Animated GIF — Background Image within Text

Displaying an image within text

In the above animated GIF, the black in the text disappears and is replaced by the portions of the image directly beneath the text. This post will tell you how to create that animated GIF.

Find an image for animated GIF

The first thing you need to do is find an image that matches your subject matter. If you are simply practicing making animated GIFs, you may as well go to and search for free images. With the subject matter of the above animated GIF, you could search for “movie production”.

The No Cost Image site charges for the more artistic images. The free images are less artistic.

Create text images with GIMP

animated GIFTo manipulate the text I used a free program called GIMP:

  1. Click on text icon in GIMP Tool Options panel. Choose a bold text such as Rockwell Extra Bold Ultra Bold.
  2. animated GIFUsing black letters on a white background, type your message.
  3. Using the Fuzzy Select Tool, click on each of the black letters. As soon as you click on
    one, press delete key. This makes all letters invisible.
  4. animated GIFWith Rectangle Select Tool, draw a box around invisible letters. Leave white margin as shown in image to the right.
  5. Open colour image.
  6. Cmd C to copy text into clipboard.
  7. Cmd V to paste text onto colour image. Note how you can see text through invisible letters.
  8. Drag text to ideal place over colour image.
  9. Press Cmd Z if it is wrong size.
  10. From horizontal menu, click Image > Scale Image to change text to ideal size.
  11. With Rectangle Select Tool, draw a box around letters so that entire perimeter is white.
  12. Open another copy of the colour image.
  13. animated GIFType same black text on top of image.  You will likely have to change the font size as you are creating the text. It should approximately match size & location of coloured text.
  14. Right click in Layers panel and select Merge Down.
  15. animated GIFSave the image with a DIFFERENT NAME.
  16. Open Keynote.
  17. Drag colour image with black text into first Keynote slide.
  18. Select image
  19. Click Inspector icon.
  20. Change Action to Scale to 165% for 1 second
  21. Drag colour image with black text into second Keynote slide
  22. Using picture within Inspector as a guide, enlarge image so that it’s about 165% bigger
  23. Select image and press Cmd C to copy into clipboard
  24. Cmd V to paste it into a third slide
  25. Select image and select Action > Spin
  26. Select image in grey box & press Cmd C
  27. Click on box #2 and press Cmd V
  28. animated GIFDrag coloured text into a fourth Keynote slide
  29. Select image and select Action > Spin
  30. Select image in grey box & press Cmd C
  31. Click on box #2 and press Cmd V
  32. Click on top Keynote slide and press play button
  33. After you are satisfied with presentation, record with ScreenFlow
  34. Before adjusting size of video, edit out unwanted parts. This includes the clip where black text is spinning back in and the coloured text is spinning out.
  35. animated GIFChange size to 1920 x 1080 pixels.
  36. Export as an MP4 file
  37. animated GIFDrag MP4 file into a fifth Keynote slide
  38. Change Build In effect of MP4 file to Start Movie
  39. Add text
  40. Text on left side has Blast effect. Text a bottom has Fly In effect
  41. Start recording with ScreenFlow and click your Keynote Play button
  42. Make into a video with maximum dimensions of 500 x 500 pixels.
  43. Export as an animated GIF.

YouTube video

To get a better understanding of how to make your lettering show elements of an image, watch the video below.


Animated GIF

Animated GIFs are becoming more popular in emails and in different types of promotions. Go to a good animate GIF blog post and figure out how to make an animated GIF such as the one on the right that uses an image within text.


Peter Enns is a social media blogger and author of the free YouTube video-creation tutorial called 7 Day YouTube.


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