Create Animated GIFS with Adobe Photoshop | Kate Silver | Skillshare

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Create Animated GIFS with Adobe Photoshop

teacher avatar Kate Silver, Adobe Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. GIF Introduction

    • 2. GIF 1. Loading images

    • 3. GIF 1. Looping, Completing and Saving

    • 4. GIF 2. Making Layers into frames

    • 5. GIF 2. Looping & Saving

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About This Class

Hey guys!

Want to learn how to create a very quick and easy Animated GIF with Adobe Photoshop?

In this class we will work with two examples to learn the Nuts & Bolts of Animated GIFS.

  • A Simple Animated Gif
  • A more complex Illustrative GIF 

What you will learn:

  • Loading images into Photoshop
  • Working with Layers
  • Making Frames from Layers
  • Deciding what goes where in your GIF
  • Looping 
  • Saving GIFS
  • & More!

Requirements: Need to have Adobe Photoshop

Note: To Download the class files please go to 'Projects & Resources' Tab.


Meet Your Teacher

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Kate Silver

Adobe Instructor

Top Teacher

Hello guys, 

My name is Kate and I am a Belgian-born designer working at the UK's Leading Adobe training centre in London. I am a Graphic designer and a Shoe designer. I have worked for companies like Jimmy Choo, Sophia Webster and Nicholas Kirkwood where I've constantly used Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop - which has made me an expert in all these softwares. 

Adobe Software is like a language (a Visual one), and therefore repetition is key!

I love teaching all the Adobe skills and tricks that I have learned over the years! I believe in creating graphics productively, with fun and in the most time-efficient way possible.


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1. GIF Introduction: Hey guys, want to learn how to create a very simple and easy animated GIF on Photoshop, then this class is for you. My name is Kate and I'm an Adobe instructor working at the UK's leading Adobe Training Centre in London. I'm also a graphic designer and a fashion designer with backgrounds in footwear. Motion graphics, videos, and animated GIFs generate a lot of user interaction on social media. Even more so than still images. You can literally create an animated GIF from any image you like, whether it's products you're selling, your illustration, your artwork, or even a very funny selfie animated GIF. We will be creating two animated GIFs. We'll start with a very simple and easy animated GIF just to get your Photoshop juices flowing and then we'll move on to a slightly more complicated animated GIF of an illustration I actually made in Photoshop. Feel free to use your own images and your own graphics and create your own amazing animated GIF. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and if you can post it in the project section, that would be amazing. Let's get started. 2. GIF 1. Loading images: Okay guys, let's start learning about animated GIFs. Today we'll be working with Photoshop and I'll show a little bit how photoshop works and then we'll be creating two animated GIFs. We'll start with this one, which is a more simple animated GIF but still really cute. Then once we have acquired some new skills, we'll be making a slightly more complicated GIF, this one. This is actually an illustration I made on Photoshop, which you could do as well and you can use your own illustrations to create a gorgeous GIFs. Now, you can also create your own GIF, once we've done these two exercises with your own images, your own illustrations, even selfies of yourself, that could be really funny and maybe your brand project, whatever you want, I will be guiding you in how to create GIFs. Now, how to download the files. What I've done is I've created some zip files and zip files are basically compressed folders. If you double-click on a zip file. Click there it is. It will expand into a folder and if you double-click on a folder, you'll be able to access the files inside. I've created two folders, one for the first animated GIF and the other for the other one. We'll be starting with the first animated GIF, if I double-click you'll see the example, which is the GIF I personally made and in the Images folder, you'll see all these images and that's what we'll be using for our first GIF. Now, we could open these individually in Photoshop but I will show you a way to upload all of these in a single go. You can just sit back and relax and let Photoshop do its work. Let's go to Photoshop, we'll be using the latest version of Photoshop but if you have an older version, that is absolutely fine. What we need to do is go to File, Scripts, Load Files into Stack. Now, this means that Photoshop will automatically load all these files, the five images in a single go. You'll see this panel and you can click on "Browse" and you can search your whole document for it. Now, I can go to my animated GIFs folder and I can go to animated GIF London, which is where I live by the way. We can double-click on Images, select the five images, click on "Open" and then press "Okay" and let Photoshop do its thing.he 3. GIF 1. Looping, Completing and Saving: Now that we have all our graphics, we need to align these so that they are nicely aligned in the center. How do we do this? We go to our Layers panel, we hold down the Shift key, and we click on the top layer, and this will select all our layers, just like when you select multiple folders. Then at the top, you will see the align icons. So you've got aligned in horizontal center. If you want to align something completely in the center, you then have to click Align vertical center, and it will be aligned in the center. Super. Now if we want to have this particular panel open, which is called the Timeline panel for creating animations, we need to go Window. Window is where all the panels live. So if we go to Window, Timeline, it will be hidden or showed. If you go to Window, Timeline, make sure you can see the timeline. Now, you might see Create Frame Animation here, or you might see Create Video Timeline. Just make sure you select Create Frame Animation, and then you click on Create Frame Animation. Now you can click on the hamburger icon. This is often referred to as the hamburger icon. Currently, all our frames, all our layers have been made into a single frame and we need to create a frame from each layer. If we go to the hamburger icon, making me hungry, we can click on Make Frames From Layers, and then you'll see each layer has its own folder. Now if I press Play now, be careful, this is going to go really fast, so don't jump up. Whoa, that's fast. Obviously, we're going to change the time in a bit. What you see in each frame depends on what you can see in the layers. Now, can you see that little i? That means that this layer is currently on display and the others are hidden. If I wanted this circle to be the background of each frame, what I have to do is go to this layer, this frame, go in the Layers panel and just highlight the circle. This will show and display it in the Layers panel, but also in the frame. I need to do this for each single frame. So I've got the heart, we want to see the circle, click on the circle. We've got London, click on the circle, and we've got the umbrella, click on the circle. Now let's change the time because this is very fast. Also we have to get rid of the first layer because we no longer need it. Let's change the time. Love, we could make it 05 seconds or 02, and we could make the second one 02 as well. Let's see. Not bad. Let's try and make everything 02 seconds, and let's press Play. That's not bad. Now if you wanted it to go slightly longer, you can select 05. This will make it slower. That's a bit slow, isn't it? If you want it in between, what I do is I go here, I click on Other, and you'll see this panel, and you can type in 03, let's say, and then you do the same for each. I'm just going to copy that and I'm just going to paste it. I think that's faster. Command C, Command V, FYI. That's the shortcut. Then you press "Okay", and then Play. Not bad. That's exactly what we need. Now, below you'll see the word Forever. That is the looping. That means how many times it goes around. Now, you could make it go once, and then what it does is it stops on the final frame, or you can make it go three times. So this is important when you want to highlight the final frame, whether that's your brand or your favorite illustration. But I personally like to make it go forever. I want to keep it going personally, but up to you what to do. That is our animation. Now I'm going to show you how to save it. What you do is you go to File, Export, Save for Web Legacy. You'll have this little panel which just went to my other screen. So here it is. Here you can choose whether to see the original. I quite like clicking on 4-Up, which means that I can stare at the four different versions of my file, and over here I can see how big they are. This one is just below a megabyte. If you want a larger file, you could select this one, if you want a smaller file, you could select another one. Then you can click on "Save" and you can save it to your desktop. I'll call it LDN. Here make sure you select HTML and images so that you have the HTML format and the GIF format. I saved it and now I just need to find it. The story of my life finding my files. Here, I found the HTML file. How nice. Then the images file, it often comes into an Images folder, there we go, and the actual GIF format. That is it for the first animated simple but cool GIF. See you soon for the second GIF. 4. GIF 2. Making Layers into frames: We're going to create the second animated GIF. Well done for creating the first one. Amazing. You can create your own animated GIF now with your own images or even selfies. Always funny. Now, in the Animated GIFs folder, you have the second one, the one called Hibernation. Can you tell that I'm from London? Hibernation, it's all I do in London in these gray rainy days. In the Example folder, you'll see the example I created. In the Images folder, you will see all the images which I've numbered so it will be easier for us to pile up into layers. You have plain stars and the moon. Then you have gradient stars. Then, you have the three key frames: the eyes closed, and the eyes open, and the eyes semi-open. Let's bring those into Photoshop. We do it like before. We go back to Photoshop and we go to File, Scripts, Load Files into Stack. There is buy window. Click on "Browse". This time we go back to our desktop. I have a lot of folders, don't I? Double-click on Animated GIFs, select the second folder, click on "Images". We're just going to select the whole pile and click on "Open". That's a lot of images. Then, we click on "Okay". We just relax, sit back and let Photoshop do its thing. This might take a little bit longer because we have a little bit more files. I've numbered all of these files. It would be great if we just move everything according to the numbers. We can just select those and just drag them to the bottom. One more. The 10 gradients should be here. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13. Perfect. First, what I'll start with is I'm going to create folders just so it's easier and way more clear to divide them and to create our frames. To create a folder, you can first select the files you would want in a folder and then click on the little folder icon here. Create a new group. Voila, it all went into our group. Now, remember, if you click on this little arrow, you will expand the folder and you'll see all the layers inside. Now, these are my plain stars and moon. I'm just going to go ahead and rename this to plain stars. What you do is you double-click and you type plain stars. Now I'm going to create another folder, but for my gradient items. I'm going to do the same thing, create a folder and call it gradient stars. Now, for these, we don't really need to create folders because there's only individual frames of them. Now what we do is, like before, we click on "Create Frame Animation" and it will all be piled into a single frame. Just like before, we need to go to the hamburger icon. Then we can click on "Make Frames From Layers" and we will have loads of layers. Now, we only need two frames. We can get rid of all these frames by going click, holding down the shift key and clicking on the final frame, and then press the little bin bag here or trash, if you are in the US. In the UK, we say bin. Classy. Then you can click on "Yes", you want to delete the frames, and now we have three. 5. GIF 2. Looping & Saving: Let's start with the first one. In the first frame, we need to decide what we want to see in the first frame. I would like to start with the eyes open. I'm going to click on the eye, so I can see this layer. Now, I don't need to have the eyes closed layer open, so I'm just going to hide that, and I'm just going to add all the plain stars. I just need to individually click on the eyes so that we can see those beautiful little plane stars and moon. That's the first frame done. Now let's select the second frame. Now for the second frame, we need to deselect the eyes open, so hide it. We need to have the semi-closed one on. Now, for the stars, what I'm going to show you now is how to duplicate a few of them because we're going to move a couple of stars just so it adds more movement. To duplicate one of these stars, you can either right-click and duplicate layer, or you can also alt and drag, which is the shortcut for duplication, and now you'll see star one copy. Now, makes sure you hide the original one so that we only see a single star, and then what you can do is just move the star a bit, just so that there will be a bit of movement. If you want, you can do that for all the stars. I'm going to do that for this little small one. Alt and drag and duplicate and hide the original one and just move that one just a little bit for movement. Feel free to do that for all stars. I'm going to do one more. Sometimes it doesn't work. Hide the original star, and then just move. Sometimes I click on the eyes so I can see which one I just duplicated, which one I'm working with. Just move that and that is our second frame done. Now we're going to click on the third frame and this time we're going to have our eyes close, and we're going to sleep and go into hibernation. You can hide the 11 eyes open and show 13 eyes closed. We can hide all the plain stars, close the folder, and show the gradient stars instead. Expand the folder and just make sure you show all the gradient starts instead. Let's have a little quick preview to our animation. If we click on the little play button, that's almost giving me a heart attack, that is fast. Let's slow it down. Let's make the frame longer. We could do five or two, I quite like 0.3 seconds, I often use that. If I click on other, I can type 0.3 and copy that, and okay and the second one. For the final one, I think I would like to keep this a little bit longer because that's the one I want to end on. Let's try now. It's making me sleepy, almost yawning, very cute. This animation and a nice lullaby would be perfect. Let's save this file. We go to file, export, save for web legacy. You know the drill, for up, and you can choose. So 12.5 megabyte is quite big. If you wanted a smaller file, you can just click on any of these. Click on "Save", save it. I'm going to call it hibernation. Loads of typos there, and HTML and images. The tricky bit now is where to find it as usual. Here I've got one, I'm just looking for the images folder and there is the images folder. Let's look at the images one and let's look at the GIF and voila, that is our gorgeous little hibernation mode on GIF, perfect for bedtime. Going forwards, you can always use these newly acquired skills and create your own graphics. Use your own selfies or images, or even burst photos that you can take on an iPhone. I would love to see what you're up to. I would love to see what type of GIFs you will be creating. Let's get creative. See you soon.