I would like to optimize as much as possible a gif that has animated opacity. I tried it in adobe photoshop, but it doesn't export with the opacity animation. Can anyone help me?


  • GIFs use Indexed colour. The format doesn't support semi-transparency, only full or no transparency. So, if you are trying to animate something fading from transparent to opaque, then it's not possible with a GIF.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 26, 2021 at 12:16
  • 1
    on a separate note, after you figure out you transparency issues: Photoshop doesn't offer a lot of optimizing options for gifs, I'd suggest to use something like ezgif.com Jan 26, 2021 at 14:25
  • The gif optimizer suggested by Sergey is probably your best bet. — In general gifs are already a very degraded version of the original. Any further optimization, any significant optimization anyways, means more degradation (usually). Dropping frames and lowering the amount of colors can have a big impact on the filesize, but if you're not careful, it can also make the gif look terrible. Lowering the amount of colors may mean a significantly duller image and dropping frames can make it look significantly choppier, like a stop motion animation almost and/or make the gif run faster...
    – Joonas
    Feb 26, 2021 at 7:47

2 Answers 2


Traditionally it's the pixels in a gif which are animated... and transparency adjusts to match those repositioned pixels.

GIF transparency is also 1-bit, meaning it's either on or off. It is not possible to "fade" transparency when using the GIF format.

So, if you are trying to achieve some sort of "opacity fade animation", that's not possible with a GIF. Again, opacity is either on or off there are no mid-values to animate.


As Scott said above GIFs only support 1-bit transparency so you can't animate it smoothly.

I don't know where you plan on using the GIF, but if the background doesn't change you can fake it by adding a piece of the background to the bottom layer in Photoshop so your smooth opacity transitions will look like it's smoothly fading to the background in the resulting GIF.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.