Pedagoguery Software Inc. The Cyberoptic GIF Solution PSi logo frieze
   Home    [Products\COGS]    Downloads    Prices & Purchasing
The Cyberoptic GIF Solution (COGS) is a program for batch-compressing GIF animations without affecting their appearance in any way. The recompressed animations are pixel-for-pixel equivalent to the original animations if fewer than 256 colours are used in the animation. (More than 256 colours may be used in GIFs; take a look at itsagif for more information on colourful GIFs.) The Cyberoptic GIF Solution is often capable of reducing an animated GIF as most GIF programs do not maximally compress their output.

If you only process a few animated GIFs, or you are also interested in previewing animated GIFs, you should look into our one-at-a-time GIF compressor, A Smaller GIF.

Animated GIF Artist’s Guild independent review of COGS

Product review by Denton and Carol.

[Denton] I was making the tutorial a week ago on gif compression and optimization, plugging Pedagoguery Software’s product—A Smaller Gif—when I decided “Been a while, time to visit”. So I clicked through to and saw a new product... Brand SPANKING new. It was a batch optimizer, designed to rip through loads of animations and come out the other side. It is called COGS, or Cyberoptic Gif Solution. So, of course I scribble a quick email to Brenda Tupper and after a bit of paying homage to the gurus of all things animated I had a shiny new copy to evaluate. Macintosh version, PowerPC native. I’m in heaven. Brenda also provided a 32 bit Windows copy for Carol. My kind of software company, caters to all platforms.

[Denton] So we put COGS to the acid test, and here we go... Remember, if what Carol says is different from what I say, that’s because of platform differences.

[Denton] Documentation is pretty good. I noticed their description of the product in the Read Me First file, and they talk about the registration cost ($98). Because it’s designed to process lots of gifs, it would be very ideal for clipart companies and the like. I don’t think the registration fee will be restrictive to those types of users. But they do mention in the same paragraph, “If you want to be able to batch compress GIF animations, but the registration cost for the cyberoptic GIF solution is beyond your budget, please email us.” I’m guessing that to mean they’ll consider the lowly person trying to build up an image arsenal? What a cool bunch of people.

[Denton] In the reference manual, they go over all the program’s options and compression schemes. This program isn’t too complicated. Most gif artists will be able to browse through the manual and five minutes later know exactly what they wanted their settings like. I also learned that the stuff that I was unsure of in the optimization tutorial, well, I was on the right track. The documentation mentions to run the program on backup files, just in case there’s a problem. After all, we’re talking about significant alterations to those files.

[Carol] I liked the Manual that was included. I have been making animations for over two years and until now, I had not seen a manual that explains some of the technical jargon (like frame terminators) involved as well as theirs does.

[Denton] Now on starting the program up, I screamed in pain. The splash screen took over the whole desktop, and is so hilariously ugly that I wondered who had the sadistic sense of humor. After poking through the settings, I saw that the splash screen option can be turned off. Thank HEAVEN. I turned mine off, never to be turned on again.

[Carol] I totally agree with Denton on the splash screen. I guess the programming was the important part and they decided to save time on the looks. But this is one time when you can’t judge a book (program) by it’s cover. So, don’t let it fool you, it is an excellent program.

[Denton] The main interface is simplistic, which is just fine with me. I don’t need MS Word to type a note. COGS has a button on the main window called “Starting Folder”, you punch it and select the folder containing the animations to be batch optimized. You also have options to “Remove all comments”, “Add standard comment”, option to either “Use recompressed animation if it is smaller” or “Use recompressed animation” (regardless), “Test run (don’t modify)”, and “Ask for confirmation before starting batch processing”. Awesome. So if you want COGS to be a batch comment addition tool for you, it will do it without a problem.

[Carol] Sometimes simplicity is a great thing. And this is one. No need for fancy bells and whistles. This program does it right without all that unneccesarry hoopla.

[Denton] The compression options are accessed through the File menu, Preferences. Just like ASG, COGS provides compatibility percentages based on what all compression options you have checked. You will even know which browsers don’t work with your chosen compression. I wanted all browsers to be compatible regardless, so I only checked “interframe transparency” with superlow band index.

[Carol] This was great, now you can know which browsers they will work with. I run three of the main browsers to make sure mine work after optimization. But with this, I know they will work fine.

[Denton] I’m guessing that Carol didn’t have a later version of ASG, because it looks the same, also telling you browser compatibility. There are a couple of differences, this one is actually more accurate, as Peda has obviously been hard at work testing browser compatibility with regards to transparency indexes.

[Denton] And so now the test, and I’m writing as I’m testing. I have a folder containing 141 animations that I have waiting on my drive to run ASG on, and now I’ve got COGS to do the dirty work instead. It takes up 1,924,164 bytes. They were made with Gifbuilder and frame optimized prior to this batch. They still contain the stock “Gifbuilder 0.5 by Yves Piguet” comment, I’m going to change it to “Copyright © 1998 by Denton (,, all rights reserved. This image may not be altered, sold, used as an attraction to make a sale, used in any commercial manner by any person or entity, without written permission.” So COGS is going to have the extra burden of fattening up the comment block. Since I want all the animations to say this, I’m checking the option “Use recompressed animation”. I don’t care if it’s larger.

[Denton] And we’re off... COGS pops open a warning box, “Use backup copies”. I tell it “okay”. COGS takes about a minute and a half to whip through the load of images, so I cruise off to the fridge for a nice tall glass of Cool-Aid. Upon returning, COGS has finished and I’m looking at a cool 4.6% savings in size, a sneeze over 1,835,000 bytes.

[Denton] To the skeptics, this won’t seem like a lot. From my perspective, it’s marvelous. See, it’s already saddled with my extra comment block, which I need to add. To do this batch style and nab almost 5% more savings with perfect browser compatibility, that translates into a “must have” in my book. And for people who aren’t already using optimization methods, the savings will be astronomical, in the 50% or more range. Cursory testing of the images with IE and Netscape browsers haven’t shown any problems.

[Carol] First, I made a temp folder to test this new software. Then I moved 50 animations from my collection, I picked no particular ones, just the first 50 in the list. I wanted to test COGS on animations that some had been optimized, some not, some were done ages ago, some were done recently. The total of the folder was 486.7KB. I then made another folder with the same files. Using Cogs, I optimized the files in the second folder. It was compressed to 428.4KB. This is a savings of 11.97% and it only took 20 seconds. Now you must realize that most of the animations were optimized already, so another savings of 11.97% is great and you would be surprised how this savings can help a web page load much faster!

[Carol] And now the wish list... How about color palette reduction along with COGS optimization? This is rather offbeat from what this software really does, which is frame alteration, and not color palette editing. But if this could be included, it would make this package the consumate, “don’t go anywhere else” gif-squashing utility. Another thing I would like to see is comment block only editing capability, where COGS doesn’t change anything about the file except that, although this is a minor wish.

[Denton] As with any product that makes radical file adjustments, COGS is a “handle with care” product. But I think that the people this product is designed for will have no problems with it. In a nutshell, I highly recommend it, as well as continuing to recommend it’s little sister, A Smaller Gif.

[Carol] I also recommend this program. This is an excellent program and well worth the cost.

The Graphics Interchange Format(c) is the Copyright property of CompuServe Incorporated.
GIF(sm) is a service mark property of CompuServe Incorporated.