Definition: Graphic Interchange Format: a compressed file format designed to use over the Internet: comprises a standard set of 216 colours. * It is best for images with graphics i.e. larger areas of even colour; it is not recommended for photographic images with e.g. subtle tone transitions. * The 89a revision of the standard allows for transparent colours. * DOS files carry the suffix .gif. * Compressed losslessly using LZW algorithms. * Developed by Compuserve.
Gif me a 51, give me 256
The GIF standard actually allows for a maximum of 256 colours but Web colours are limited to 216, so in practice, GIF colours are limited to 216. That is because Web colours have RGB values in which each channel has a value of either a multiple of 51 or zero -- six values for three channels makes 3 to the power 6 different combinations, equals 216.

Related Terms: adaptive colour

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