When I try to insert/upload a large animated GIF into a post, I get the following error:

Failed to upload image; the format is not supported

If I try to upload the same image directly to imgur, I get a message telling me that animated GIFs must be less than 2MB. If that's the restriction that's causing the failure when I try to insert it, then the message I'm being shown is neither accurate nor helpful.


1 Answer 1


Um, this is a FIFTEEN MEGABYTE animated GIF. That's... insane.

I can't even load it into my GIF optimization software.

You might consider other representations, I believe .svg files support animation and are certainly supported on modern browsers. See: Add Graphviz support to Markdown

  • If I export the same animation from Mathematica to SVG, I get a 40+MB file that doesn't render in Chrome (it looks vaguely like the first two frames, no animation, but has other issues). Also, I'm not saying you should support large image uploads; I'm just saying that the error messages when rejecting large images are misleading or wrong.
    – Isaac
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 7:02
  • can you at least render it down as a 16 color animated GIF? That would help a lot. Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 7:02
  • I'm not sure if I can, but I'll try to find out.
    – Isaac
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 7:09
  • @Isaac using gifsicle --optimize=3 --colors=16 < enormous.gif > smaller.gif I get an output of 8mb versus 15mb with no appreciable loss in quality (the image is nearly monochrome to start with, so 16 colors is plenty good to represent the colors in it). However, I think you need to resize the image (920w is a bit large) and/or reduce the framerate and/or reduce the duration to get it under 2mb. Commented Jun 9, 2012 at 11:33
  • 1
    @isaac also of note, the image is being resized anyway by Stack Exchange to 630px (the maximum and standard post width) so any additional resolution is lost. Commented Jun 9, 2012 at 11:48
  • @isaac if nothing else, I strongly recommend updating to the 16 color version of your animation, since it's a 50% size reduction. Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 6:59

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