Animated GIFs have been around for a long time, but with the advent and subsequent domination of all things social media, the animated pictures have become one of the core tenants of the Internet. If a video goes viral, there's a GIF. If someone makes a stupid comment and needs to be put down, there's a GIF. There is a never-ending supply of websites devoted entirely to the little animated pictures, and it seems like the GIF's popularity will never die out.
While animated GIFs may never go away, there's an offshoot that's quickly becoming just as popular. The 'split-depth' GIF is a variation on the animated GIF, only with three white bars running down through the picture. If that sounds dumb, don't worry: once you see it in motion, everything makes sense:
It's a pretty amazing effect - the white bars (or white areas of the GIF, depending on the picture) are used only for creating the illusion of depth in an otherwise 2D picture. Of course, not all sources are created equal, and finding the right GIF or video source can be a pain...but when it's done well, it looks fantastic.
Plus, it's actually not that complicated of a task. The only tools one would really need is Photoshop and some patience: going frame-by-frame and painting over the bars or video can be incredibly time-consuming, but once the picture is done, it's worth it.
It may come as a surprise, but split-depth GIFs have been around for almost as long as regular animated GIFs - however, thanks to the folks over at the Split-Depth GIF subreddit, people can now browse through a massive library instead of scouring the Internet picture by picture.
Of course, this is just a sampling: if you want to see even more of these GIFs (or help on how to make one of your own), head on over to the official subreddit.