Create Beautiful Background Changing Animated Gifs for Your Next Email Campaign

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an animated one must be worth even more. Nowadays, email marketers are pushing the boundaries of email design, by using animated GIFs to display their products and services in action.

In this example, we used Cloudinary's Node.js SDK to create a product image with a changing animated background. We used the multi method to generate the final GIF.

Multi method

The multi method creates either a single animated image (GIF, PNG or WebP) or a single PDF from all image assets that have been assigned a specific tag. Each asset is included as a single frame of the resulting animated image, or a page of the PDF (sorted alphabetically by their Public ID).

Here is the process -
  1. Generate a unique tag for this uploading process.
  2. Upload the base product image with different background-color
  3. Call the multi method to generate a GIF with the tag
  4. Delete the temporary images we used to generate the GIF
The code -
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const cloudinary = require('cloudinary');
const async = require("async");

cloudinary.config({
    cloud_name: "<cloud_name>",
    api_key: "<api_key>",
    api_secret: "<api_secret>"
});

var baseImageUrl = "https://res.cloudinary.com/yakir/image/upload/v1578887770/r69yfic0g5ndp7vkv5rb.png";
var backgroundColors = ["#D9D9D9", "#F1E7DD", "#F7EABC", "#C7DCE8", "#FFFFFF"];
var delayBetweenFrames = 500;

createGif(baseImageUrl, backgroundColors, delayBetweenFrames, function (err, gifUrl) {
    if (err) {
        console.log(err)
    } else {
        console.log(gifUrl)
    }
})

function createGif(image_url, colors, delay, callback) {

   //1. Generate a unique tag for this uploading process.
    let tag = new Date().getTime();

    let imagesToUpload = [];
    for (var i = 0, len = colors.length; i < len; i++) {
        imagesToUpload.push({
            src: image_url,
            params: {
                tags: [tag],
                folder: 'tmp',
                background: colors[i]
            }
        });
    };

    var uploadTasks = [];
    imagesToUpload.map(function (element, index, items) {
        uploadTasks.push(function (callback) {
            console.log("Uploading image #" + index)
            cloudinary.v2.uploader.upload(element.src, element.params, function (err, result) {
                if (err) {
                    return callback(err)
                }
                callback(null, result);
            });
        });
    });

    //2. Uploading the base product image with different background-color
    async.parallelLimit(uploadTasks, 5, function (err) {
       //3. Call the `multi` method to generate gif with the tag
        console.log("Generating gif...")
        cloudinary.v2.uploader.multi(tag, {
            delay: delay
        }, function (error, gif) {
            if (error) {
                return callback(error)
            } else {
                //4. Delete the temporary images we used to generate the gif
                console.log("Deleting tmp images...")
                cloudinary.v2.api.delete_resources_by_tag(tag, {}, function (error, result) {
                    if (error) {
                        return callback(error)
                    } else {
                        console.log("Done! :)")
                        callback(null, gif.secure_url)
                    }
                });
            }
        });
    });
}

For example, let’s use this pink bag image -

The code above will generate this result:

Please see this email example using this product GIF.

by Yakir Perlin