Seeling as GIFs are used everywhere, one could think making a simple GIF (in good quality) were an easy thing. Apparently, either it's not, or I'm a dunce. I've been recently getting a bit into After Effects, experimenting with animating fonts for various uses. Yesterday, I made a nice bouncy and melting text which I wanted to export into a GIF. This was the beginning of the ordeal. Apparently, After Effects, or rather its encoders, have some trouble with transparency / properly exporting the alpha channel. I watched guides and tutorials on exporting/rendering, tried out various settings but as soon as rendering got to the part where opacity started being used, my renders always got interrupted with an error message. After about 15 rendering attempts with different settings, I decided to make a sequence out of it instead - render out each frame as a PNG to combine it somewhere else. The obvious choice was Photoshop. However, for some reason, not sure if it's the scratch disks or the RAM, Photoshop runs out of memory during export. I tried reducing the resolution from 1920x1080 to half that, exported it from After Effects again with 960x540 but still, Photoshop couldn't export the animation as a GIF without freezing. Task manager showed something with 7GB memory being in use which is just ridiculous as the overall size of all the PNGs combined is 28MB. Alright, next I tried out online converters. There were some okay-ish ones, however the quality loss was visible in the end result. Some don't have the option to tweak compression resulting in atrocious-looking GIFs, others didn't include transparency, and others didn't support uploads of more than 200 frames (mine had 240 frames). Then I tried out GIMP2. This one surprised me with its quick speed, not needing even half of the memory Photoshop uses, however the end result looked terrible. I don't know how it handles transparency, but the frames where the alpha channel was used had artifacts all over the place. Lastly I searched for free software to just combine PNGs into a GIF and found some useful ones. The one that did a clean alpha export was JAVA-based and ran out of heap space if I wanted to make the GIF in full resolution. The result of the half-size finally looked good, but the file size was the full 28MB which is ridiculous for a GIF. Plus, the way it's created, you can't convert it and no software recognizes the file as a GIF, making any tweaks impossible. Another JAVA-based software where it looked good couldn't handle alpha and just automatically placed everything on a white background with no option to turn it off. The file size was reasonable, though (9MB) and it was possible to open it with IrfanView and Photoshop. In summary, I found the effort ridiculous to just create a simple GIF in good quality that supports transparency. Does anyone happen to know of a good pipeline to merge a sequence of PNGs into a GIF with transparency?