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August 26, 2013

Kickstarter Campaign Looking to Give GIF the Boot in Favour of PNG

An American entrepreneur living in Japan has developed an animated file type he hopes will replace GIF files.
Developer Rei Kagetsuki is promoting his creation of animated PNG (APNG) tools through a campaign on Kickstarter and has already surpassed his $5,000 goal by more than $2,000. Kagetsuki says users have been “stuck” with GIF for more than a decade, despite the fact that there’s a better quality file type available to create crisper animations with bolder colours.

The lack of tools is what’s kept GIFs going for so long, he says, until now.

“Animated PNG, a high quality animated image format complete with full alpha channel and graceful degradation has been available and usable since 2004. ¬†Essentially APNG is like a much better Animated GIF. A large problem hindering widespread use is the lack of tools to create APNG. We would like to remedy this by taking the leading APNG conversion tool apngasm and, along with its author Max turn it into a robust and feature packed conversion library and a provide a full graphical authoring and editing tool,” explains Kagetsuki.

Some of the work is already done for Kagetsuki. APNG support is already built into FireFox and Opera, and can be added to Chrome through an extension. Funding already acquired from the Kickstarter project will allow for the development of a Photoshop extension and more.

With his $5,000 goal already surpassed, Kagetsuki is developing a new version of apngasm in C++ is a library, creating packages and installers for apngasm for Debian and Ubuntu Linux, OSX and Windows and developing a cross platform graphical APNG authoring tool to assemble sets of images into APNG.

While $5,000 was the original target, Kagetsuki has aimed high and has a list of other goals in case the project secures upwards of $25,000. The full project can be viewed here.