Much of the problem was with the freeware (recommended by the how-to site that I found) that batch-shrinks clip images and also batch-converts from .jpg to .gif ... it tends to annihilate image quality. So I decided it'd be just as easy to shrink & convert the frames one-by-one in Irfanview. Which led to more playing with the freeware (will only handle .gif) that turns the individual images into an animation ... with the low-quality .gifs, I could squeeze 16 frames into LJ's 40KB limit, but with the high-quality ones, I'm limited to 6 frames. Creative editing 101 ***grin***
Now that I'm all edjamicated, I'll have to play with The Librarian a bit more and see if I can make him a little more interesting. :-)
P.S. For those of you who wanna play, the how-to I used was for making Buddy Icons for AOL Instant Messenger, but the technique can be applied to making animated icons for any purpose. As I said above, the freeware for conversion/reduction, while wonderful because it lets you can manipulate images in batches instead of one at a time, gives lousy image quality in the reduced .gifs ... okay for simple images, but not for the ones I was using; you're better off using Irfanview to resize and convert your frames individually (hardly a hardship for six frames). The UnFREEz freeware that converts your images into animation works like a dream ... drag your frames into it and push the button. FYI, my animation has a gap setting of 25 (you set that in UnFREEz), which slows down the switch between frames and makes the animation seem more detailed than it really is ... remember, there's only six still photos making that movement.