A GIF, or “Graphics Interchange Format”, is a compressed image file format that allows for blitheness. In that location are many ways to create a GIF, but Photoshop is fast and easy, with built-in tools for image manipulation and animative.
Just like classic animation, an blithe GIF is made up of a series of still images played sequentially to create the illusion of motion. Find a GIF off the internet and drag it into Photoshop, and you will see the separate frames that make up the animation. These frames are what we’re going to build in this tutorial in society to breathing a killer banner advert GIF.
Without further ado, here’s how to brand an animated GIF in Photoshop.
Step one: Set up the dimensions and resolution of your Photoshop certificate
Ready up your document alee of time. Fifty-fifty if your only ambition is to create a shareable GIF for your friends on social media, letting the size of your photos or video dictate the size of your certificate might make the file larger than y’all need it to be, which translates into a poor quality GIF. In general, somewhere in the region of 600px-800px is fine for a square paradigm.
For this project, nosotros are working with a banner ad GIF, which has standard sizing guidelines. I chose the 720×300 layout. Brand sure your units are in pixels.
To keep the file size equally low as possible, a resolution of 150 is fine. I went with 300 since I know my GIF isn’t going to be that large. Make sure your units are in Pixels/inch.
Finally, animated GIFs are made for the screen, so set your color mode to RGB color. Press
to open your new document.
Step two: Import your image files into Photoshop
Making a GIF from still images
File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack
and select the Scan button in the Load Layers window that comes upward. This brings up the Finder/Explorer window where yous can browse for your files and select all of the ones you need. When y’all’re finished, click
in the side by side window. The files will be imported into a separate document, from which you can select all layers and drag them into your working document.
Making a GIF from video
If you are converting a video into a GIF, go to
File > Import > Video Frames to Layers.
Step 3: Open up the timeline window
Window > Timeline. This will open up a panel in the lower 3rd of the sheet. In the middle of the panel, click on the arrow to open up the dropdown carte du jour, and select
Create Frame Blitheness.
Pace 4: Convert your layers into frames
Your first frame will already be gear up, made of all of the visible layers (meaning the layer visibility, or centre icon, is switched on) in your document. Now all you have to practise is fill the Timeline with multiple frames to simulate movement. At that place are two means to do this: import frames you take already prepared or create your animation from scratch in Photoshop. This section will comprehend the first scenario.
If you have already set upwards even so, sequential images ahead of time (or are working from imported video frames, meet Step two), click on the hamburger menu icon in the upper right corner of the Timeline console. Select
Make Frames From Layers. Yous volition see the timeline populate with frames from your layers.
Step 5: Duplicate frames to create your animation
If you take not set upward the still images ahead of time or demand to adjust parts of the blitheness you created in Step 4, you lot tin can create the animation manually frame by frame (which is how I made my animation). To do this, duplicate the final frame in the timeline (click on the earmarked page icon in the tools console beneath the timeline), brand the changes you need to make on your image, and repeat.
For example, my blitheness is a pair of sunglasses sliding downwards over the subject field’south optics. To do this, I duplicated the frame, moved the sunglasses downward a few pixels (how many pixels was a matter of trial and fault—more on that later), and repeated this procedure until I had well-nigh fifteen frames and the sunglasses were where I wanted them, resulting in smooth downwards glide blitheness.
Stride half dozen: Set the delay fourth dimension of each frame
You tin find the delay timer at the bottom of each frame (the time in seconds with a dropdown pointer side by side to it).
Click the arrow to bring upwardly the bill of fare and choose the amount of time you desire the frame to brandish on screen.
You tin can fix the duration of individual frames or multiple frames at once by selecting all of the frames y’all demand and using the dropdown menu for one of them.
Many frames with short delays is the cardinal to smoothen animations whereas few frames with long delays creates a jerky, finish-motion effect.
Footstep vii: Gear up the number of times the animation will loop
Likewise located in the tools panel beneath the timeline is the loop setting. You can gear up your animation to loop Forever, One time, or a specific number of times.
Step eight: Preview and iterate on your animation
The play button in the timeline window’s tool panel allows you to preview your animation. Use this to brand certain that your animation is believable and behaving every bit it should. If it isn’t, try tinkering effectually with delay or calculation more frames until you get the results that yous want. Conversely, this is likewise a slap-up fourth dimension to experiment with removing as many frames as you can without breaking the illusion of move in order to get the lowest file size possible.
Step 9: Export your Photoshop document as a GIF
Showtime of all, don’t forget to save your working PSD!
One time you’re ready to export your last GIF, go to
File > Consign > Save for Web (Legacy). (Annotation: if y’all are working with an older version of Photoshop, it will likely be File > Save for Web & Devices). This will bring up the export window.
There are a lot of options here, only we only need a handful for our purposes. Beginning, brand sure you lot set the file type to GIF in the dropdown box in the upper right. The balance of the options I’ve highlighted in the paradigm below are optional but helpful for producing a lightweight file. Let’s walk through them now.
Trim the file size
Your main goal with the remaining options is to go along your file size low by decreasing the amount of details in your GIF without sacrificing epitome quality. Call up that a large file size means a tedious load time, which tin be especially punishing for marketing purposes like banner ads, where the viewer wasn’t looking for your content and won’t be waiting effectually for it to load. Aim to stay below 1MB. Up to 5MB is doable on most websites but pushing it. You can see your GIF’south file size in the bottom left corner of panel containing the preview prototype.
Reduce the color data
Unnecessary color information is the biggest culprit when information technology comes to a big file size. To cut it down, adjust the total number of colors in the dropdown box labeled “Colors:” and reduce the dither (the blending of pixels to create seamless shading) setting beneath it. As you lot brand changes, keep an center on the preview epitome of your GIF on the left side to meet how the resolution is being affected.
Convert to sRGB
sRGB, or “Standard RGB,” has a narrower range of colors than the default “Adobe RGB,” then make certain to check that box.
In one case you’re happy with your resolution and file size, hit the salvage button at the bottom of the window. To brand certain that everything came out alright, you tin can preview the finished GIF file by dragging it into a browser’southward URL box.
Footstep 10: Share your finished Photoshop GIF!
And there you lot take it—your finished GIF, ready to exist shared all across the world wide web. Now that y’all take the skills to create basic Photoshop animations from videos and still images, y’all can gifify almost anything!
While this method is useful for quick, fun GIFs, GIFs for professional purposes should be a lot more robust than my silly sunglasses ad. Learning the software is straightforward, but animation itself is a tricky fine art form that takes exercise and expertise. When y’all’re ready to up your GIF game, make sure you lot’re working with a professional.
Looking for professional help creating an blitheness?
Work with ane of our talented designers!
This article was originally written by Rebecca Creger and published in 2013. Information technology’southward been updated with new information and examples.