How to Make Animated Greeting Ecards in Procreate | Lisa Hall | Skillshare

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How to Make Animated Greeting Ecards in Procreate

teacher avatar Lisa Hall, Creative & DIY Enthusiast

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

6 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Intro & Overview

    • 2. Planning Your Design

    • 3. Animation in Procreate

    • 4. Exporting Your Animation

    • 5. Sending & Selling

    • 6. Conclusion & Project

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About This Class


Welcome to my class on how to create animated greeting ecards in Procreate! Procreate is such a fun program that makes it easy to add animation to static illustrations. In this class, we'll create an animated birthday ecard in Procreate. We'll go step-by-step on how to use the animation tool, then go over how to export the gif and how to send via email, text, etc. We'll also talk about how you can add downloadable animated ecards to your website to increase your product offerings.

This class is best for anyone with working knowledge of Procreate but who has yet to use the animation tool. It will also be helpful for anyone who is looking for tips on how to send animated gifs to family/friends or offer ecards as products on your website.

Creating animated illustrations in Procreate is so much fun, so get ready to learn to use this great tool!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lisa Hall

Creative & DIY Enthusiast


Lisa Hall is an artist, illustrator and DIY enthusiast. She has over 15 years of professional experience in marketing and graphic design. Her creative business is called Bohemian Creative Lifestyle, as she weaves creativity throughout many areas of her life. She has co-authored and illustrated three children's books, creates globally-inspired artwork based on her travels, illustrates greeting cards and other stationary products, and has spent much of the past decade using her creativity on budget-friendly home improvement. 

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1. Intro & Overview: Hi, I'm Lisa. Welcome to my class on how to create animated greetings in Procreate. Procreate is such a fun tool and the program really makes it quite easy to add animation to static illustrations. In the class, we will actually create a birthday greeting card and go step-by-step on how you add animation to a static illustration to turn it into an animated E card. Not only will we go step-by-step through the process, but after that, we will talk about how you export it as an animated GIF and how you can send it, how you can send it via text, how you can send it via email, which e-mail clients, animated gifs do not work in, and how you can add it as a downloadable product on your website. Perhaps you have a line of greeting cards that you could easily turn into animated E cards to add new products to your website. I really like having E card options because I think it's a really good, eco-friendly option to have on your website. You can add it at a lower price point and really expand your offerings. So there's a lot of reasons why you may want to add an e cards to your product line. This class is best for anyone who has a working knowledge of Procreate, but perhaps hasn't used the animation tool yet. Or if you do have any animated illustrations that you want to get some tips and tricks on how to send or how to add as products on your website, you can skip to the end for those modules. So throughout the class I'm going to be using the term animated greeting or E card. But if you're interested in creating animated gifs as well, the process is exactly the same. How you export them, how you create them, how you send them. So an animated GIF is just a smaller, more condensed version that isn't based on holiday or an occasion. The process is exactly the same. So if you're interested in making gifts instead of e cards, the class will be great for this as well. For your class project, you are to create an animated greeting card or animated GIF and upload it whether you want to use the files that I have provided in the resources section, or you have your own illustration that you would like to animate. I would love to see either one of them. So with that, let's get started. 2. Planning Your Design: So before getting started on your animated Illustration, it does take some planning. So I have uploaded a document called list of holidays, just to give you some ideas of the holidays and occasions and some ideas for elements that go along with each of these that you might want to animate. For example, new year, you could animate fireworks in the sky or people dancing in the street, or champagne glasses clinking for Valentine's or love. You could do hearts floating to the sky or cute animals hugging. There's a bunch of ideas in here. Just to kind of get you started on some ways that you may want to set up an animated illustration and what elements for each of them you could actually animate. Another thing to think about is how you're going to use it or you're going to use it on Instagram, so it should be square. So before you set it up, think about what it is that where it is, sorry that you're going to use it. So let's take a look at a couple of examples of animated gradients that I've done, just to give you an idea of how things will be set up and which elements I chose to animate. So here's a penguin illustration. Now, if you notice, look at this animation so the background doesn't move. The background stays the same the whole time. It's the two penguins that are moving. And then the text comes on at the end. So that influences how you're going to set up the document. So let's take a look at the layers just so you can see what this looks like. So the background is down at the bottom. And let's uncheck some of the other layers so you can see what this looks like. So that's the background and not stays the same throughout the whole animation. And then you'll see, I have the two penguins. And with each layer, the little penguin gets a little bit closer to kind of start to wattle and over little closer. And then the dad starts to move over to the Penguin, to the baby. And then the text comes on at the end. So that just gives you an idea of how document should be set up. Okay, so let's take a look at another example. Let's look at a Thanksgiving greeting. And in this one, you'll notice again the background stays the same and it's the truck that moves across the screen. And the guy at the end waves. And then we have some text at the end. So it's set up in a similar way with the background staying the same. And then the truck moving across the screen with the little wave and a Happy Thanksgiving at the end. So let's look at these layers as well, just to give you an idea of how this was set up in the background is on the bottom. And then you'll see each of those layers is the truck moving across the screen. And then at the end it's just the back of the truck. And then you'll see this is a little wave. So I had to make his arm in different places so that he could wave. And then it's text at the end. One more example. Let's look at this misuse already animated greeting with two little dogs here. Again, it's similar. The background stays the same. And the only thing that changes in this is that the car's going across the screen and the text at the end. So if we look at those layers, this is similar as well. Each layers, the car moving across the screen with the text at the end. So let's look at the animated greeting we're gonna do in this class. There is a birthday greeting. So if you actually want to do this animation, you can download the files in the zip file that I sent. There are nine Photoshop documents that you can download to your iPad and saved to your photos so that we can place them in Procreate. So inside the zip file there are these nine files. So go ahead and download these. So this is what they will ultimately look like once we place them into procreate. So go ahead and download all the files. And then in the next module we'll learn how to set up the document and insert them as photos and go ahead and make the animation. 3. Animation in Procreate: Okay, Now that we have our planning complete, let's go ahead and set up the file in Procreate. So open up the gallery and in the upper right-hand corner, click the plus sign for a new canvas, do a custom size canvas, and go ahead and make it 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels at a 150 dpi. That size will work well with the files that I provided. Or if you're doing your own Canvas, you can go ahead and make it whatever size fits for your illustration. So we have a nice square here setup. So let's go ahead and first set the background layer in the upper right-hand corner. Second from the right click the Layers panel and the background layer. Then go ahead and choose a nice light pink that will work well for the sample illustration. So something like that looks, we'll look quite nice. So go ahead and select that. And then again, if you're doing your own illustration, go ahead and get all your layers setup that you'll be doing for your own animation if you're using the files I provided, go ahead and add in all the files in the upper left-hand corner just to the right of the gallery, click the wrench tool. And then in on the left side, go ahead and click Add. And you will add, you will insert a photo. And wherever you have saved the files that I provided, layers one through nine, go ahead and do this for all of the files. So you'll see that we have layer one now inserted. Go ahead and do all nine layers. Just keep going to add, insert a photo and go ahead and do this for layers one through nine. I'm going to whip through this pretty quick just to get all these layers in here. But you'll see that the size is set up to work well with this 1080 by 1080 Canvas. So they should all come in pretty easily. And then once you have all the layers inserted, if you click on the layer panel, you'll see them all in here. And they should be inserted in order from layer one through nine. If they're not make sure that they are layered in that way. And let's go ahead and rename them layers one through nine just to keep them clear. So you can do that by double tapping on the layer and clicking Rename, and then just go ahead and do layers one through nine. Okay, so now we're going to just make sure that all the layers are set up the way we want them before we begin the animation. So go ahead and uncheck the boxes on the right, on all the layers except for layer 1. And let's just go through every layer and make sure they look the way we want them to look. So this layer looks good. It fits nicely in the box and it's ready to go. So let's go ahead and now check layer 2 to activate that. And we'll see that one also looks good. Size is nice and it overlays layer one perfectly, so that's good. So let's go to Layer 3. Go ahead and check that. And you'll see that one also looks good. Layer 4 looks good. So everything's overlaying. Nice. Layer 5. Go ahead and check that. That one looks good. So Layer 6, okay, you'll see that one didn't come in exactly right. So if it did the same for you, Let's go ahead and move it. So click the Transform tool, the arrow in the upper left-hand corner, the tool all the way to the right. Go ahead and click that, and then just move that layer down. Oops, I think I'm on the wrong layer here. Hold on 1 second. Make sure you actually click the layer that you want to move. So let's do that again. So let's go ahead and move that layer down. So make sure it's overlaying the other layers exactly how you want it and make that smaller so we can see what we're doing here. Okay? So you'll see so that overlays nicely, so that one is about right where we want it now. Go back to the layers, Check layer seven so we can look at that and that one also needs to be moved. So click on that layer, then the transform tool, and then go ahead and move that down a little bit. Okay, that looks pretty good. And then go ahead, check layer nine. So the text, so the text came in a little bit bigger than we probably want it. So let's go ahead and resize bad. Let's make that smaller and we can kind of see where we want to place that. So go ahead and make that smaller by pinching it and then moving it to where you think it will look good. Make it a little bit smaller maybe. Right about there. It's probably good. So then let's go to the last layer and you'll see you Happy birthday. It was probably a little bit bigger than we wanted as well. So let's make that a little smaller and move that to where we want it. So that looks pretty good. So once you get everything where you want it set up, then all the layers will be ready to start the animation. Now here's the exciting part where we can actually start the animation. And this is where it gets really fun. So up in the upper left-hand corner, click the wrench tool. And second from the left, you'll see that there's the Canvas button. So click on the Canvas button and then click Animation Assist. And once that comes on, you'll see the animation assist bar down at the bottom. And this shows all of our layers that we put in layers one through nine in order from left to right. So this is where we're going to work on our animation. So you'll see the Play button over on the left. So go ahead and click the play button just so you can see how it's going to look now. And this is an exactly how we want it. Obviously it's really fast and not exactly how we would want it. So we're gonna go in and edit it a little bit. So first click on the layer all the way to the left. And we're going to select that as a background layer. Because for us in this particular illustration, you want that to stay for the background, for all the layers. You might not necessarily want that all the time, but for this one we do. So then go ahead and double-tap the next layer. So by double tapping it, it will select each layer. And here you can choose how long you want to hold each frame. And then you'll see the shaded frames come up to the right and not just shows you how long you're holding for each of them. So you may want to do this if you want each layer to hold for a different amount of time. So this is going to slow it down a little bit and you can set it overall. But I think on this one we want the n layers to hold for a little bit longer. So let's just go in and make all of these hold times a little bit longer. Then we will make it even longer at the end. Okay, so the last frame we probably want that to hold for a little bit longer just so people can see the happy birthday message for a little bit longer. So let's make that 12. And let's just take a look at what this is going to look like now. So go ahead and scroll all the way to the left to start from the beginning and push play again. So you can see it, this is looking better, right? It's a little bit slower. I think it's still probably too fast, but it's looking better. You may see a couple of things that we want to change. Like, for example, I want that text to come down a little bit, that happy birthday message so we can go in and still make some edits. So let's go ahead and do that. You can pause the animation and go back into the layers to make the changes. So go ahead and push, pause, and then click on the layer palette to the right. So let's go ahead and move Happy Birthday down a little bit. So go ahead back into the transform tool and let's move that down. That looks about right, that'll probably be better a little farther away from the flags. And let's move it's your birthday down a little bit too. Okay, so let's try that. I didn't click Play. And the text is looking better. I still think I want the beginning to hold for a little bit longer before the yea and the arms go up. So that's another change I think we can make. So since this is a background layer, you'll see that it doesn't offer a hold time. So instead, let's go back into our layers and duplicate layer 1. So we're just going to make that same layer again. And then we can go back in and we can add a hold time to that particular layer since it's not the background layer. So we'll go ahead and increase that a little bit. And I think that we still might want the text layers to be a little bit slower. So let's increase those hold times a little bit more. Ok, and let's give this a try. Let's play this. I think that's looking better. Maybe we want to increase that to this still little bit more. So there's a little more drama at the beginning. And maybe we want to move Happy Birthday down just a smidge more. We can give that a try. Yeah, I think that's looking pretty good there. So if you're happy with it, we can stop there if you want to keep playing around with it. Feel free to keep playing around with the times, the old times, and moving some of the text. Just go ahead and play with it and get it to a point that you're happy with. And then we'll be ready to move on. So there are a couple of other things I wanted to show you. In the lower right on animation assist bar, you'll see settings and these offers and settings for the animation. So this shows it plain in a loop going back and forth, like we've seen it. Ping pong basically goes front to end and the front. And one time it said only plays once. I really like it in the loop. But you can play around with these settings. You can also look at how many frames per second are in the animation. And the other main thing to look at is the onion skins. So onion skins are basically showing each layer that transparency for each layer. So if you move it down, you'll see that it doesn't show every layer, it only shows the background layer. And if it goes up, then you can really see every single layer. So this is just a preference of how you want to see all the layers. Maybe you want the onion skins to be really light. Maybe you want to fully see them all. This is just purely a preference for you. So you can play around with this and just see what percentage you like. It increased the overall frame time. And so it's going a little faster. So I think we want to slow that down even more. So let's pause that and let's go back into the overall settings. And let's reduce the frame time. So the lower the frame time, that means the slower it's going to go. So let's take that down a little bit. And let's give this a try and see how we like this. I think that looks better. I like it slower like this. So it's up to you. Again, it's a personal preference of what you think looks good. But I think this looks really good. I'm pleased with this and I think we can get ready now to export this. 4. Exporting Your Animation: So now we're ready to export our beautiful animated gifs. So up in the left-hand corner, go to the wrench tool and then go to Share third from the left and on the bottom you'll notice all of these different types of options. So one thing to note is if you want to share on Instagram, you can't share an animated GIF. It has to be an animated MP4. So let's go ahead and select that 1 first. And you'll see it says Max resolution or web ready. So if you look above the image, it tells you the size. So the max resolution is only 31 kilobytes, so it's not that big, so you probably could export it at the max resolution for this. The web ready is even less. It's only six kilobytes, which is fine. But I think doing it for max resolution for this, since it's a small file size is fine. So if you wanted to export it for Instagram, you can do it as an animated MP4. And it does let you also look at the frames per second again. So you can change that at the end, but I think we're happy with it, so we can go ahead and leave it as is. So let's go back and then let's go ahead and export it as an animated GIF. So click that. And now you'll see once again you have max resolution or web ready. But this time if you look above the image, it says that it's 3.2 megabytes. So that's kind of big. So you'll probably want to export this as a web ready. And you'll see the web ready, it's only 623 kilobytes, so that's better. So we'll probably want to do that. And then there's some options. There's dithering per frame color palette, which I usually leave these off. The dithering can make some little dots on the image that you may not want. And we do want to keep the background so we don't want to say transparent background, but there are some cases that you may want that. So this is ready to go ahead and export. So all you'll do is go in the upper right and click Export. And then it will come up with all these options of where you can save it or send it. You can send it via text, via e-mail. You can save it to your Dropbox. There's all these different options. You could save it to your photos, your videos. So this is how you will export it from procreate. 5. Sending & Selling: So now that you know how to export your animated GIF, we're just going to quickly go in and see what it actually looks like when you export it as a text message or in an e-mail. So go back to the export screen and click Export again. And now we're going to send it as a text message. So click your message icon for me, it's the 1 second on the left and go ahead and send it to yourself. Send it to yourself as a text message. And you'll see this is what it looks like when it comes through. So it shows up twice here only because I send it to myself twice, but it will show up only once. But you can see how the animation does come through. So now go ahead and do it as an email for an example. So go ahead and export it one more time as an email this time and click the mail icon third from the left. And then go ahead and you can send it to whoever you want. And you can change the subject line so you can personalize it. So in the subject line perhaps you would want to write Happy birthday. You can also put text in the body of the message as well, so you can personalize it. You can put the person's name at a personal message, but that's what it will look like when it comes through in the email. So they're really fun to send. And especially if it's personalized, it would look really fun. So there are a couple of things that I want to note. So Outlook 2019 and earlier, the earlier versions do not support animated gifs. You will not see the animation if you have Outlook 2019 or earlier, it will just come in as a static image. So Outlook 365 does support it. And other e-mail clients such as Gmail and Yahoo, they also supported. So if you're sending to someone who doesn't have an email that's Gmail or Yahoo. You may want to also include it as an attachment just to make sure that they can see it. Another thing that I want to note is what I showed you earlier is how you export it directly from Procreate. But say for example, you have a gift saved on your desktop that you want to insert. So how do you do that? The key is not including it as an attachment, but inserting it as a picture in a line. So once you insert it as a picture in line, it will show up in the body of the e-mail, not as an attachment. So if you have it saved somewhere and you're trying to insert it, just note that that's the way you should do it, not as an attachment, but insert the picture in line. And in a few minutes I have a video that shows that in a little bit more in depth, but I just wanted to point that out. So now let's talk about how we can add animated E cards to products on your website. So I'll show you an example, some examples of E cards that I have available on my website. So here we have it. So these are the cards that I have, the animated gifs. And like I said, I think it's nice to have them as a product offering. You can offer them less expensive than the traditional greeting cards, and it's a good, eco-friendly option. So most website builders these days make it really easy to include digital downloads as products. So I use Go Daddy for example, and they allow you to choose whether it's a physical product or a digital download. And if you choose digital download, you can just upload the file directly on the back-end and then people can download it. They'll get a confirmation page with a link. They'll also get an e-mail confirmation with the link to download so they make it really easy. So here on the page you'll see I just have the gift that people can see so they can actually watch it. And then in the description below, I do have a link to a page I created. That's just a really quick how to, if people are wondering how did they send the E cards, I included a quick video just so that people could see in a how do you insert it? And I let people know what email clients it doesn't work on. So this is the page that I have that just has a quick video about what happens once they purchase the E card. And I'll go ahead and play this video for you really quick, just so you can see what I included and feel free to use something similar to this. So once you purchase your animated greeting card on your order confirmation page, there'll be a place where you can download the GIF file to your computer. You'll also receive an e-mail confirmation where you can download it from here as well. Now let's take a look at how you actually insert the GIF file into your email. Here's an example in Gmail. So you could create an e-mail like you would and insert a photo as you typically would. The key difference is that, but when you upload the photo, you want it inserted as an inline photo. You do not want to include it as an attachment. Makes sure that you include it as an inline photo. So go ahead and select the image that you have downloaded. And this is how it comes up so you can see how it will actually look in the e-mail. This is what the recipients will see when they receive it. Now here's an example in Outlook, It's basically the same. You just go into Insert Picture in line. Again, not as an attachment, but in line is the key for an GIF. So when the recipient actually gets the greeting card, this is what it will look like. So make sure to include a fun subject line. And then below the GIF, if you'd like, you can write something to make it more personal as well. And this is just how it will look when you're on a phone. I like to include a square shape because I think on mobile it looks really nice. So I hope you enjoy sending some animated greeting cards to your family and friends. So that's the example of the video that I have on my website. If people have any questions about how they can download and send the animated E cards. And again, the reason that it worked in Outlook for me in that example is because I have Outlook 365. So again, if you have an older Outlook client that it wouldn't work in anything 2019 or earlier. So I hope this gives you some helpful tips on how to send your animated gifs. And if you want to include them as product offerings on your website, to give you some ideas how to do that as well. 6. Conclusion & Project: Thank you so much for taking my class. I hope it has helped you learn how to create animated greetings in Procreate, I think creating animated illustrations is so much fun, and I hope you find it to be just as fun as well. I hope it's also taught you how you can export and send the cards via text and e-mail, and how you can also add them as additional downloadable products to your website. For your class project, I would love to see what animated illustration you've created, whether it's with the files that I provided or with your own illustration. I would love to see it. Thank you so much and I hope you have a great time creating new animated illustrations in Procreate.