PhotoShop Tips IV: Create a GIF


Thanks to Zero_Option for this tutorial suggestion.

This technique creates a gif with fading images. If you do not need to modify your jpgs, simply number in sequential order (see note in red below), and begin at step 10.

Step 1: In PhotoShop, open the two jpg files that you would like to animate.

Step 2: Enlarge the canvas of one jpg to give it a plain white border. Image, Canvas. Increase your width/height by 1″.

Step 3: Enlarge the canvas again to make room for the 2nd jpg. In this case, anchor the main jpg to the lower left, then increase width by 5″ and the height by 3″. Use the measurements of the 2nd photo to give you an idea how much of an increase is needed.

Step 4: Using your pointer tool, drag the 2nd jpg onto the 1st jpg.

Step 5: While on Layer 1 (the photo you have just dragged over), lower the opacity so you can see through it.

Step 6: Use your pointer tool to align the 2 photos. Code (the apple key) plus T allows you to transform. Shrink the photo to fit, and rotate to align. Make sure you hold the Shift button down keep proportions accurate. Otherwise your image will warp. Now return the opacity to 100%.

Step 7: Crop your image to remove any excess canvas. You are now ready to prepare your files for animation!

Step 8: Merge the layers. Layers, Flatten. When you save, create a new folder. File, Save As, 1.jpg.

Step 9: Undo the merge by pressing Code (the apple key) plus Z. You could also choose Edit, Step Backward.

Step 10: While on Layer 1, lower opacity to 90%. Merge the layers (Layers, Flatten). Save to your new folder as 2.jpg.

Repeat the process of undoing the merge, lowering opacity, and saving in numerical order.

Note: if you will have more than 9 final jpgs to combine, you will have to be creative with your numbering. Instead of naming the files 10, 11 and so forth, choose 91, 92, 93. The 10 would appear directly behind file number 1 and would throw things off.

When all of your files are ready, launch Adobe ImageReady CS2 (free with purchase of Adobe PhotoShop CS2).

Step 10: Choose File, Import, Folder As Frames. Select your working folder.

Step 11: On top of the Animation Box, click Animation and choose Select All Frames. On any of the frames, choose a speed (i.e. .2 seconds). Press the Play button to view the animation. Adjust speed if necessary.

Step 12: If it is all to your liking, select File, Save Optimized As… Change the default format to Images Only. Name your gif file.

Your GIF is ready!

If you have a suggestion for a future tutorial, please let me know.

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9 Comments

Filed under How To... VIDEOS, Photoshop

9 responses to “PhotoShop Tips IV: Create a GIF

  1. Hey Jean…
    I loved this post .. your directions were so easy to follow!
    But I don’t have the programs!! LOL!!

    Seriously, I have a degree in visual communications from the Art Institute but yknow.. that was WAY before the internet. Anyway, I’ve always been interested in this type of design so can you give a newbie some suggestions on what types of programs I’ll need.. want.. can’t live without??

    • Thanks Leese!
      I’ve used PhotoShop for about 8 years. I’ve tried CorelDraw and Illustrator, but those were not easy for me to work with nor understand. I haven’t been afraid to experiment with PhotoShop.
      In our office, we have versions 5, 6 and 7 as well as CS2. I think it goes as high as CS4 now.
      The program is expensive, but you should be able to find an early version on ebay. They still have a lot of bells & whistles.
      There is a morphing program I downloaded a while back that I like a lot. You can merge photos into each other, or morph faces. I’ll try to do a tutorial on that soon so you can see what I mean.

  2. Sherri

    I like this but I have absolutlely no idea what you are talking about. I guess I need photoshop which I don’t have. I’ll live vicariously through your images 😉

    Nice jobe Jean!

  3. That’s awesome Jean and thanks for posting. I will have to give this a try. I have Photoshop CS3 and pretty much only use it to edit photos. I will have to give this a go!

  4. You kinda confused me after you said This technique creates a gif with fading images…

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