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Created February 16, 2013 23:00
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Example of creating an animated GIF on iOS, with no 3rd-party code required. This should also be easy to port to OS X.
#import <UIKit/UIKit.h>
#import <ImageIO/ImageIO.h>
#import <MobileCoreServices/MobileCoreServices.h>
static UIImage *frameImage(CGSize size, CGFloat radians) {
UIGraphicsBeginImageContextWithOptions(size, YES, 1); {
[[UIColor whiteColor] setFill];
CGContextRef gc = UIGraphicsGetCurrentContext();
CGContextTranslateCTM(gc, size.width / 2, size.height / 2);
CGContextRotateCTM(gc, radians);
CGContextTranslateCTM(gc, size.width / 4, 0);
[[UIColor redColor] setFill];
CGFloat w = size.width / 10;
CGContextFillEllipseInRect(gc, CGRectMake(-w / 2, -w / 2, w, w));
UIImage *image = UIGraphicsGetImageFromCurrentImageContext();
return image;
static void makeAnimatedGif(void) {
static NSUInteger kFrameCount = 16;
NSDictionary *fileProperties = @{
(__bridge id)kCGImagePropertyGIFDictionary: @{
(__bridge id)kCGImagePropertyGIFLoopCount: @0, // 0 means loop forever
NSDictionary *frameProperties = @{
(__bridge id)kCGImagePropertyGIFDictionary: @{
(__bridge id)kCGImagePropertyGIFDelayTime: @0.02f, // a float (not double!) in seconds, rounded to centiseconds in the GIF data
NSURL *documentsDirectoryURL = [[NSFileManager defaultManager] URLForDirectory:NSDocumentDirectory inDomain:NSUserDomainMask appropriateForURL:nil create:YES error:nil];
NSURL *fileURL = [documentsDirectoryURL URLByAppendingPathComponent:@"animated.gif"];
CGImageDestinationRef destination = CGImageDestinationCreateWithURL((__bridge CFURLRef)fileURL, kUTTypeGIF, kFrameCount, NULL);
CGImageDestinationSetProperties(destination, (__bridge CFDictionaryRef)fileProperties);
for (NSUInteger i = 0; i < kFrameCount; i++) {
@autoreleasepool {
UIImage *image = frameImage(CGSizeMake(300, 300), M_PI * 2 * i / kFrameCount);
CGImageDestinationAddImage(destination, image.CGImage, (__bridge CFDictionaryRef)frameProperties);
if (!CGImageDestinationFinalize(destination)) {
NSLog(@"failed to finalize image destination");
NSLog(@"url=%@", fileURL);
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Have you seen this code generate the following error when CGImageDestinationFinalize is called?

: The function `CGContextClear' is obsolete and will be removed in an upcoming update. Unfortunately, this application, or a library it uses, is using this obsolete function, and is thereby contributing to an overall degradation of system performance.

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Wish, this was in Swift. I am trying to convert, once I am done I will post it.

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I implemented it in Swift 3, it's here.

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