How To Animate Your Photos Using Photoshop & After Effects CC - Parallax Effect | Will Bartlett | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How To Animate Your Photos Using Photoshop & After Effects CC - Parallax Effect

teacher avatar Will Bartlett, Video Creator & Entrepreneur

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

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

7 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. How To Animate Your Photos using Photoshop & After Effects Parallax Effect PROMO

    • 2. 02 Setting Up Your Image In Photoshop

    • 3. 03 Creating A Background Layer Part 1

    • 4. 04 Creating A Background Layer Part 2

    • 5. 05 Getting Started In After Effects CC

    • 6. 06 Animating In After Effects CC Part 1

    • 7. 07 Animating In After Effects CC Part 2

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Welcome to our How To Animate Your Photos using Photoshop & After Effects class!

In this class, your instructor Will Bartlett will walk you through how to take a regular image and set it up in Photoshop CC so that we can then import it into After Effects and create an animating parallax video.

You'll learn how to:

  • Analyze a photo in order to understand how to perform a parallax effect
  • Split an image into various layers using Photoshop CC
  • Fill in a¬†selected area to make a seamless background
  • Import your Photoshop project into After Effects properly
  • Use Adobe Dynamic Link to make changes to the Photoshop document after it's in After effects
  • Create animation keyframes to manipulate the image in various points in order to bring an image to life
  • Add several other keyframes to the final video to make it more interesting
  • Export a final video in 1080p resolution

In the class project, you'll find the same image we used in the course so that you can download it and follow along! (We encourage you to do so because it will help you retain the information required to perform the parallax technique.)

Your instructor for this course is Will Bartlett; he has been a professional Cinematographer and Editor for 10+ years and a content creator for 15+ years. Will runs an established video production company based out of Toronto and an online brand that's trained over 200,000 students worldwide.

If you don't have Photoshop or After Effects, you can get a free trial of either program from Adobe's website!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Will Bartlett

Video Creator & Entrepreneur


Connect with me:

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube FOLLOW on Insta

About me:

I've been a professional Cinematographer & Editor for 10+ years and a Content Creator for 15. Over the years, I've worked with dozens of production companies and hundreds of clients from Canada and the United States. I run several media businesses including a Toronto based video production company, an online brand that's trained over 350,000 students, and a Filmmaking YouTube channel called Alli and Will.

Categories I specialize in: Video Production (Filming, Editing, Visual Effects), Entrepreneurship/Business, Investing, Marketing and Branding.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. How To Animate Your Photos using Photoshop & After Effects Parallax Effect PROMO: welcome to this mini course on how to animate a photo using photo shop and after effects to create a parallax effect. This is what we're gonna be starting with. This is a photo of me vlogging and you will have this file to download. So be sure to download and follow along with me as I do the parallax effect. So this is the photo. It's static, it doesn't move, It's not a video. And then we're gonna turn it into this. You can see that the arm animates. You can see that the camera moves up. You can see that to be of the head tilting a bit. It also zooms in, and the background seems to change a bit from the subject in the foreground. This makes it much more interesting than just a static photo and draws your attention into the subject. This technique can be done with almost any photo. However, a photo like this that has a background that's clearly separated from the subject makes it a lot easier. All right, so that's what we're gonna be creating by the end of this mini course. So let's get started 2. 02 Setting Up Your Image In Photoshop: All right, welcome back to get started. This is the file that you'll want to download so you can follow along with me as we do this parallax in effect. So this is called Will vlogging a one. It's just a picture of me vlogging and by the end of this course will animate it into a finished video. So what we want to do is first open it up in photo shop. So let's go ahead and do that. Now this is a 1920 pixels by 10 80 pixels image, and that is equivalent to HD video. And that's the reason that we're using this photo and this photo was actually taken vertically and then in photo shop, I added on the sides to make it more of a wide screen HD look. So you might be able to see some of the patterns that were duplicated to make it widescreen using the content aware tool, and we'll be using the content aware tool again in the course to separate the subject from the background. So if you're not familiar with photo shop, you have a bunch of tools in the left and you have some panels on the right. So right now we just have the one picture. So there's one layer up here is the navigator. This is where you can zoom into your image, and if you don't have these, you go up the window and then reveal them. Okay, so it's right. Click on our layer. Let's go to duplicate Click. OK, and then we'll do that one more time. Then on the bottom layer, let's double click it. That will enter the area where we can name that layer. We're gonna call it original in all caps. This way we can turn that layer off, and then this way we will always have the original file. If we ever need to go back, it's just a good way of non destructive photo editing, All right. Next we go to the middle one and we'll call this background and we call the top one subject . Now Photoshopped works in a layering system where the top photo is what you see, and then the bottom photo is hidden behind it, unless certain sections of the top foot or cut out to reveal the bottom layers. So in this case, we want to isolate the subject from the background. So right now we have. If we turn the top one off, it's just the same thing because we duplicated it. Let's go ahead and turn off the subject and then on the background there were going to cut around the subject in order to delete it. And then we'll fill it in using the content aware tool so that the image is just the background and the subject doesn't exist in the background layer. Then, as you can probably guess on the subject layer, we're going to do the same thing by cutting around the subject. But this time we're going to remove the background instead. That will leave us with a subject layer that has just the subject and then a background layer that has just the background without a subject. Doing this will take a lot of time. However, it will allow us greater control in picking certain parts of the image, such as the arm in the camera and animating it without affecting the background. And if this doesn't really make sense to you at this point, don't worry. Just follow with the course and it'll start to make sense 3. 03 Creating A Background Layer Part 1: Okay, so with the background were selected and this is the only leader turned on. We know we're working on this layer because if we turned it off, you can see nothing. This is the only layer we're seeing right now, so with the background were selected, let's start cutting around the subject so it zoom in. And if you hold space bar and then click and drag, you can move around the image. Or you can go up to the navigator and do it that way in order to start cutting up the subject. It's best to leave as much as the background is possible, because we need as much information as possible in order to use content aware to fill in the parts where the subject currently is in order to make up the background. So instead of just using the rectangle tool and selecting a big square around the person, let's use the last you tool. So let's go down here just below the image and we'll click, and it doesn't have to be perfect, but we will essentially just go all the way around the image now hold space bar and click and drag up in order to move the image than let go. And then you go back to the lasso tool and I'm gonna speed up the video just so that you don't have to watch me do this entire thing. All right, so now once we get to the end, you can click near the end, and then all you have to do is double click, and it'll finish off your selection. So now, as you can see, we have this area selected, so it zoom out just a bit. And here is our area that selected So with the background, what we're gonna do is hit delete on her keyboard. And as you can see, it has removed the subject. But we just have the checkered background of photo shop, so we still need to fill this in. So with its still selected, we're gonna hit shift delete on our keyboard, and then we're gonna choose content aware, depending on your computer, it might take a longer or shorter amount of time. I'm on a pretty fast computer, so it did do it pretty quickly. And as you can see, the results are pretty incredible. And then if you hit command G or controlled the on the PC. It will de select the areas, and as you can see, it has left a thin white line, and this sometimes happens in photo shop. So in order to fix that, let's use a spot healing tool. And let's change the size down to It's a 20 and it will just trace over the white line. And if you make a mistake, you can simply undo it. Okay, so you can see now that we have the background. But it doesn't look perfect here, and that's okay because the subject will cover that. However, if you did want to fix that, you could go to the rectangle tool and simply select something like that. Use the continent where tool. Just do it a few times until you get it to your liking, and that looks a little more natural. Okay, so now we have the original image on top because we haven't adjusted the subject layer, and then we have the background layer, which is just the background 4. 04 Creating A Background Layer Part 2: all right. Now that we've created the background layer that we're gonna be using, we then need to do a similar thing to the subject. However, this time, instead of roughly cutting out using the selection tool, we're actually going to use the eraser tool and delete the background. This is gonna take a lot longer because you have to be very precise. This is a still image, and this subject is a part of the background. So we need to zoom in really close and cut out our subject to get started. Let's make sure the subject layer is turned on and selected. Then we'll go over to the eraser tool, which is right here. Then you can change the size of the eraser as you want, so we'll make this one pretty big for the beginning and we'll have a hardness of about 15. That means how soft the edges are. Okay, so the first thing is, we're gonna roughly cut out the parts that don't interfere with the subject and just be careful not to get too close when you're doing this, because there is a fading part called a feather that goes right into our image so I think I might have done a little too much there. I'm gonna undo and start again. So that's about as much as I can do with this size of brush. We could go a lot smaller and then continue. And again, I'm just roughly doing it right now because eventually will zoom in with a very small brush and precisely cut out the subject. And you're starting to get the idea. If we turn on the background layer, you can see that we're introducing the subject, although we do need to make it perfect. So let's keep going. So now we'll start to zoom in. Now, in some cases, you can use the magic wand tool as well. So this Is that the tolerance? 15. So if we select the part we don't want, you can see that it's sort of outlining the subject. So let's increase that till it's a 30 and every had delete, and this could be a faster way of isolating the subject, although if you zoom in, you'll notice there's some J give lines, so I don't normally like to use the magic wand tool for that reason. So I'm going to undo and then I'll keep going with the eraser tool on my subject layer. This is the part where you have to spend a lot of time and make sure you don't make any mistakes. And the trick is to get as close as you can so that the blue part isn't there. See? I mean, I went a little too far there. Someone do that. Okay, so now we've completed that. It took about 15 minutes, and now we'll just go around and make sure we've done all the spots necessary. All right, so now that that's done, we can turn back our background layer on and then turn off our subject. And you can see we have now created a subject in a background on their own layers. So to file, save as so at this stage, we're done working inside photo shop, and now we will go to aftereffects. 5. 05 Getting Started In After Effects CC: Okay, so we've done the work in photo shop. We've set it up on different layers. Now we have aftereffects opened, and that means we can start animating the layers that we created in photo shop inside aftereffects. So it's go ahead and import the files into after effects. When we import a PSD, which is a Photoshopped file into after effects, we need to tell aftereffects how to import it. So do we want imported as a composition as footage? So in this case, we want to import it as a composition so that it maintains the layers and we don't need to worry about the retained layer sizes at this time. And then after that, we want to make sure that creditable layer styles is selected. Let's go, OK, now, if you go in here, you can see that inside the folder here are three layers. We don't need the original so we can remove that, and then we have the subject in the background and you can see appear by the preview. This is our subject and then our background. So let's go ahead and create a composition. And let's make sure it's 1920 by 10 80 square pixels, 23.976 or whatever frame rate you would like to work with. The duration will make it 10 seconds. So 10 seconds and zero frames and then up at the top. We have composition name. We'll call that animating photo. We'll click OK and then to clean up our aftereffects project. We don't really need the will vlogging composition, so we'll delete that. And then we're left with the animating photo composition that we created and then are two layers. So let's go ahead and select both of those and then dragged them into our animating photo composition. And then you can see it opens up in our composition. Let's make sure that the background is below the subject. And then let's rename these, so it's easier to see background and then subject You just hit enter and then type. Okay, so now in after effects, we have the same set up as we had in photo shop, so we have two layers. One is the subject and one is the background. Now you can see here on our subject layer that we didn't completely clean up and remove the background as much as we want it. So let's go back into Photoshopped. Let's turn off our background layer and then let's go to layer. New click. OK, and then with this selectable dragon below are subject will turn it to black and then we'll take the bucket tool and just click in the background. What this gives us is a black background that is similar to our aftereffects set up this way we can click on the subject player, go to the eraser tool, increases size and then start Do leading the parts of the image now that we can see it because it's on black. Okay, we can zoom in a bit and just clean up the image. Okay, so now that's done because we're using Adobe Products. We could go to file save, and then that will update in after effects. And that's called dynamic linked. So now, before we do anything else, let's save our project in after effects of save, as will create a Projects folder and we'll give it a name and save it 6. 06 Animating In After Effects CC Part 1: all right, so now that we have everything set up in after effects, we can start having some fun and start animating these layers. Folks go down here to our composition, will select the subject layer and then up the top here within the tool section, we will go to this pin tool, which is the puppet tool. We'll click and hold, and then you can see that there are many different puppet tools. So for now, we'll just use the puppet position pen tool. Now with the puppet tool selected. Let's think about our image and what we want to do with it. So because I'm looking at the camera and holding it up in front of me, I think the animation is calling for the hand to move and maybe the head to move. Now that we have an idea of how we want to animate this image, we're going to use the puppet tool to make selections within our image on our subject layer . In order to start animating, here's the elbow joints that will make one There will make one where the arm connects will make one all along. The body will make one up here and they will make one right on the hand. The reason we're not gonna make any appears because this is one solid piece and it doesn't move on its own. However, on the body, you know, this arm can move by itself. We can move the head. We can move the hand independently of the rest of the body. We can move the elbow independently of how the wrist moves, so it makes sense to have points here. However, it doesn't make sense to have them up on this piece. So sure you have this works. These pinpoints are basically position points for the puppet tool to do its thing. So since we have one just on the head and then the rest of them down here, if I were to move this one, it would move independently of all of these if I would just have this one than the entire image would move. So that's what's important to set up specific ones and I'll show you what I meet. So now that we have one just in the head, let's click and hold, and then we can move the head and puppet it independently of these ones. We do the same thing with the hand and you'll notice that this whole tripod camera and microphone will work as one whole piece but separate from the rest of the body. Click and hold on the hand one. So let's undo that to get back to the original positions. And then let's start anime. So down here on our subject layer, if you hit you on your keyboard, it'll show all of our position points. So Puppet eight is the last one we created. Seven will be the head because that's the second last one we created. If we click on seven and hit enter on our keyboard, we can then name these. So we remember which ones were animating. So this one will be head. This one will be hand and the rest ones. We will not be animating at this point because they're more of just anchors. Okay, so you can see that we do have key frames on the very first frame and on the hand one, I'm gonna bring this down to there, and I'm gonna bring the head ford a bit. Then at the very end of our composition, I'll bring the timeline cursor and then we'll animate this up so we'll go and I'll put the head back of it now just to give it some more fact. It doesn't hurt to animate a little bit of these so we can move this one in just a bit. So over time this is what happens. So that's the gist of our animation. So if we go down into the background layer, turn that on and then render this out, this is what's happening and you can see it really looks three D. It looks like this is an actual video, although it has some sort of picture three d feel as well. So this is a really unique way of animating, so beyond that, we can start animating it a little more. 7. 07 Animating In After Effects CC Part 2: now that we've animated are subject with the puppet tool. Let's take it a step further and make it more interesting by adding a little bit of a zoom and a separation with the background holding shift will click the background layer and the subject layer at the same time, and then we'll hit s on our keyboard. And then we'll set key firms at the beginning and end that are different on our subject in background so that they animate individually and create sort of a three D depth fueling. All right, so on our subject, we have a key frame in this position. On our background, we will zoom in just a little bit, and we'll also hold Shift P, which will also bring up the position so for this will set it right to the edge. So there's a lot of space on the left side outside of the theatrical frame, and we'll hit the position key for him for that. Then we'll go all the way to the end, and then we will scale this toe 1 10 and animated this way and then over time. As you can see this, the background moves independently and shift p to bring up the position will go to the very end, and then this one will be to 105 Now. Both have a difference of 5% so we might want to make them a little different. And then on the subject lair, we will also bring it down just a bit so that the effect looks like it zooming more into our subject. Let's bring this down and then we'll preview it, all right. That's looking really great. Let's just speed it up a little bit more. So maybe on the subject will go to 1 15 Or 1 25 actually would say, We'll try to keep them in the same spot so it looks like it zooming into the head. And then we'll just scrub through and see how to make this a little better. So it looks like maybe the background needs to drop a bit. Okay, let's watch that. Let's go back into our subject will hit you on the head at the beginning. We will use the puppet pen to because we're still on that and let's push the head a little further this way and exaggerate it. Let's bring that over like that and see what that does. Okay, maybe we can bring this, like there. All right, so now let's go back to the position will hit p and then shift s that will bring up the scale. And let's zoom in even more. So we'll go to one 45 and 1 32 foot, say, moving the background down at the beginning, it was roughly around the chin, so it would make sense for that to also be around there. Okay, and then let's make it go right off. Just a little more. All right, that's looking great. So let's preview this again. Now that we have this parallax in effect completed, it's time to export the final video. In order to do that, make sure that the bottom composition is selected. You can see that it's highlighted in blue, then go up to composition, add to render queue, and then we have down here and export. That's cute and ready to go. So we then need to pick the settings for the exporting and give it a name. So because we created a composition at 1920 by 10 80 as you can see up here. That's the same settings were gonna want to use when we're exporting so down here in the open module being click on lossless and then we will pick our format. I like to choose quick time. If you don't have it, you might have to install it. Otherwise, you can just use a V I. We'll pick quick time and then under the format options, I will keep it to Apple Pro Rez for two to H Q. If you don't have pro raises because you're probably using an older version of after effects, and in that case, you'll want update. Otherwise, you can use another setting such as GoPro City form. That's always a great choice, so we'll select the Apple pro rez click. OK, we don't want any audio since we didn't have any audio in this composition, so we'll turn that off. We're not gonna resize. It will just keep it in 1920 by 10. 80 were not cropping anything, and everything else is good to go, so it's click OK and then beside the open to we will click. This will be where we name the file and send it to where we want Right now we're saving into a folder called Final Video. And if we wanted to change the name, we could do that right here. Otherwise, with this click save and then you hit Render, you can see it's just rendering at the video. And once it's done, you'll have a file. It says, animating photo dot m o V. All right, so there we go. That looks great. That brings us to the end of this mini course on how to create a parallax in effect, inside photo shop and after effects by using the puppet tool separating the layers and creating a cool animation. I have a ton of other courses on my profile if you want to learn more for me. And also I run a YouTube channel called Ali and Will. So check that out if you're into cinematography or video editing or watching travel videos . How to use the reviews. We released new YouTube videos every week, so check that out if that's also something you're into. All right, so that does it for this mini course. Thanks for enrolling, and we will see you in the next one