Animated .GIF Files

Tip by Kenz0 and JSMorley

Rainmeter will not display animated .gif files by just using a Meter=Image meter. It will treat the animated gif as just a regular .gif file and display only the first "frame" of the image.

There are ways to use your animated .gif files in Rainmeter however. It requires using one of a couple of tools to do some conversions on your original image, and a couple of ways to display the result so it is animated and looks just like your original in all its glory.

Let's use this animated .gif image for our example:

Method One: Using Individual Frame Images

Advantages: Simple easy to use conversion tool.
Disadvantages: More hard drive space, a bit more CPU usage.

This method involves "deconstructing" your .gif image into separate .jpg or .png files, then displaying them one after the other in a way that creates an animation effect.

Step 1: Get GifFrame.exe

This is a free utility you can get HERE
Use this utility to convert your .gif file to individual images. The images can be saved as .jpg or .png. Use .png to preserve transparency.

Step 2: Create a skin like this to display the images one after the other to create an animation.

;=================================================
; Rainmeter configuration file
; Updated October 4, 2012
;
; Note - You will need to get GifFrames.exe from:
; http://www.evanolds.com/#GFE
; Use this tool to convert your .gif to individual .jpg or .png images.
;
;=================================================

[Rainmeter]
Update=100

[Metadata]
Name=GIFFrames
Author=Jeffrey Morley
Information=Displays a deconstructed .gif file (individual frames) as if it was a .gif file || Instructions: See .ini file for how to get and use GifFrames.exe
Version=March 8, 2010
License=Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0

[ImageNumberCalc]
Measure=Calc
Formula=Counter % 12

[ImageMeter]
Meter=Image
ImageName=#@#ImagesFrames\Frame[ImageNumberCalc].png
DynamicVariables=1

Method Two: Converting a .GIF to a Multiple Frame "Bitmap" Image

Advantages: Less hard drive space, a bit less CPU intensive
Disadvantages: Conversion tool is just a bit more complicated.

This involves using a tool called ImageMagick to convert your .gif file into a "bitmap" with multiple frames, then using the Meter=BITMAP meter type in Rainmeter to display the frames in the single image as an animation. The bitmap will look like this:

Step 1: Get ImageMagick

This is a free utility you can get HERE
You should probably get the latest "Portable" "Static" version on the list at the above site. This will allow you to just unzip the program and use it from the command line without any "installation".

Use this utility to convert your .gif file to a multiple frame bitmap image. The image can be saved as .jpg or .png. Use .png to preserve transparency.

Convert your .gif image to a "Bitmap" with the following in a cmd.exe command prompt window: C:\PathToImageMagick\convert.exe +append C:\PathToGif\YourGif.gif C:\PathToDesiredOutput\YourBitmap.png

Step 2: Create a skin like this to display the bitmap frames one after the other to create an animation.

;=================================================
; Rainmeter configuration file
; Updated October 4, 2012
;
; Note - You will need to get ImageMagick from:
; http://www.imagemagick.org/script/binary-releases.php?ImageMagick=ricm49nmhtgaut61n97h3fmt92#windows
; Get the last one on the list, the latest "Portable / Static" 16bit version.
; Convert your .gif image to a "Bitmap" with the following in a cmd.exe command prompt window:
; C:\PathToImageMagick\convert.exe +append C:\PathToGif\YourGif.gif C:\PathToDesiredOutput\YourBitmap.png
;
;=================================================

[Rainmeter]
Update=100

[Metadata]
Name=GIFBitmap
Author=kenz0
Information=Displays a "Bitmap" made from a .gif file using ImageMagick to convert a .gif to a multi-frame bitmap image. || Instructions: See .ini file for how to get and use ImageMagick
Version=March 8, 2010
License=Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0

[MeasureAnimation]
Measure=CALC
Formula=Counter % 12

[MeterAnimation]
Meter=BITMAP
MeasureName=MeasureAnimation
BitmapImage=#@#ImagesBitmap\shark_bitmap.png
BitmapFrames=12
BitmapExtend=1