I'm trying to output a .gif from Photoshop (CS6) and have run into some difficulty with the quality it is producing. Ideally, each image should resemble these stills - 1, 2 and 3 which are crisp and clear, but as a .gif file (especially on the second image), the depth and colours are removed, resulting in a splotchy image animation...

The image and the Save for Web settings seem to be fine, so I was wondering how would I be able to output the .gif keeping it the same as or as close to the stills as possible?


2 Answers 2


You're experiencing dithering due to the color reduction of the GIF color table. Gif images can only contain a maximum of 256 colors. There's really not a great deal you can do about it.

You are asking the gif format to support smooth color, which it doesn't. The best you can do is experiment with the dithering options in the Save for Web window. However, you are never going to get a smooth color photograph when using the gif format.

There may be better options such as jquery, for what you are attempting to create. Javascript libraries such as jquery can create animation effects which can use independent png24 or jpg images. Both png24 and jpg support smooth color and are not restricted to a maximum of 256 color.

  • Thanks for the quick and detailed response Scott. Just out of curiosity though, how would something like this be made where the animation and images are crisp and clear? Commented May 22, 2013 at 1:52
  • It's a relatively small color palette, unlike the images you are using. Most of the colors in that image are dark or similar. This aides in the dithering. In addition, the entire range of motion is in a very very small area (only the fingers) so the amount of change between frames is kept to a minimum which further reduces the file size.
    – Scott
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 2:19
  • The more area you want to animate or tween, the larger the files size and more dithering is needed. In fact, in that image you can see the animation seam in the middle of the back of his hand.
    – Scott
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 2:31

You can try pattern instead of diffusion or Noise in the save for web dialog box and colors as 256.

  • 1
    Welcome to GD.SE! And how is that to do? Please show it in several screenshots with the given image of the op. A one line answer is usually not a valid answer ...
    – Mensch
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 17:02

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