Lab Report #3 — Animated GIFs

Sports GIF Example

Sports GIF Counter-Example

This counter-example takes what looks like a traditional sports highlight GIF and spins it on its head. In the main GIF, we see a player celebrate after scoring a touchdown. He spikes the ball; he’s excited. All the attention is on him, and effectively, the GIF serves to reiterate the celebration of a team succeeding. Take the counter-example though, and you’ll see that the GIF doesn’t focus on the highlight or celebration at all. We see the ball go in the hoop, but then the camera zooms in on a player on the opposing team’s bench. The player lets his head down in disgust; clearly his team is not playing well, and the opponent making yet another shot causes him to react in this manner. While on the surface this GIF looks like a sports highlight GIF, it acts more like a reaction GIF, as the focus is on the opposing player’s reaction to the made shot rather than the highlight itself. In a sense, this is a way for Illinois Basketball fans to showcase their disgust: the reaction of one of their players mimicking exactly what the fans see as they watch the game. It’s more of a lowlight sports GIF than a highlight sports GIF even though a shot is being made.

Cinemagraph GIF Example

Cinemagraph GIF Counter-Example

Here we can see how this counter-GIF is a clear attempt at parodying a typical cinematographic GIF. The first GIF is still and focuses on an aspect of nature — nothing moves except the water, and we as viewers are supposed to be mesmerized, looking closer and closer at the ripples of the stream. While the counter-example is not a still frame, it has a lot of the same qualities as the GIF above it — with a twist. We’re supposed to be relaxed looking at nature and casually following a car as it makes its way behind a tree. In fact, this classic Youtube video “Scary Car” causes us to look closer and closer for the car as it’s about to appear from behind the tree. We’re relaxed, we’re interested, and we might find ourselves moving our heads a bit closer to the screen in order to follow the car more closely. And then, this zombie-like creature pops out and scares us in order to throw off the whole dynamic of the relaxing features of nature. This counter-GIF sets up like a cinemagraph GIF, but the purpose is to “troll” the viewer at the end of the loop rather than to allow for creative and intuitive viewing.

Reaction GIF Example

Reaction GIF Counter-Example

This counter-example GIF to a typical reaction GIF serves as a counter-example because, well, there is no reaction. Yes, most reaction GIFs are over-the-top to egregiously display emotion in the form of excitement, grief, etc. The reaction GIF example above is a more subtle reaction, but it still effectively displays a reaction: slow and subtle realization leading to a pleased and content smile. This Youtube video turned into a GIF of a man not reacting at all to a roller coaster ride flips the idea of a “reaction GIF” on its head. In a sense, this GIF doesn’t make sense because there is no reaction. At the same time though, we can see how this GIF could be effective in certain contexts to display the lack of a reaction. Imagine this GIF with the caption “My face when someone thinks they’re better than me.” It works. The reaction is no reaction. This GIF shows the emotion of being unfazed without displaying any emotion at all. This counter-example shows the idea that reaction GIFs don’t necessarily have to display emotion to depict the way someone feels.

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