Just as animated gifs were the next advance on static images, animated cursors are a nice improvement over normal static image cursors. Cursors already kind of animate by changing the cursor shape when you hover over something, when you move, when you resize, when you click, and when it is busy. But why stop at that? What about when it is idle and not doing very much. Well, having a cursor that is animated means that it is now possible to have the cursor constantly animating.
Some great examples of animated mouse cursors include a thumping heart, a flapping dragon, a rotating skull, a swimming fish, a stripping girl, a barking dog, you can get almost anything animated as a cursor these days. It is very easy to do and very enjoyable to watch and play with on your computer.
The main drawback with animated cursors is when you need to do some very very precise clicking. Because the cursor is constantly changing and moving, it may be difficult to click exactly on where you require it to be clicked. This depends largely on the type of pointer that you choose. You might have one that doesn’t actually point at all, in which case y0u’ll just have to be a very good guesser or an outstanding estimator. Some animated cursors though, still maintain the pointer which is always on the top left hand corner (top right hand corner for left handed mouse users!). Having this one part of the cursor remain static and never move is a sure way to maintain usability of your pointer for times when you do really need it.
To make an animated cursor yourself, you will need a program that can output to .ani files (.ani stands for animation of course). With this program you should be able to draw one image that will be your starting point for the animation. Next, you slightly change this image and create a new ‘frame’. This new ‘frame’ is animation speak for the next move of your animation. This is a kin to cartoons where the cartoonist is required to draw the same picture many times over with suttle changes to depict movement. When the paper is shown very fast in front of the naked eye, it will look like the cartoon character is moving. This is the same for computer animation. Instead of each ‘paper’ it is called each ‘frame’. So you create the first frame, alter it slightly for the next frame, and so forth until you have completed your actions to the last position of your animation. Next you specify how fast to change images – 1 every second, 10 per second? Test and try it out to see what works and what effect you want to achieve. Once you are done, you save your animation as a .ani file and wala boom – you have you animated mouse cursor.
Are you the super creative type? Do you have some whiz bang cursors that you have made? We’re always looking out for the coolest and best mouse cursors ever created by man, woman, or beast. Simply let us know and if it passes, we will include it in our honourable collection of over 7000 quality cursors, icons, smileys, pointers, wallpapers, screensavers, glitter graphics, ecards, whatever design you come up with really – if it is any good, we’ll make a category for it !