How to Make an Animation in Photoshop

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Animations are text/images combinations that are sequenced and grouped together to form a moving frame creating motion. Adobe Photoshop has a feature wherein you can create your own moving frames and make animations. In this tutorial, we will go through a step-by-step guide on how to make a basic and simple animation using text and images.

Step 1: Create a new document by clicking on FILE->NEW or press (command+N) and supply all necessary details for your image size on the popup screen. In this sample, we are using 1900 x 650 pixels with a 300 resolution. Hit OK.

Step 2: Click on WINDOW->TIMELINE to activate the animation panel.

Step 3: In the new document you’ve created, type in the text that you want and customize the font and size according to your liking.

Step 4: To put color into our text, we have to rasterize it by clicking on LAYER->RASTERIZE->TYPE. You can now color and design individual letters to your preference by using the paint bucket tool.

Step 5: For us to animate the letters properly, we have used the lasso tool to cut each letter to its own layer. Simply highlight the rasterized layer as you cut every single letter using the lasso tool.

Make sure that the Feather rate is at 0px.

Then press Command+J to cut and create a new layer from the lasso cutout letter.

Step 6: Hide the original rasterized text layer, then click your top layer and take a quick composite snapshot of it by hitting Command+Shift+Option+E (this will create a new layer called “Layer 1” – your first frame).

Step 7: Hide “Layer 1” and select the move tool. Now you will have to move each letter layer to a new position. Once you’ve moved the letter layers a bit to a new angle/position, highlight the topmost letter layer again then take a composite snapshot by hitting Command+Shift+Option+E. Repeat process until you reach your desired number of frames/layers. In this sample, we will be using up to 5 layers/frames.

Step 8: Make all layers visible again.

Step 9: In the Timeline Panel, you will notice that there’s already a layer (this is Layer 1).

Step 10: On the Timeline Panel drop-down menu, select New Frame. We would now have to hide “Layer 1” from the layers panel.

Step 11: Repeat step 11. Only this time selecting “New Frame” will place the now visible “Layer 2” as a new frame on the animation panel. Repeat this step until you’ve added all 5 layers into the Animation Panel.

Step 12: Select All Frames in the Animation Panel and change the time/duration. In this sample, we are assigning a duration of 0.20 seconds per frame and the loop option to “Forever”.

Step 13: Test your animation by clicking on the PLAY button.

Step 14: Once satisfied, you can now save your file as a GIF. To do so, just click on File -> Save for Web & Devices. Select GIF and check the settings in the save panel and once you’re ok with it, hit Save.

Step 15: Choose the folder you’d like to save your animated GIF in. Type a file name, then click Save again.

Step 16: That’s it! Your Animation is now saved in the folder of your choice as a GIF file.

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