Turn Your Illustration into an Animated GIF with Photoshop | Carmela Caldart | Skillshare

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Turn Your Illustration into an Animated GIF with Photoshop

teacher avatar Carmela Caldart, Illustrator

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

6 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Planning and Sketching

    • 3. Illustrating on Photoshop

    • 4. Layers of Movement

    • 5. Animating with the Timeline Tool

    • 6. Exporting and Uploading your GIF

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About This Class

Learn how to create an illustration and turn it into an animated GIF in a few simples steps - illustrator and designer Carmela Caldart describes her process for going from a digital illustration to a simple animation. In this 30-minute class, you’ll learn to plan, sketch, illustrate and animate your own self-portrait.

You will dive deep into: planning your animation, illustrating on Photoshop or Procreate, animating through Photoshop, and exporting your GIF for use on social media and online.

This class is perfect for illustrators who want to give their work some movement and life, as well as anyone who is interested in very simple animation. The class is very straightforward and detailed, and no previous knowledge is required - all you need is a pencil, Photoshop, and a drawing tablet!



Meet Your Teacher

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Carmela Caldart



Hi, I'm Carmela! I'm an illustrator from Brazil, currently living and working in Barcelona.

I'm a lover of traveling, bike riding, and making GIFs nonstop. 


I have a couple of classes on GIFs - the first one, Turn Your Illustration into an Animated GIF with Photoshop, teaches you the basics of creating a part-static, part-moving illustration using Photoshop. The second, Illustrate and Animate a Character GIF with Photoshop and Procreate, teaches you to create a more complex animation by creating a character and giving it movement. After taking both those classes, you'll be a pro GIF maker :)


I'll be launching new classes soon, mostly focused on illustration! I'd love to hear what you think of my work and of my classes!

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1. Introduction: straight from Brazil, and I currently live and work in Barcelona, Spain. Oh, I'll ago, I wanted to learn so enemy my illustrations and I read a lot of things. I'm lying tutorials, and I ended up putting it all together and developing the style that I have now off animating small parts of my illustration. These are some examples of gifts I've made in the style that I'm going to teach you, and I'll teach you things like how to make the hair flow, how to make the eyes blink and how to make the textures move a little bit. In this class, he learns, make your own animated give from an illustration. Illustration will be digital. You can start with the sketch on paper, but you'll then transferred into photo shop or appropriate. If you're using Photoshopped, you'll need a graphics tablet or a drawing tablet. I use this bamboo tablet that's very old and simple. What it works really well, and if you're using appropriate, you just need the up on your eye. The class projects. You'll create a simple self portrait in any style they wish. Using a limited color palette, Yulin learns enemy simple details of this illustration like in the examples I showed before flowing hair, blinking eyes, something moving in the background, a texture, etcetera. I'm going to teach you my personal process for creating illustration that will become a give. But once you take this class, you can adopt what you learn to fit your own style and your own preferences, so let's get started. 2. Planning and Sketching: for me fresh stepping baiting illustration that I know I want. The enemy is planning. I'll show you the way I live, my illustrations, which makes them a lot easier to animate later on. The key idea is to separate which parts of your illustration will be moving and which ones will not be. First, I'm going to make a sketch of my illustrations to plan out the composition. So Friends project, you're going to do a very simple self portrait. You can draw only the face. You could do 1/2 body, full body. Whatever makes you happy, I'm going to do 1/2 body illustration. Once your sketches done, you can decide which parts of your illustration you want. The enemy. Let's say you want to animate the hair so that it looks like the wind is blowing tonight. This little easier. You can paint it in a different color, and that way you know that this part will be on a different layer once you're in photo show . So I'm going to paint my hair blue, since that's the part that I want the enemy later way. Once your sketches ready, you can upload it to the class community page that lets you see your process and give you some feedback on your sketches and on how everything's going. And in the next video, I'll show you how to start your illustration directly on Photoshopped. 3. Illustrating on Photoshop: Once you have your sketch ready, you're going to transfer it into photo show. The first step is to open folder shop and create a new document. You can come up here. It's a file and click on New. This will open a window of options for yourself for your documents size. The key to gives is to make them light. They don't need to be huge, and they don't need a high resolution because the Onley is seen on screens. So let's create a document that's a good size for Instagram could make it a square image. So the first thing we can do is make sure we're in pixels over here and then set your with 2 10 80 you're heights of 10 80 as well. For the resolution, we can first make sure that you're in pixels part inch. That's important, not centimeters, and then you can set it to 1 50 That's a medium resolution. If you'd like to go smaller, you can use 72 um, but for this purpose will use 1 50 And the last thing you need to make sure is that your RGB color mode. This is important because this is the color mode that's used for screens. So once you have set all of these options to what I have here, you can click on create and you open up your new documents. Now you have your document. You couldn't import your sketch. I just took a picture of my sketch with my phone. And since it's on my computer, so import your pictures a photo shop, you open up the folder where you saved it. If you're on a Mac, impossible to finder, find your sketch and then you can drag it into your photo shop windows. I'm going to click on it and just drag it in. You'll see that your sketch has this X in the middle. That means you're using the transform tool, and you can drag the corners of your image to resize it. Make sure you hold down the shift button and then drag one of the corners to resize your skitch. If you don't hold shift down, you'll lose the proportion of your sketch and you don't want that, so make sure you click shift. Then you can resize your sketch to whatever size you want and drag it to the middle then you compress. Enter. You'll see you have a new layer, which is your sketch. What you want to do is change the opacity of this layer so that it's transparent. First, you quick on the layer, make sure it's selected. Then you come up here to opacity and drag it down to around 30%. You'll see this makes the layer transparent. If you can't see this layers panel or if your workspace does not look similar to mine, you can couldn't come up here. It's a window workspace and click on Essentials Default. This will be a new workspace that's a little similar to my Now you can create a new layer by clicking this button down here in the layers man called Create New Way. Once you quick it, we'll see you get a new layer above your sketch. Later in this layer, you can use your tablet to draw all of the parts of your illustration that will not be animated in my case, since my hair is in a different color and that's the part I want to enemy, I'm going to drop everything else that isn't the hair you can use your tablet and the first tool in order to draw his parts of your illustration. The brush tour you can get to over here on the left or right clicking. I have a lot of brushes downloaded. You couldn't find a lot of free what bushes online. Just search for Photoshopped brushes and conduct making sure you're in this new layer. You can draw all of these parts of your illustrate E. I like to be very organized with my layers, so I'm going to rename this later. I just drew as static frame this way, I know that it's never going to move. When you want to rename a layer, you just click twice over the text and little let you make changes to it. If you're using procreate, the process is the same. Make sure you use different layers and greening your layers because once you send your appropriate file into Photoshopped, it'll open up exactly the same. I also liked the color on a different layer, so I'm going to create a new layer called static color, and that's where I'm going to put the color into my illustration. So at some point during your process, you want to make sure to save your files in copped. It's a file save as, and you can save it up anywhere you like. I'm going to save it. Adds. Give skill shared and you can save it as a regular photo shop. File illustration should look something like this in the next video. I'll show you how to illustrate the parts of your animation that will be moving by using different layers. 4. Layers of Movement: this next section will be a little more complicated because it takes, I'm thinking, until you get used to it. I know I said I'd only animate the hair in my gift, but I'm going to show you how to animate a few different things because they do a very a little bit. Essentially, each layer we draw will be a different frame. I'll explain the differences between layers and frames a little later. First I'm going to group my static layers into a folder, so I'll select both of them. They cook, holding down shift and drag them both down to this folder icon. This will put them both inside a folder or a group, once a renames group static so that I know it will never move so dryly animated parts of your illustration. You will make a new folder and name. It frees. Come down here and click on this folder icon and you'll see there's a new group. Want to rename it frames inside this folder, We're going to add the number of frames that we want and number each layer. In order for this project, I suggest you stick to three or four frings maximum So in order to make these layers, you come down here to create new layer and create three or four new layers. It depends on what you want to do, and then I'm going to just number them one to three and four. First, I'm going to show you how to animate the hair. You can start with a bass player and follow the drawing of your original sketch. So let's turn back on our schedule air so that we can see it. And let's make sure we're drawing in our frame one player so like that and then we're going to follow your drawing and draw. You're here. Once you've done this, you can on view your sketch later again because we won't need it anymore. So you come down to sketch and click on this. I right next to it, for a friend to you want to decrease the A pass ity of your frame one so make sure selected come over capacity and bring it down to around 30%. You can then come back to frame to make sure it selected, and now you can redraw the hair once again. But this time you want to make sure you don't exactly follow the lines from frame one. You want to have some variations. This is what's going to get this movement so you can see I'm not drawing on the same lines as framework. If you make sure that the hair and frame to is not exactly the same as the hair in frame one, you can see that there will be some movement. So let's undo offering to and let's put frame one up to 100% opacity again. And now you can see when we move from one to the other. There's a little movements, so the same process confused for other objects that you want to give the same wavy effects who, for example, or plant in the background close that moves with the wind, etcetera. So we're going to the same thing for frame three and frame for. So frame one we're finished with. Let's put frame twos, opacity down and now going to frame three. We will draw our hair once again with variations. Same thing for frame for. So sit down the a passage of foreign three. Make sure you go back to friend for and draw your hair one more time. That way, if you want an enemy the eyes and make him blink the process is similar to the hair. In this case will create three frames one with the eyes open. One with the eyes have closed on one with the eyes closed. If you're animating guys, you you want to start without the ice? One is going toe. Erase mine really quickly from my static frame so that we can start from scratch. So just like before, we're going to create three different layers inside of a group and named each one. So I'm gonna close my friends here. I'm going to make a new group. We'll call it eyes and I want to make three wears inside of this group. Right? So we'll have 12 and three where one is going to be My eyes open. Just my regular isil Draw that in to draw their told her the same thing I did before. It's a crease The capacity of layer one. Make sure I'm in layer to and now we'll make the eyes half open. Have closed. I'll just do this earlier. Three. You make clear to transparent coming toe Later, three and I'll make my layer three. My eyes closed, so let's make sure they're all at 100% again. So now you'll see if I switch from 1 to 2 to three. There's a bit of movement, and once we animate that little flow a lot better. Another thing you couldn't play around with an animate is textures. In this case, if you remember in my sketch there were freckles, all of her arm and her neck. But I didn't draw those in because I want Teoh animate them and make them look like they're moving around again. It's the same process. I'm going to make a new folder. I'm gonna call it Freckles. And since this is very simple, I'm just going to make three different frames. So one new layer two and three, it's always just the same. So here I'm gonna go into my layer one pick out my brush and I'm going to draw freckles. No, I have my freckles in my layer. One the same thing. Decrease the opacity coming to later to and then when I draw them on layer two, I want to make sure I don't put the Furcal's in exactly the same spots and for layer three same thing. Help bring later one of the 100% layer two down to don't in a passage it and in layer three all draw freckles again, avoiding the spaces where they were before. Now I have all of my layers. We'll make sure they're all of 100%. Yeah, And then when I animate, um, it'll look like they're move era. So remember, we want to keep this project simple since we're learning. So choose one of these examples to enemy for your projects later on. If you'd like to try to enemy all of the things that I just showed you at the same time, you could indefinitely do that would like some feedback on this part of the process. Or just want to make sure that your layers on your files air correct. You can upload your work to the class community either as a PSD file or as a screenshot of your photo shop file. So if you have any questions about this part, please feel free to ask me. I would love to give you some feedback and see how your projects are going 5. Animating with the Timeline Tool: in this next video, I'm going to show you guys how to make everything move. So Photoshopped has a tool called timeline, which is what allows you to animate your illustration. You can get that tool. We're going up here to window and scrolling down until you see timeline. You can click on timeline. This opens this window here at the bottom, and there's a button in the middle of this has created a frame animation. This is Drop down Arrow next to it. So in case for some reason, yours says great video time. One. Make sure you click on Create frame animation and then you couldn't click in the center button. It opens up a square over here that looks like like a layer, and this is going to be our first frame. So the concept behind what we're doing now is basically a frame by frame animation or a stop motion. Animation does the type of veneration where an inch frame there's a little movement, and so it looks like it's a film that the flows. But really, it's just a lot of little photos put together just to explain the difference between layers and frames. When I say layer, I mean these guys over here on the right, in the layers. Ben, when I say frame, I mean these guys here, the bottom in the timeline them What we're doing is we're creating our friends down here from our layers over here. So the way that works is that each frame well displayed, the layers over here that are activated or visible. I think this will make a little more sense once we start doing it. So let's get started. What started by making all the way is invisible by clicking the I button next to each one of them. Now, you can activate the layers that you don't want to appear in this first frame, which is going to be your static group, your background if you have one and your frame one layer. So I'm gonna turn on my eyes and my Furcal's just so they're not going over was gonna leave him there. And then I'll open out my hair folder and I'll make sure frame one is visible. The sins of what you see here in this centre image is what will be shown in your first spring down here to create our second frame. We'll come down here to the timeline panel and click on this button right here. It's called duplicate Selected Frames. If you click this button, it's going to duplicate your first frame. It'll look exactly the same. The idea now is to change what you see in this frame so that it's different from the first frame. So what we're going to do is make our frame one layer invisible and make our frame to layer invisible. When we change from frame one frame to down here, you'll see that there's already some movement happening. The next steps are basically the same will duplicate our last frame down here. Then we'll make our frame to layer invisible and make our frame three layer visible, and then we'll do the same for frame for. We'll make a new frame down here, make our three frame invisible and make four visible. Now we have all of the frames that we that we created 1234 Remember these air the basic steps. If you have less frames or more frames, you just do the same thing for each frame that you may have. So if you have six friends. You will do this step six different times. If you have only two friends, which is totally fine, you'll just do it twice. No, I'm going to explain timing. First thing I usually do is to make the loop infinite. This is that they get full plate forever in a loop, which is what we ideally want give to do. Down here, you can see where it says once this is, it'll only play these form four frames once, and then it will stop. So you're going to click with those once and select forever. You'll see that each frame down here has a little number. This zero sec. This is how fast your frames air Going to move. Zero sec means zero seconds, and that's obviously very fast. Severe your animation. You can click the play button down here, so let's do that and see how our animation works. You'll see. That's very, very fast. Um, it can work if you want to have something that moves really fast. If it's hair, it looks fine. It looks kind of fun, but there are ways that you can make it slower so that it fits more off the style that you would like to have you contest out different speeds and see what fits list for your kids, so I'll show you how you can do that. You can either change this feat of all of your friends at once at the same time, or you can change them one at a time, so select them all at once. You can click on the first frame, hold down shift and then click the last frame. You can see that they turn a later gray Munnings with their selected with all of your frame selected. If you change the speed of just one of them, it will fight all of them. So you can do that by clicking where it says zero seconds on on any of these friends and you'll see that there are a lot of options. No delay in this case means zero seconds. So the rest Certain seconds, 0.1 seconds, 0.20 point 51 2nd two seconds and so on. Let's choose one second just so you guys can see the difference from zero seconds to one seconds. And how big of a difference that actually is so select. Once I can and click play. Do you see how much slower let us from our zero seconds before we'll choose values that aren't on this list By choosing other, a box will pop up that says, set freeing delay. And then you can choose whatever value you want. I often use 0.3 seconds. That's not on the original list, but it tends to work for me and for the gifts that I like to make. So what? Such as you're going through and quick click. OK, so if I press play, that's a pretty nice speed. So I would suggest you guys play around with these values of it and see what fits best for your gift. If you want it really fast, you want it really slow someone to go ahead and and leave my friends a 0.3 seconds. I think that's a speak that works for me, and I like it so that we can go on to the next video where I'll show you how to export your gift and a few different formats 6. Exporting and Uploading your GIF: in this video, I'm going to show you how to export your gift. There are a few ways to explore to give because different platforms do require different formats, we're going to show you a couple of formats. The first method will see is how to export your gift as a gift. Once you have your finished animation and you're happy with it, you can come up here to file export Save for Web legacy. This is going to open a box with a lot of options. The first thing has to do is come up here on the rights of precent and said that to give 1 28 dithered. My gift has a very limited color problem, so I can bring my colors down over here to less than 120. For example, 32. If you have a lot of colors or a lot of shading, it's better to keep it at 1 28 or even to 56. You'll see all of the colors that you're using down here. 1 28 I think, tends to work really well for what we're working with. So, like I said in the beginning, gifts are always better when they're lighter and so close your class project to skill shirt . It does have to be below two megabytes. You can see the size of your gift down here below the preview. Right now, mine is at 114 K If I wanted to make it smaller, Aiken, decrease the image size instead of 10 80. I can make it 800 by 800 that will make it all smaller. Um, I could decrease the colors, and so all of this will keep your gift smaller. They really do not have today large at all, because they'll probably leave you grease model on the screen. So it's not a problem. Make sure that down here, under looping options, it says forever. It should already be sets of forever because we did that earlier. So that's the size of your gift, and all of these settings are okay. Click save, and you can save it so wherever you like, it should have the extension dot g. So saying, if you preview your GIF by pressing space by, you can see that it works perfectly. It moves, it's loops. It's perfect. If you drag your gift into your Web browser. That's another way to preview it, and it will also work perfectly. Oh, if you open the actual file, you will see it doesn't move, and it just opens a sequence of frames. That's because of what we said before that. It's basically a frame by frame animation. This kind of file works for posting on some social media. Facebook, for example, supports again for men, and we'll play your gift exactly the way it is. Insulin does not. If you want to export your gift to post on instagram, I suggest exporting it as a video. So I'm going to show you how to do that. Now you can come back to your photo shop filed and go up here to file export render video. This will also open up a box of options. You can add a title. I'm going to write down video, and you can click on Select folder to select where you want to save it to, and then you can click lender. It might take a little while, depending on the size of your video. Since our gives were small, it should be pretty fast. Here's the thing about with videos. This is going to be a very short video, which is completely fine for posting on your instagram feed because it's going toe loop anyway. But I'm just gonna open it to show you guys it lasts one side, so that's really, really fast. But let's say you want symbols this video to your instant. I'm stories or you want to text it to someone. It's not gonna loop. It's just gonna show as this one second long video and this sucks. And it took a very long time to figure it out. So I'm going to show you one of the one of the tactics that I used to make this video longer. What I usually do is go back into our photo shop file and duplicate these four original frames. A few times. I usually go up to around 40 frames. You can do this by selecting all of your frames again, and then you couldn't click but duplicate selected frames button as we have done before, and this is going to duplicate our frames so you can do this a few times. There are already selected, so if you just click it again and again again I'm upto 40 and I think that's okay. So now we can go back once again to file export render video, and I'm going to say you have skill shirt longer and Brenda. So now when you open up your new video, your longer video, it will be a little longer. It's 12 seconds, which makes it a lot easier to see. And so when you send it to someone or you post insurance and I'm stories or you posted toe anywhere that won't automatically loop it, it'll be a lot longer. So now you learn how to export get Once you're finished with your animation and you're happy with it, you can upload your class projects, weaken comments. A skill share. It should look something like this. Make sure you don't click this off. Load image button. This is for your cover image. Instead, you want to come down here into add content and so like image, and then you can upload your gift format file open. It might take a little wild or not, and you can write your project title. You couldn't make any comments. Ask any questions, but basically that's how you upload your last project. your class project needs to be under two megabytes in order to be uploaded into skill share . If you give his way too big and there's just no way to make it any smaller, you can upload it to give fee and then paste the link into your project. Where space. So I'm going to quickly show you help. Do that. Go to the free dot com. There's an upload button up here, so you just click on upload and then you will insert your gift file. Open can add tags if you will plan on sharing it on the giffey Um, Page, but for right now is gonna click upload. Once you upload it, you'll see there are a few options here to share the Facebook Twitter Instagram. This is another option if you want to just skip the whole making and before out of your gift, so the son of their option. But for now, we're just going to click on Copy Link, and you can copy the short link here, and then you can come back to skill shared and down here under add content. Other. You can paste that link and you'll see that will include your gift right into the project. So that's the way that you do that through giffey. I don't usually use GIF you because the quality of the gift ends up being pretty bad. You can see it's not clear at all, but for this purpose and for Instagrams, there's no problem. So it's a very fast and easy tool to use. And that's really all there is to creating a simple gift from an illustration really excited to see all of your class projects. And if you guys have any questions, feel free to send me a message and ask whatever you need. I'd also love any suggestions as to how to make my future classes better. So feel free to leave me a review or send me a message about that. You can find all of my social media links in my profile. And if you guys to share your new gifts online, make sure to tell me that Carmela Calder and all be sure it's a comment on the Thank you so much for watching my class, and I really hope you enjoyed it and learn something useful