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Transparency effects in animated menus::


In AVISynth all individual elements are rendered with the "Layer" function in order to get the correct z-order. If you want to use transparency effects, AVI files in an (uncompressed) 32 bit format (ARGB) are necessary. Some (usually commercial) programs (e.g. Cool3D from Ulead or BluffTitler) are able to create such 32 bit files directly. For animated GIF files however also Shareware and Freeware programs are available (and/or in the Internet there are thousands of finished animated GIF files like smilies etc.). Therefore I have written a small tool to convert (transparent) animated GIF files in (transparent) 32 bit AVI files (ARGB format): GFDGifTool
Converting is very simple:  Start GFDGifTool, click 'open anim. GIF', select your GIF file and click 'Write AVI...' to start. After selection of the path (and file name e.g. MyAVI.avi) a dialog with 'video compression' opens. Here select 'full frames (uncompressed)'. Use 25 Frames by second for PAL and 30 Frames by second for NTSC. If your GIF file has a smaller frame rate (look at 'Original Fps'), you can select to use each picture from the animated GIF file several times (2-4 times). With 'Use each picture = four times' jerking may become already noticeably...
The MyAVI.avi file can then be added in GFD with 'Add Anim.' And is rendered transparent over the background (take care for correct aspect ratio!). You may also overlay several animations, e.g. animated transparent frames for animated chapter buttons. You may check the result directly with the AVS Preview.