Photoshop Animation For Beginners | Gregory Forster | Skillshare

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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 (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Setting Up / Video Groups / Video Layers

    • 3. First Photoshop Action / Drawing on Video Groups

    • 4. Onion Skins / Drawing / Looping

    • 5. Timing / Inking / Coloring

    • 6. Adding Details / Final Thoughts / Rendering

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About This Class

This class is for people who have no experience in, and want to learn, 2D animation in Photoshop. 

We will go over:

- Setting up the canvas/project for animation

- Video Groups vs. Video Layers

- Using Photoshop actions to make our workflow smoother

- How to line, ink and color

- Best practices for simple animations

It isn't so much a class on animation as it is a class on animation in Photoshop.  We will be turning the classic bouncing ball animation into a cute animal.  I won't be talking about squash and stretch and animation principals like that.  I will be focusing on the Photoshop aspect of it.

Meet Your Teacher

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Gregory Forster

Teaching Adobe Character Animator


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1. Introduction: Hello. I'm going to show you how I made this is cute little bouncing ball here. I'm going to show you the difference between video layers, which are these blue ones, and video groups, which are these purple ones. Also going to show you how to use Photoshop actions to kinda make, make animating in Photoshop easier. You don't have to download any plugins. I did use a drawing tablet for those, but you could make this without a drawing tablet if you wanted to follow along. So yeah. 2. Setting Up / Video Groups / Video Layers: I'm in Photoshop, I clicked or making a new canvas. It's up to you. I'm going to do with 1000 by 1000 pixels. Leave the resolution 300 again, it's up to you free. Now. To bring up the timeline for animation. Go up to window. I'm sorry, you can't see that on my screen, but I'm clicking window. And I'm going down the timeline. So we know timeline. Drag it up a little bit. Click, Create Video, Timeline. This is the most important thing because if you don't do this, don't do this in the beginning and you try to do it at the end, it could mess up your whole project. So the first thing we need to do is set a frame rate. You can see down here, it's at 30 frames per second. That means 30 frames or 30 drawings on 1 second. That's a lot. So I usually do 24. We're going to come over here. It is online menu, this menu right here. And we're going to click on it and go to Timeline. And we're going to do 24. Zoom in a little bit. So we have two options for animating. First option is a thing called a video group. So what that is, and I just made a new layer. And I'm bringing that layer down. So it's two frames long. If I do that again, I have two frames that are two frames long, but they're right on top of each other. So if I drag this frame into it, it creates a video group. And then I can just make new frames. Can have as many frames long as I wanted. Just keep adding them to the video group. And we can do that. That is a video group. I'm just going to delete that for now, just, just the basics. Now, the next one we can do is a video layer. So if you go up to Layer Video layers, new blank video layer. And what that does, it creates a whole. A whole is video sequence, so for example, and so on. And the way you can see that on maybe new one. And then we move ahead of frame two. And that the array. And there we go. That's our animation. I like to use the keyboard to move frames. So to turn that on, you can go, go back to this little menu option enabled timeline shortcut keys. And that allows me to use the arrow keys on my keyboard to switch back and forth between frames. So that's the two ways that you can. We're going to use both. But first, we're going to use the video groups. I prefer it. It's a it's a preference thing. I'll explain why at the end when we have both together so you can see the difference, but we're gonna do it that way. 3. First Photoshop Action / Drawing on Video Groups: So we rename this layer. This is our background. That's our background. Now, I'm going to make a new frame and I'm going to do what I did before. And I drag this all the way down. So it's two frames long. And I'm gonna do the same thing. Again. I'm going to drag it. Now it's a video group. Now. If we were to do that every time, it would be terrible. We're going to make Photoshop action. That creates a to frame, a frame, two frames long. So we're just going to put it to a hotkey. So we can just hit that hotkey. Can do it as many times as we want, so we don't have to I don't have to do it manually. So or a Photoshop action. We're going to go up to Window again. We're gonna go to Actions. Window action. If you've never used these before, they're, they're incredible. It's basically any multi-step being that you want to repeat in Photoshop. You can record it, make it an action, and then repeat it with a hotkey. So Actions. And then click this button right here to make a new one. We're going to call it add two framer function key. All right, let's do an F2, so we'll make it shift F2 color. I don't know. I don't know what that does. Let's make it orange. All right. So when I hit Record, I'm going to record the action and then I'm going to hit stop. And then after that it'll be mapped to the hotkey Shift F2. And here we get a new frame down. To stop. There we go. And then when I hit Shift F2, you can see right there, it adds two frames to frame, two frames. And that makes life much, much easier for animation in Photoshop. Yeah, so the canvas, it is all, it's all set up now. It's all ready to go. Before I start drawing, I'm going to rename video group one. Can name it. Bouncing ball, right on the background. If you want to zoom in and out, you can hold Alt and use your mouse wheel. And so I'm doing that. And on the background, I want to ground level hidden be to get my brush. I'm going to just draw another ground. The ball's going to balance. And that since my background is whatever it is, five seconds long, it's going to be on every frame, so I can see it on every frame. Okay. Let me get out my pencil or a pencil like, Hey, turn on my pen pressure. 4. Onion Skins / Drawing / Looping: Okay, So I'm on frame number 1. And you can see that it's highlighted. If I were to, let's say I had frame to highlight it, but my playhead was on Frame 1. You can see it's not letting me. You gotta be on anatomy highlighted. And you got to click. You're going to click on it to highlight it. Makes perfect sense. Alright. Frames highlighted. A little too big. Control Z is your best friend. Command Z on a Mac. I'm going to turn on some smoothing years since I can't draw. It went away. I wanted to do onion skins. To do that. We go back to this menu behind my head. Click on it and enable onion skins. If you want to change the settings, you can change how, how many frames it goes back and forth and change the opacity. But I'm just gonna leave it. Now. I want to see this bar, and I wanna see this last frame. So I want to bring this frame to the end. Now little shortcut trick to do that. Highlight the frame and drag it. And I just copied edges, copy, dragged it all the way to the end. I want this to loop. So then drag this one. I'll end here. Thank you to the end of my my frames. And let's check it out. Oh, it's not looping that. So I'm going to click on this little gear and here, Loop playback. And this is a resolution. If you ever have more complex drawings and, or a bigger Canvas, you might want to turn this down because the playback can be slow sometimes. As a loop. It now. 5. Timing / Inking / Coloring: So one of the advantages are using the video groups instead of the video layers that I showed earlier. So right now these are all on twos. There are two frames, one drawing for two frames. We can make these ones. So basically when there's faster motion, ones would make sense. So when the ball speeds up, I'm going to make those ones. I'm just dragging the frames and the on to one instead of two. And let's just see how it looks. You can see the difference. Let's put on almost all ones except the top one. It slows down. Maybe we can delete this last one because it's a it's a double. Oh yeah. Looks less stiff, little more movement. So that's why I prefer the video groups. And let's say I didn't like that. I could make these all twos. Again, I can make these threes and you can drag out the frame as long as you want. I only use the other option, the video layers. Once the animation is basically set in stone. And I want to, and then I want to draw something on top of it. But if you're not exactly sure, I think video groups is the way to go. I want to draw like a line work, ink lines on top of that. That's just a pencil. I'm going to make a new layer. I'm going to use my Shift F2. So it makes a layer that's two frames right now, it's not in a video group. And do it again and then drag them together. Now it's a new video group. I'm going to get that one. Can't turn smoothing up because I can't draw winter pen pressure off. And color video of group one. You are aligned. We're gonna, and I'm gonna do the same shift F2 to add a new. I'm still going to use video groups. So we have for a line group, and I'll call this colon and add the pink color. So another kind of tripping AS will choose how you use the program. But a trick is, I get my magic wand tool. In my magic wand tool and I highlight the lines. Now, I go down to the color section. I hit G to bring up my paint bucket tool. I got my pink ready in a, fill it in. But now you'll notice There's kind of there's like a white It's not full. It didn't complete it fully. So another way to use Photoshop actions. And let me show you. So I'm going to undo that. Undo that. So we have these little, this little outline, these little marching ants. There is a way to expand those. So if we go to Select, Modify, Expand. Yeah, on the top. I'm sorry, you can't see it. We go to Select, Modify, Expand, and we're going to expand it. Let's just say we'll do, Let's do four pixels because the line is fixed. So it just moved down. Now, when we color, it fills it in completely. Again, if we were to do that every single time, if we were to do the Select, Modify, Expand, every single time, that would be too much. So we're going to turn it into a Photoshop actually in me cancel that 1 second. I'm going to highlight. I want to highlight is that before I record. Now I'm going to do it. Expand. Or pixels. Shifted three, color, whatever. Record, Select, Modify, Expand. Ok. And that's one. Let's see if the work. Let's go to the next one. Okay. Don't be you. Magic Wand Tool select. I forget what? F3? Yeah. Okay. Shift F3. There we go. Come down to the color fill. I like this pink color. Probably not the best idea to do this. But if you look close up, not good. But I'm gonna do it anyway. 6. Adding Details / Final Thoughts / Rendering: So I'm going to collapse lines and colors. And I'm going to add another, just another frame shift F2 base that I want. So I'm going to use a video there. So my, my animation is pretty much set. Balls bouncing. I know. I'm not going to change anything else. Maybe a color, maybe something, but the foundation of the animation is set. So now I'm going to use a video layer after layer. Video layers aligned video. And this is basically on one's now going to start with just the, the like the white part to get the rotation of the pig's face. So he's going to come, he's going to rotate down nice and easy and I come back. Hi. So under nice, gonna make another video layer. Blank video layer. Put it underneath, may give fit. Ear color. That's it. So that's it. That is animation in Photoshop. I think it was a pretty good tutorial kinda mixing the two styles. Now our Lambda, this is a preference on whether you use the video layer or a video group. Now, if you know the difference, if you know a pose to pose animation or straight ahead animation. If you know the difference, I would say. The video groups are good for pose to pose. And the video layers are good for straight ahead. If you don't know what those are, then just use either one. Do video groups. I think they're better. Yeah. And I like the way they look in the timeline. Right there you can see you can see the how long each frame goes and you can eat it out. You can change the timing. Yeah, So I prefer the video groups. If you want to export this, what you can do is you can export it. You can render the video that you can export it as like an MP4. If you want to do a GIF or GIF, then you go to Save for Web. And it brings up this end. You've got all kinds of all kinds of properties, all kinds of things. You can, all kinds of things you can do with it. And then you save it. And that's it. Usually I take this and I put it into After Effects and then I do some stuff with it. I I just put the whole Photoshop document into After Effects. Yeah. That's it.