How to impress your friends with Animagraffs’ GIFs

Jacob O'Neal, creator of Animagraffs informative .GIFs, works from his home in Northeast Portland March 25, 2014. (KOIN)
Jacob O'Neal, creator of Animagraffs informative .GIFs, works from his home in Northeast Portland March 25, 2014. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you’ve ever wondered how to moonwalk, what’s inside a flat screen TV, or how a car engine really works, you can learn through simple animated .GIFs, for free.

Jacob O’Neal’s graphic breaks down the steps to Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ dance move (KOIN)
Jacob O’Neal’s graphic breaks down the steps to Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ dance move (KOIN)

Portland designer Jacob O’Neal’s Animagraffs instructional .GIFs use technology to help people understand just about anything. They teach both complex physics equations and how to buy the best skateboard wheels using simple files — and they’re going viral.

Animagraffs have been featured on websites including Mashable, The Washington Post, College Humor and even major auto brands, catching the eye of millions through social media.

“I had like 30,000 that day from a Reddit spike and then went on to have about 300,000 in the next month,” he said.

Complicated turned pretty and simple

One reason Animagraffs is taking off? They’re pretty. Another? They’re simple.

O’Neal takes complex information and breaks it down into simple, eye-pleasing graphics, then animated .GIFs.

After years spent doing graphic design work for major companies, including Disney, O’Neal said he wanted to take on a personal challenge.

“I just wanted to put something out there that was the best that I could do and not do it directly for money because it feels good to do that,” he said.

Jacob O’Neal’s graphic breaks down the steps to Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ dance move (KOIN)
Jacob O’Neal’s graphic breaks down the steps to Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ dance move (KOIN)
Jacob O’Neal’s graphic breaks down the steps to Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ dance move (KOIN)
Jacob O’Neal’s graphic breaks down the steps to Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ (KOIN)

Animagraffs, as he calls them, take O’Neal between 40 and 60 hours to make, because he does in-depth research into the subject. He gets to educate himself as well as others along the way.

“I lose track of time,” he said.

“That’s my goal sometimes is to lose track of time so you’ll be working for four or five hours and not even feel it.”

 

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