Krita supports transparency, allowing you to create GIFs with transparent backgrounds. By enabling the alpha channel in your canvas settings, any areas you leave transparent will remain so in your final GIF.”

2. Can I import images into Krita to use in my animation?

“Certainly! Krita allows you to import images as layers, granting you the freedom to incorporate existing artwork or photos into your animations. To import an image, go to ‘File’ > ‘Import’ > ‘Import as New Layer.'”

3. Is Krita suitable for professional animation projects?

“Absolutely! While Krita is known for its excellent digital painting capabilities, it also excels in animation. Many professional animators rely on Krita for its powerful features, user-friendly interface, and extensibility through plugins.”

4. How can I adjust the timing of specific frames in my GIF?

“In Krita, you can easily fine-tune the timing of individual frames in your animation. Use the timeline feature, accessible through the top toolbar, to navigate to the desired frame and adjust its duration as needed.”

5. Can I add text or captions to my GIF in Krita?

“Absolutely! Krita offers versatile text tools that allow you to add captions, dialogue, or any other text elements to your GIF. Simply select the Text tool, click on your canvas, and start typing. You can customize the font, size, color, and positioning to achieve the desired effect.”

6. Does Krita have any pre-made animation templates?

“While Krita doesn’t come with pre-made animation templates, it provides a wide range of features and tools that allow you to create animations from scratch. Let your imagination run wild and bring your unique ideas to life with Krita’s powerful animation capabilities.”

7. Can I export my GIF in different file formats?

“Indeed! Although GIF is the most widely supported file format for animated images, Krita also allows you to export your animation in other formats such as MP4 or APNG. Simply choose the desired format in the Export Animation dialog box before exporting your animation.”


Congratulations! You’ve successfully learned how to make a GIF in Krita. With Krita’s powerful tools and intuitive interface, you can unleash your creativity and create captivating animations that will mesmerize your audience.

Remember, creating GIFs is a process that requires practice, experimentation, and patience. Don’t be afraid to explore different techniques, utilize the various features Krita offers, and let your imagination run wild. By honing your skills and continuously creating new animations, you’ll continue to improve and amaze others with your talents.

Now, armed with the knowledge and skills acquired from this guide, it’s time to embark on your animation journey. Start creating unique and visually stunning GIFs that will make a lasting impression on viewers. Share them with the world and watch as your animated masterpieces bring joy and wonder to others.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Follow copyright laws and obtain necessary permissions while creating and sharing GIFs.

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